Former Saddleback student releases debut album

Brown, nominated for “Best Live Acoustic” in the 2011 OC Music Awards, will perform as part of their Best Live Showcase, sponsored by KROQ and Wahoo’s Fish Tacos on Tuesday Feb. 8 at The Gypsy Den in Santa Ana. (Courtesy of Micah Brown/Jonathan Gibby)

McKenzie Sixt

From playing local coffee shop gigs to a debut album, musician Micah C. Brown, a former Lariat opinion editor, is a successful exception among the world of struggling artists.

“Ever since I started my first band in high school, I’ve wanted to become a recording artist,” Brown said.

Brown accomplished that desire in the form of his album, “Down Like Hail,” released Jan. 11 on iTunes. This album can be found in the blues genre, a proper fit for Brown’s refreshing rhythms and strong guitar presence, which he describes as “folk n’ blues.”

Brown’s musical career begins quite like many other musicians, by receiving a drum set as a child, playing guitar for friends and family, and performing his songs at small gigs.

However, his journey took a turn when he met manager Anik Dang at a show in Laguna Beach. Dang recruited him to rcord with Lewis Richards, owner and operator of 17th Street Recording Studio in Costa Mesa.

“Once I began really focusing on writing songs and developing as a solo artist, my goal was to release as much of my original music to the public as possible,” Brown said.

His influences are Lightnin’ Hopkins, Big Bill Broonzy, Jimi, Neil Young, Tony Sly, Bob Marley and Roger Waters.

The public welcomed this goal with a loyal fan network, spreading word of Brown’s talents. A fan and new owner of his album, sampsonite755, expressed their review on iTunes, “Amazing album…Its [sic] been on repeat since I got it.”

“Down Like Hail” brings an upbeat flair to blues that traditionally has “melancholy notes expressing suffering or deprivation,” according to the New Georgia Encyclopedia.

Brown’s songs, including “Frustrating Woman,” “Coming of Age,” and “I’m Goin Fishin,” reflect the experiences of everyday life.

“My songs are always written based somewhat or wholly on personal experience,” Brown said. With truth and reality in his lyrics, Brown keeps to the feel of traditional blues that originated from life experiences.

“The most important thing about music is how it allows people to relate with each other,” Brown said. “When I write about life, my true emotions and aspirations will always be in my songs and that helps people relate to me and my music.”

Along with the album, more chances to relate to Brown and his music are soon to come.

“I already have most of the second solo album done, and I don’t plan on stopping there,” Brown said.

Brown is nominated for “Best Live Acoustic” in the 2011 OC Music Awards and will be performing as part of their Best Live Showcase, sponsored by KROQ and Wahoo’s Fish Tacos on Tuesday Feb. 8 at The Gypsy Den in Santa Ana.

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