2007 has been quite a year for Mel Brown who is finally getting the recognition he deserves after more than a half-century in the music business. Living Blues Magazine has been at the forefront of the bestowal parade. Mel--who records for the Toronto-based Electro-Fi label---won their Reader's Poll Award for "Most Outstanding Musician (Guitar) 2007" beating
out his old friends B.B. King and Buddy Guy. To put the icing on the cake he was also the co-winner for best DVD of the year along with producer Mako Funasaka for a Talking Blues/Electro-Fi presentation "Mel Brown-the DVD". Blues Revue stated the obvious: "True Genius... Mel Brown has captured the blues life in all it's pain, sadness and eloquence". Folks, make a special point of ordering it at: www-electrofi.com.
Mel could be in better health, but that doesn’t detract in the slightest from the generosity and impact of his performance. He launched me into blues heaven at the star-studded Electro-Fi lineup at the Courthouse Theatre in Orangeville Ontario last April which included John Mayes (of Fathead fame). There wasn’t a seat to be had! Perched atop his stool, this legend was the focal point of the opening portion and then proceeded to provide supremely tasteful accompaniment for song after song during that memorable 2 ½ hour show. It was definitely a night to remember.
Andrew Galloway, President of Electro-Fi, was bursting with pride over this glorious evening, and what a brisk business he did selling an array of Electro-Fi CDs. Mel Brown’s CDs were probably n flying off the table. You just can’t make a better purchase for your blues library and they’re all available at www.electrofi.com.
Mel also sparkled with a scintillating Sunday afternoon performance at Kitchener’s (his adopted hometown) Bluesfest this past August. It was a tour de force and the thousands in attendance on Kitchener’s main drag showed how mighty proud they are of Mel by giving him a rousing ovation. He also backed the lovely Miss Angel on a few songs, and a grinding version of Slim Harpo’s "Shake Your Hips’ had the crowd juke joint jumping. A sight to behold!
MB drew the curtains with a smoking version of "Hey Joe", but those patient enough to hang around to catch the evening show featuring Jackie Payne were doubly treated with Mel accompanying Jackie on keyboards. These guys go back decades and it was the kind of reunion diehard R&B fans live for. So, here’s a great big toast to Mel Brown for untold hours of great music---and may there be many more to unfold.