Greg Brown

Freak Flag

There are more things I like about Greg Brown than I can fit in a short review, but I’ll start with the sound of his voice, that rumbly instrument that sounds like it’s emanating from somewhere very close to the earth. Then there’s his wry sense of humor, found in songs like “Where Are You Going When You’re Gone,” the second cut on this new album. Or there’s the first track, “Someday House,” containing the line “I can sleep when I’m dead, if I live that long,” a perfect representation of the way Brown plays with ways of seeing and ways of saying. Brown is a bit younger than I am, but that voice of his makes him sound like the wisest old dude you’re ever going to meet. Fortunately, the things he says and sings are often pretty wise, too. They’re also comforting, like an uncle talking you through your fears on a camping trip way out in the woods. The title song brought a tear to my eye. It might do the same to you. It’s an anthem for those of us who, like Brown, came of age in the ’60s.