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Greg Brown On Mountain Stage

Greg Brown performs on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser
Mountain Stage

Greg Brown and I go back a long way, somewhere around four decades. Before Mountain Stage existed, I would sometimes do a National Endowment for the Arts program called Artist-in-Residence that included workshops in schools and a concert in the community. Iowa was a big participant in this program, and I went there many times. Of course, Iowa's favorite folk singer was Greg Brown, and he sometimes did the program, too. That's where we first met and where I first became an admirer of his rootsy, honest and subtly powerful style of songwriting and performing.

In the 1980s, Greg did a stint as a regular on A Prairie Home Companion, which, coupled with captivating live performances, helped share his homespun but sophisticated tunes and build a strong following around the world. Along the way, he's recorded a host of highly acclaimed albums and was honored by a women from the American folk music scene on Going Driftless: An Artist's Tribute to Greg Brown, which features Lucinda Williams, Ani DiFranco, Victoria Williams, Shawn Colvin, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Gillian Welch, along with his wife, Iris DeMent, and his three daughters, Pieta, Zoe and Constance. He also sang the original role of Hades on the first recording of Anaïs Mitchell's Hadestown,now a smash Broadway musical.

On this, his eighth visit to Mountain Stage, he sings and tells stories of gardening, his aching bones, a visit to his grandmother's farm house when he was a boy, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, John Wayne and the rich and varied mixture of humanity that makes up these United States. If you want to hear real some Americana, listen to this set.


  • "Bones Bones"
  • "Canned Goods"
  • "Yours No More" (written by Malcolm Holcombe)
  • "Ships"

    Greg Brown: vocals, guitar.

    Copyright 2021 West Virginia Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

    Larry Groce has been host and artistic director of West Virginia Public Radio's Mountain Stage since its beginning in 1983. His taste and personality have helped set the tone of this long running radio and television series.
    Larry Groce
    Larry Groce has served as Host and Artistic Director for Mountain Stage since its inception in 1983, and his musical tastes have been instrumental in defining the sound of the show. Larry grew up in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas alongside fellow Texas musicians Ray Wylie Hubbard and Michael Martin Murphy; and began to record professionally in 1969, while still a college student. From 1972 to 1985 he served as a National Endowment for the Arts-sponsored musician-in-residence, visiting schools in twenty different states. One of those residencies brought him to West Virginia, where he has made his home for over forty years. In 2005, Larry became Executive Director of FestivALL Charleston, a 10 day (and growing) festival of music, dance, theater and visual arts. He lives on Charleston’s East End with his wife Sandra; daughters Virginia and Bonnie; and Betsy the Wonder Dog.