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Oli Brown

Ruf Records
 

Guitarist Oli Brown is a bright light in the world of blues guitar. While plenty of youngsters are playing, not many in their mid 20s are carving a sound and feel of their own.

On Heads I Win Tails You Lose, Brown shows an affinity for standard blues and funk, but he’s a clone of nobody. He has chops to burn, but his playing is tasteful, especially given
his age.

“Makes Me Wonder” is a jazzy shuff le highlighted by fine ninthchord comping and his skill building a solo. While considered a blues artist, Brown is not afraid to push the envelope. “Speechless” is a soul/ pop tune full of tasty soloing and a mix of single lines, double-stops, and one-note pops. He’s got a real penchant for writing hooky lyrics, too, proven by “Keeping My Options Open” which also has a pinched-out solo that drips with soul. “No Diggity” is similar, but with its own hook and a nasty solo.

The sky just might be the limit for Brown, who is the proverbial “triple threat” of the blues – and guitar, in general – could use if it is to thrive.


This article originally appeared in VG‘s Jan. ’11 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.


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