Flippin' out: Essential Recordings

by: Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown was a versatile and crowd-pleasing entertainer throughout his long career, but it's easy to overlook just how explosive a guitarist he was, and his style mixed an elegant, jazzy tone with a rough rustic edge, and the same could be said of his fiddle playing. Brown pretty much invented his own bayou-tinged and jazzy Texas swing style, and that's clearly on display here in this brief sampler of his mid-'80s work with Rounder Records. It's all nicely sequenced, and several aspects of Brown's unique and varied talent are featured, from the jazzy guitar swing of "Flippin' Out" and the funky, folky fiddle jazz of "Catfish" to the R&B jump of "Baby Take It Easy." This set doesn't cover a very big chunk of Brown's long career, but it does show nicely what a vital and unique performer he was. ~ Steve Leggett

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