So here he is. The great white hope of British guitar. The young man blues sensation. The rock 'n' roll alchemist who fires a bullet-belt of influences into the mix. The heart-on-sleeve songwriter who bleeds onto the lyric sheet and solos like his soul is hard-wired to his fingers. The mover, shaker and rule-breaker, who drags the dusty conventions of the blues into the millennium by the hair. But if you thought you knew the real Oli Brown, you don't know the half of it. Please allow him to introduce himself. Three albums into his career, Here I Am finds Oli letting down the barriers, showing his cards, turning the spotlight on himself and defying you to turn off your stereo. "The new album is called Here I Am," he explains, "because I'm saying, 'this is me'. People know when something isn't believable. I'm just trying to be honest." 'Here I Am' is the sound of an artist on the crest of a wave. When Oli hit the studio in Nottingham after a triumphant 2011, he had the plaudits of fans, press, peers and heroes ringing in his ears, a truck-load of trophies and a huge weight of expectation. Most 22-year-olds would have felt pressure, but with his dream team around him drummer/producer Wayne Proctor and bassist Scott Barnes Oli rode the red light and chased down 12 classic songs to hand over to Magic Garden Mastering's Brian Lacey (fresh from The Black Keys' El Camino album). It's a tracklisting that runs the gauntlet, from Thinking About Her's grooving ode to a seductress, past the desolate break-up blues of All We Had To Give, to the stinger missile Solid Ground that features Paul Jones on harmonica and signs off the album with a slam-dunk. "Ain't tryin' to be no Jimi or Stevie, I wanna be my goddamn self," Oli roars on the title track, and even on covers of Donny Hathaway's I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know and Nikka Costa's Like A Feather, he has both hands on the wheel. Oli Brown has stepped it up. Again. It's a long climb from the schoolyards of Norwich to the top table of the British blues scene, and hard to believe that Oli Brown has scaled it in just four years. "I didn't have any career ambitions until I started playing guitar in 2002," he notes. "Blues was always in the background, but what really hit was the first Stevie Ray Vaughan album I bought. When I started playing, Hendrix was my first influence. He was a showman, too, setting his guitar alight. I've never done that!" "Oli brings a freshness and excitement to every performance and is at the forefront of the UK's new Blues movement" Planet Rock Radio "The hottest young pistol in British Blues" Mojo "A real talent and should have a great career" Joe Bonamassa "I am a big fan of this boy" Walter Trout. "You've got it man, you've got it going" Robben Ford "One of the best and brightest guitar heroes performing in the world today" Classic Rock "puts on a masterful show" The Times Cover feature R2 March/April 2012 Cover feature Blues In Britain March 2012 Also available RUF1139 'Open Road'. RUF 1160 'Heads I Win, Tails You Lose'
1-Here I Am 2-Thinking About Her 3-Manic Bloom 4-All We Had To Give 5-You Can Only Blame Yourself 6-Start It Again 7-Devil In Me 8-I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know 9-Remedy 10-Mr. Wilson 11-Like A feather 12-Solid Ground Oli Brown may well be Europe's most promising young blues/rock guitar slinger. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he's a writer of great songs, a powerful singer, and a great player. Where others are rocking on a riff, he's knows how to perform a song with emotion and depth. Great.