There’s an electrifying energy that surges through him like European Voltage on this beautiful July eve of the 2012 Blues Music Award’s as Paul Brown sprints to the stage to make his acceptance speech after taking the prestigious Best Soul Blues Album of the Year award for his efforts producing, engineering and mixing Blues legend Bobby Rush widely successful album; Show You A Good Time.
Just two weeks later he’ll make that same sprint to receive the coveted Jackson Music Award for Best International Producer of the Year. Not shabby by any stretch considering it happens to be the very first label release out of his brand new Ocean Soul Studios in Nashville, TN.
But for Paul who just turned forty-nine earlier this month, it is much more than just winning an award. It’s a major validation for all the parks he’s lived in and all the crazy hours, days and months perfecting the craft of making soulful records by any means necessary for over Thirty years.
Born in Madison Wisconsin July 4th, 1963, Multi Award Winning, Producer Keyboardist Paul Brown was moved to Memphis Tennessee at the age of five where he lived until the death of his mother in ’75. Soon after, this broken twelve year old kid who still wet the bed found himself living in a school for the homeless searching for a way to cope with his losses when he stumbled across an old upright piano that forever changed his life.
By thirteen a new positive energy called music was coursing through his veins, sponging styles ranging from Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd to Parliament Funkedelic and Rap pioneers Sugar Hill. "I loved anything with music attached to it says Paul, Man I was so happy to find something like music to connect with. I remember going A.W.O.L. to see a KISS concert that turned out to be a Parliament Funkadelic concert instead! Man that was one of the most enlightening experiences of my musical life, that and being without a doubt, being mentored by one of my dearest friends and country Icon Louise Mandrell.
“In ’79, the homeless school I was living in started really putting the clamps on my musical privileges. So one night I scaled down the 2nd story of my dorm and left Nashville to head back to Memphis armed with nothing more than the trumpet Louise gave me, and an arsenal of determination. It’s pretty crazy to think of everything I went through over the next five years just to survive.
But by the mid-Eighties Brown managed to land his first publishing deal writing and arranging for various artists including X Factor Finalist Dexter Haygood. “That would also be my first real introduction to a life of making records says Paul, and from day one man I was hooked solid!”
In ‘91 Paul met Hi records artist Ann Peebles and Don Bryant (Known for their 1973 hit “I Can’t Stand the Rain”). Hired as a sub to fill in for Hi Records’ organist, Charles Hodges, Paul eventually became Ann’s musical director and ultimately her producer. “During the twenty-one years I have been with Ann, I am beyond grateful and humbled to say that through her, Music and Tours have carried me to so many parts of the world."
In ‘94 Brown took a year off with Ann to record and tour with East West/Electra recording artist The MotherStation, to support their debut release Brand New Bag which sported the hit single Put the Blame On Me.
“Man that was one beautiful feeling you know, to get signed to your first Major label with a killer band, an MTV video and a hit single. It was a great ride while it lasted.”
In ’95 Ann Peebles invited Brown back in to co-write and co-produce Ann’s critically acclaimed release, Fill This World with Love which featured a stellar line-up of guests that included Mavis Staples and The Memphis Horns.
In ‘98 joined renowned rock group Survivor’s Vocalist Jimi Jamison for two years of highly successful Tours followed up by producing two more albums including a newly re-mastered Gospel epic on Peebles’ husband Don Bryant titled; It’s All in the Word which is set for release in the spring of 2013.
Throughout his career Paul has recorded on various major tribute records for Icons Don Covay and Eric Clapton, performed on a host of major television shows, specials and live DVDs spanning from David Letterman to the Grammy winning soundtrack for Martin Scorcese’s film The Blues.
Paul Brown blazes into 2013 sharing the stage live with Rock Royalty Derek St. Holmes (Ted Nugent), Mike Scott (The Waterboys), re-uniting with Jimi Jamison and launching his own Ocean Soul Label geared especially towards helping hidden world-class struggling artists make world class records.
Paul has also just finished producing Bobby Rush’s critically acclaimed album Down In Louisiana which is already climbing up the Americana and Blues Radio Charts.
Between Making the best records of his career and his Ministry through Music Tour with Nashville’s Soul Gospel Royalty Mike Farris, Paul Brown continues to instil over Thirty years of styles and influences into his soulful recordings and Soul healing live performances.