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Live on Excursions: Alison Brown

Photo by Karl Colon
Alison Brown live in the WYSO studio

Grammy Award-winning banjo player Alison Brown sets aside some time for Excursions to discuss public radio and to play some new songs with her band, the Alison Brown Quartet.

Brown, who is also a Harvard graduate and a co-founder of the Nashville independent record label Compass Records, is known for her instrumental banjo songs, which stray from the typical bluegrass genre associated with the instrument.

Brown's Quartet had a much bigger part in writing their newest album, The Company You Keep, than they did on past albums. Many of the songs came about in collaborations between Brown and her pianist, John R. Burr, just before going into the studio. The result is a record that Brown describes as "quite spontaneous."

"We've been playing together so long that we've kind of figured out the things that work best for this instrumentation," said Brown. Brown performed two songs from The Company You Keep during this broadcast.

Brown's fondness for public radio is apparent in her generous donations to WYSO's Fall Fund Drive: during the interview, Brown gave away concert tickets, autographed CDs, and a 30-CD package from Compass Records. This support comes from Brown's thanks toward public radio stations that play "handmade music".

"If it weren't for you guys playing our music… I would probably still be an investment banker" Brown said.

More information on the Alison Brown Quartet can be found at compassrecords.com/alison-brown.

Adapted for the web by Kent Montgomery