C2C Country To Country

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ANDY BROWN

Prepare to meet another side of Andy Brown. As frontman and chief songwriter with chart regulars Lawson, the Liverpool-born singer-songwriter always had a sharp ear for a great melody. But now, combining his pop sensibilities with his lifelong love of the Nashville sound, he's all set to become the next figurehead in the unstoppable rise of crossover British country music.

With the million-selling band on hiatus, Brown's upcoming solo debut is about to land a double punch: winning him a whole new audience while delighting his existing legion of fans. He's been writing and recording with the elite of musicians in both Nashvile and Minneapolis, crafting an album that speaks of his affinity with American country, soul, gospel, pop and rock but which retains a proudly British flavour.   

In the country music capital, Brown has been working at one of the city's most celebrated studios, Blackbird, which has hosted country royalty from Chris Stapleton all the way back to George Jones. One of Andy's chief collaborators there was Jimmy Robbins, the prolific writer, producer and artist who's written countless chart-toppers, for artists from Blake Shelton to Thomas Rhett.  

As he developed the album, Brown was confident in the knowledge that country music is all about emotion and storytelling, not about whether you drink beer and drive trucks. ͞For me, it's real life lyrics and emotive songs,͟ he says. ͞I've always tried to reference bands like Lady Antebellum in my writing, but now I've had the shackles taken off. I think there's a massive market for it, and I've always loved the music. When I sit down at a piano or guitar and write a song, they're always country songs.͟

Brown's other cohorts in Nashville included Nathan Chapman, whose resumé incluces co-producing the first five Taylor Swift albums, and Blair Daly, another hugely experienced songsmith for Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town and many more. Another of Andy's co-writers on the album is Alyssa Bonagura, of the fast-rising Nashville duo the Sisterhood, in which she sings with Ruby Stewart, daughter of a certain Sir Rod. 

All of Andy's current experiences were informed by his invaluable schooling in a city that was rich in musical legend. ͞I was born in the centre of Liverpool, lived there about ten years then moved to the outskirts. I did the whole Liverpool music scene, I played the Cavern Club every Thursday in a residency, and other clubs in Mathew Street like Flanagan's Apple, in Beatle bands and '60s bands.  

Recording in Nashville for a total of about four months, Brown became steeped in the town's innate sense of songcraft. ͞90% of the time it would start with a lyrical idea, whereas previously I'd sit at a guitar and try and find a melody,͟ he explains. ͞Now I try and find a hit title. It's about engaging the listener. I've got a list of titles and sayings on my phone. That's one thing I've learned, is that the lyric in country is all important.