I've said it before, I'll say it again, because I know it to be true - Greg Brown is America's best songwriter. This time I'm not poking fun at platitudes. Through a bunch of albums, including seven still in print and a new one coming out soon, and several live shows I've had the great pleasure of experiencing, Brown has, without fail, provided romantic ballads that are more than romantic, blazing rockers that transcend rock and roll, stories of familial love that will send you to the phone to make a long-distance call you should have made months ago. He speaks in voices - of the kid gone fishing, of the parents of an ill child,
of the grandmother canning her goods, of the evilness of a God who would take a mother from her children, of the troubles of the society and the individual, of a thousand other matters of the heart and mind. From "If I Had Known" on Down in There (you add by imagination the cooking guitar backing and deep-as-the-sea voice): "A little creek you could spit across/Well Jimmy and me each took one more toss/Oh our spinners bright in the evening air/People always said there ain't no fish in there/Well grown-ups they ain't always right/Cause Jimmy and me walked home slow that night/Well right down main street in our PF Flyers/With two five-pound bass making grown men liars." Greg Brown plays live Saturday at the First Presbyterian Church. Call 995-2264 for details.
The winner of the Miss Hot Legs Contest at Churchill's Hideaway...whoops, sorry, wrong press release. Just wanted to take a bit of this space to acknowledge and thank photographer Jill Kahn, who, without credit, has provided a number of fine snaps for this here music section recently (and over the years, too). Blizzy Nation, Miami Riot, the Wait, the Planets - all shot by Kahn. (New Times generally doesn't put a photo credit on publicity stills. Kahn, often without pay, helps out bands by providing such promo shots.)
See it now: The Goods thing at Squeeze tonight (Wednesday). Mambo Jazz with Bobby Ramirez at Espresso Bongo on Thursday. XSF, also on Thursday, at the Purple Grotto. Lt. Rocks on Saturday at Washington Square. And one of the hottest bills of the year - Black Janet, Vesper Sparrow, and Forget the Name - Friday at the Plus Five in Davie.
Master slide guitarist Alex Gomez is teaming up with master slide guitarist Bob Brozman for the 1992 Slide Guitar Workshop on February 8 at the Holiday Inn at 22nd and Collins. You need to register ahead of time, so call 672-6134.
Bob Slade could promote Fidel Castro in Little Havana, but for some reason he hasn't hyped this. (We find out these things anyway.) Slade is planning something new and promising for his Off the Beaten Path show on WLRN-FM (91.3) Mondays at midnight. Beginning this week with super trio the Quit, Slade will present live music on the air. Listen up.
Groove Thangs have signed to the Miller Genuine Draft Band Network, which provides all sorts of publicity and booking assistance to bands they feel deserve it. The Thangs certainly do.
Gloria Estefan reportedly visited Oceanside Promenade for her New Year's Eve. (Amateurs' Night, and we stayed home, in case you care.) Estefan, we hear, was looking to check out Innasense, the best reggae band in SoFlo according to last year's Best of Miami issue of New Times. They weren't playing there that night.
Blues man Fleet Starbuck, who holds forth at the Tiger Tail on weekends, is starting up his Blues History of American Music and guitar/harp classes at Miami-Dade Community College. Call 237-3176.
Butthorn of the week: How 'bout those Grammy nominations? Bryan Adams? Honk, honk.
The media circus: From the "Help Wanted" section of the December 28 issue of Editor & Publisher magazine: "Must... have an eagle-eye for errors. We're looking for someone with at least five years on the copy desk, some of that as a supevisor." Yup, supevisor.
Pet corner: This is a new and occasional feature inspired by the ever-increasing revulsion of writing about humans. According to PETA, thirteen million stray dogs and cats per year end up dead or in "research" laboratories. (Which fate is worse?) Thirteen million. It's a holocaust. Spay. Neuter. Fix.