Why I recorded a “Platter of Brownies: The Music of Milton Brown”, by Carolyn Martin
I’ve always taken a rather broad view about what qualifies as “western swing.” I’ve recorded brand new compositions as well as songs from Broadway shows and beloved movies. I've recorded songs by artists from Hank Williams and Faron Young to Duke Ellington and Rosemary Clooney, as well as classics by those giants on whose shoulders all of us who make this music stand: Bob Wills, Spade Cooley and Cindy Walker.
For this project, the band and I decided we would tap into the roots of the genre – and that led us straight to the music of Milton Brown and His Musical Brownies. We had Milton’s complete recordings with us while we were on tour in Canada last summer, and once we decided to do the record, we discovered that our job was not so much finding songs that we liked but choosing which songs to discard – not an easy task!
In the end, the 16 songs on “A Platter of Brownies” are a fair representation of the Brownies’ varied repertoire. Our goal was not to duplicate the sound of the original recordings; our arrangements, which were group efforts done in the studio immediately prior to recording, were fashioned to suit our inclinations and musical tastes while trying to retain the energy and spirit of the Brownies’ wonderful versions.
This album would not have been possible without the incredible musicians and singers who wholeheartedly contributed their talents to this project. Thanks to all of you. You swing hard!