Personnel: Greg Brown (vocals, acoustic guitar); Bo Ramsey (electric guitar, background vocals); Bill Cagley (banjo); Al Murphy (fiddle); Radoslav Lorkovic (accordion, piano); Angus Foster (bass); Steve Hayes (drums).
Recorded at Metro Studios, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Includes liner notes by Greg Brown.
Personnel: Greg Brown (vocals, acoustic guitar); Bo Ramsey (vocals, electric guitar, background vocals); Shawn Colvin (vocals, background vocals); Bill Cagley (banjo); Al Murphy (fiddle); Radoslav Lorkovic (accordion, piano); Steve Hayes (drums).
Audio Mixers: John Scherf; Tom Mudge.
Recording information: Metro Studios, Minneapolis, MN.
Photographers: Marc Norberg; Marc Morberg.
DOWN IN THERE is somewhat schizophrenic, but that's part of what makes it work. Greg Brown is capable of digging deep into the most unwholesome depths of the human psyche, but his vision is wide enough to also allow him access to the sunnier side of life, presenting a balanced portrait of modern life. Outside of vintage Randy Newman, it's hard to imagine more uncompromising character studies of America's underbelly than "Hillbilly Girl," "Poor Backslider," and "Fooled Me Once," which form a kind of triptych of marital doom.
"Hillbilly Girl" finds a married couple in the thick of their dysfunction, surrounded by violence and misery; "Poor Backslider" is a devastating first-person account of a ne'er-do-well husband about to go postal; while the woman who tells the story of "Fooled Me Once" could be a veteran of the same marriage, now moved on to an equally unseemly situation. These powerful compositions are mercifully offset by the cheerier sentiments of "All Day Rain" and "Band of Gold," the greatest country love song Harlan Howard never wrote. While Brown has produced more consistently striking albums, DOWN IN THERE contains some of his most undeniably heart-stopping compositions, and shouldn't be overlooked.