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Jeff Brown, Still Lonesome show off ‘Blue Side’

staff report • Jun 4, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Former Larry Sparks sideman Jeff Brown and his new bluegrass outfit, Still Lonesome, will showcase material from their upcoming June Mountain Fever release, “Blue Side of Me,” when they perform Friday, June 7 at Bluegrass on Broad.

Show time is 7 p.m. on Broad Street in downtown Kingsport. Admission is free.

Brown and his band recently released the album’s first single, “These Old Blues,” written by Brown’s former boss, Larry Sparks, and Sparks’ sister, Bernice.

Accompanying Brown on the album and on the road are Austin Brown, Meredith Goins, Josh Blankenship and Josh Underwood.

A fairly new musical unit, Still Lonesome is founded on the musical experience of Brown, who was one of Sparks’ Lonesome Ramblers, playing bass and singing tenor from 1993 to 1996. He has also toured with The Charlie Sizemore Band and has filled in with Blue Highway and Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys.

Over the years, Brown has graced some of country music’s most prestigious stages, including the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium, as well as television shows such as “Austin City Limits” and PBS’ “Song of the Mountains.”

“Jeff Brown understands the music, from the Stanley Brothers to Larry Sparks,” Sparks said. “Jeff did the tenor singing and played bass in my band for some time and continues to record some with me to this day. Our music needs someone to help keep it alive, and I believe Jeff is one of those who can do just that.”

Meredith Goins handles fiddle duties for the band. Goins studied violin at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Cadek Conservatory, Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music and East Tennessee State University. She is a two-time National Champion of Country Music Beginners at the Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree and first-place winner of the 2011 Galax Fiddlers Convention. In 2003, when she was just 14 years old, she performed on the Grand Ole Opry with fiddle extraordinaire Aubrey Haynie, Vassar Clements and Daniel Carwile, and has since performed as a guest with The Boxcars, Roland White, Vassar Clements, Buddy Spicher, Wayne Henderson and Melvin Goins, to name a few.

A native of Floyd, Va., mandolin player Josh Blankenship previously performed with Statement and Ashlee Blankenship and Blades of Blue. Banjo player Josh Underwood, also from Floyd, has performed with the bands Statement, Makeshift, No Speed Limit and Ashlee Blankenship and Blades of Blue. He is also a vocalist and songwriter. Rounding out the group is 15-year-old Austin Brown on acoustic bass. His musical influences include Ralph Stanley, Tony & Wyatt Rice, Barry Bales, Larry Sparks and Mike Bub.

Bluegrass on Broad continues Friday nights through Aug. 30. Bring a lawn chair but leave the coolers and pets at home.

For a complete schedule, visit www.twilightalive.com.

To find out more about Brown and Still Lonesome, log onto their website at www.jeffbrownandstilllonesome.com.

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