Fond farewell: Kremmling hosts one of band’s final performances
September 4, 2008
As Willie “Erica” Brown performs Friday, she’ll be saying “goodbye” to the stage and “hello” to several exciting opportunities. The performance in Kremmling will be one of the first for Brown’s daughter “MJ” who has joined the Erica Brown Band for what has been announced as the last few shows for the band.
With the announcement of it disbanding Sept. 13 after Oskar Blues in Lyons (and The Q Blues and Jazz Sept. 6 Lounge in Cherry Creek), this makes for a heartfelt Kremmling show.
“It’s been an incredible ride for us, and now is the time for us to let all of you know how much you’ve meant to us over the years,” Brown says on her Web “Edge” communication with fans. “Ten years is a great run for any band, and the EBB has made some amazing friends along the way.”
The band emerged in 1998 with founding members Tommy Butters and Scott Rivera and will go out with Jon Woodhead (“soulful” lead guitar) and drummer Randy Thompson, as well as what Brown explains are “new horizons to look forward to … .”
Other talents who will share the stage with Brown, Woodhead and Thompson include Jim Ayers, who has played with star musicians like B.B. King and the Allman Brothers Band performs on Hammond organ, keyboards, harmony and background vocals; and 30-year veteran bassist Rich Sallee, who wrote music for contemporary jazz group Images which had three Top Ten radio releases, also lends harmony and background vocals.
Just one of those opportunities Brown is excited about is MJ’s budding talent lending “lead and background vocals to the mix.” To see her “musical love” shine in her daughter’s heart honors the lead songstress whose fiery blues vocals have been featured in Sony Picture movies and numerous CD projects.
“It’s awesome. The more folks that are inspired by what I do, the better,” Brown said.
Brown sat in at the Blues from the Top Festival a couple years ago and this past winter the band represented the Colorado Blues Society at the International Blues
Challenge in Memphis, Tenn. Widely known for its “high-energy rockin’ blues,” they love to play festival and concert circuits all over the country. Samples of their work are available on two CDs, “Body Work” (2000) and “Rough Cut Stone” (2003) which received favorable reviews from BluesWax and in Europe, South America and Australia.
“My purpose is to take folks to a place that’s a little bit better than where they were when they walked through the door,” Brown said, “be the ambassador for their blues experience, and then send them home with a little bit of that.”
Brown, Grand Mountain Bank and the Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce invite the public downtown to come see and welcome MJ as she starts her musical career and the Erica Brown Band wraps up what has been an exciting chapter in members’ lives.
As for her future, Brown said she’s going to take a break first before she decides “which way to jump,” she said. “I have to keep reminding myself that maybe taking a couple months off after 10 years is probably OK.” For those wanting to keep up on Brown there is a MySpace.com page to keep up on her what she is up to and she’s sure “the guys” will keep in touch on projects they are doing.