By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
Nonetheless, Sarah Brown has had musical personalities enough to make even Bowie's head swim. LeRoi Brother, Fabulous Thunder-bird--not to mention the underpinning for artists as diverse as Otis Rush, Paul Carrack, Snooks Eaglin, Mason Ruffner, and Albert Collins--Brown has made quite a name for herself since she migrated to Austin in the early '80s looking to jam with the likes of Denny Freeman and Lou Ann Barton.
She started on such a character-filled life early: In Ann Arbor, Michigan, she--the daughter of a Russian Lit professor--went to school with Jim Osterberg (a.k.a. Iggy Pop) and childhood pal Bill Kirchen (original Lost Planet Airman and current leader of Too Much Fun) before becoming a stone political hippie who rubbed elbows with the MC5. Realizing that she was not like other girls when her 45 of R&B pianist Tommy Tucker singing "High Heel Sneakers" elicited only shocked "EEEeeeeeewwws!" at a slumber party, she went on to play cello in high school until a chance earful of Buddy Guy rocked her world and she decided to pursue the grail of soulful electric bass.
In her search she's developed a fondness for walking bass lines with a regular momentum that she likens to a bouncing rubber ball. It's an approach typical of classic foundationmen like James Jamerson, taking a full, melodic supporting role that might well be all quarter notes but whose effect lacks nothing for its deliberation and seeming ease.
Sarah Brown plays Blue Cat Blues July 13.