Get this crazy baby off my head!


Oli Brown

Oli Brown - Open Road - 2008 - Ruf

Still only 18 Oli Brown has already been on the road for nearly two years with his own band (Fred Hollis, bass; Simon Dring, drums) during which time they have gigged persistently all over the UK and twice toured in America. Along the way they have supported numerous blues stars such as Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, Taj Mahal, Walter Trout and John Mayall & His Bluesbreakers. In February this year they were invited to the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis by the owner John Fry: the live performance they recorded for the online "Ardent Session" received 1.4 million hits in three weeks! "Young Oli oozes the Blues from every part of his being - in fact his enthusiasm is addictive. He's got a great vocal range and his intonation is superb. His guitar work has all the class of someone four times his age. The Blues isn't dead, it's in new hands." © Carol Borrington (Blues Matters).

Great new blues with a twist. Check for future releases from this band.


2.Open Road
3.Stone Cold (Roxanne)
4.Can't Get Next To You
5.Shade Of Grey
6.All The Kings Horses
7.Black Betty
8.Missing You
9.New Groove
10.Played By The Devil


Oli Brown - guitar, vocals
Fredy Hollis - bass, backing vocals
Simon Dring - drums, backing vocals


It's been a long time coming but in Oli Brown the UK has potentially a new talent capable of filling the rock blues niche. At barely 18, Oli has already made huge strides, coming from seemingly nowhere to pick up a guitar at 16 and turn pro barely a year later. And while 'Open Road' may not be the greatest debut album to hit the racks in a decade, there's enough strong funky grooves at play and an engaging edgy guitar style that grows in confidence as the set progresses to suggest that there's plenty more good music to come. Perhaps the most notable thing to mention is that unlike many of his American contemporaries Oli's approach is governed by finding the right groove with which to develop his musical ideas rather than the million notes a minute approach. Sure there are some crisp solos here but the songs remain the key element in the mix. And while some of the lyrics such as 'Psycho' for example, might seem a little forced for an 18 year old, it's refreshing to fi nd such a young man in a lyric led funky mode. The album opens with a neat slice of funk complete with a lovely tone, and he overcomes a few nervous flutters to develop an increasingly confident style. Oli makes good use of some basic dynamics and uses his voice to good effect on 'Roxanne' before a fine stab at The Temptations 'Can't Get Next To You'. In some respects 'Open Road' seems to be an album of two halves with both Oli and his rhythm section overcoming some early studio claustrophobia to find their feet on the impressive 'All The Kings Horses' which benefits from a fatter sound courtesy of Govert Van Der Kolm's B3 organ. The more relaxed approach on the track is offset by Oli's playing which burns with some real intensity as he almost imperceptibly ups the tempo of the song. On the equally impressive drifting blues 'Missing You' he finds a deep tone to carve out a mellow mood with a contrasting edgy solo, before heading into the live favourite 'New Groove', a languid shuffle which translate well into the studio setting. And by the penultimate track 'Played By the Devil', one of three band penned efforts, you can almost feel the band growing in confidence as they swing things up. Overall Oli just about pulls things off, though you can't help but think that everyone is in such a rush to bring on a new talent, that had this been a few years ago, he would have continued his busy road work and perhaps accumulated a few more songs and then finally teamed up with a producer who could bring his experience to bear on the best of the raw material. As it is, that may still happen in due course and until then this album is an exciting calling card from an exciting18 year old talent who fulfils his huge potential in parts ***1/2 Review © Pete Feenstra, www.getreadytorock.com


The great British blues players, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Peter Green among others, conquered the world in the early sixties, - appearing to leave unequivocal magic in their wake. There have been times since, when it was hard to see anything like a credible follow-up to these legends. If you ever worried for the future of the blues, then fret no longer. Oli Brown is the real deal, ready to carry the torch of British Blues in the 21st century, taking inspiration from today's contemporary bluesmen like Aynsley Lister. Already paying his dues, Oli has shared a stage with giants Koko Taylor, Walter Trout, John Mayall and Buddy Guy. Open Road will take you on a journey through Blues City, where the musical architecture is splendidly diverse - sublime use of light and shade is Oli's speciality, a gift so rare, it is easy to see that the new generation of the blues is in safe hands. Taking a trip down this open road will enable you to feel more than just the wind in your hair - you'll feel the destiny of the blues for a modern age. © Ruf Records


In 2006 Oli Brown was told by Carl Gustafson from the American Blues band Blinddog Smokin' that he should form his own band in his own name - this was the birth of The Oli Brown Band. Towards the end of 2006, whilst playing at jam sessions in Norwich, Oli met drummer Simon Dring whom he really admired and asked if he would be prepared to join the band. Oli's next task was to find a bass player. Luckily, Simon knew of a talented bassist and recommended that Oli give Fredy Hollis a call. January 2007 saw Oli, Simon and Fredy start rehearsals, and March 1 saw The Oli Brown Band perform their first gig at The Walnut Tree Shades in Norwich. After that first gig, the rest of 2007 saw the band playing up and down the country. One of the highlights was recording a live session for BBC Radio 2 (at Maida Vale studios) for the Paul Jones Blues Show which was transmitted 14 May 2007. Other highlights included supporting acts like Walter Trout, Aynsley Lister, Devon Allman, Ian Parker, as well as performances for various local radio stations. 2008 was an exciting and extremely busy year: In January Oli signed to Ruf Records and went to Germany (with Fredy and Simon of course) to record his first Ruf Records album, titled "Open Road", it was released in June and received great reviews. In February, whilst in America, The Oli Brown Band were invited to record at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis, by John Fry himself. (Ardent Studios have been involved with the recording of albums by artists such as REM, The White Stripes, Led Zeppelin, Isaac Hayes, ZZ Top, the list goes on and on) Oli and the band recorded a couple of tracks and then performed a live session for "The Ardent Sessions". The hits on the website for The Oli Brown Band set was over 1.4 million in three weeks. Oli went back to the States for the month of August 2008 and was performing with Blinddog Smokin, Sherman Robertson, Miss Blues, Billy Branch and did his own Oli Brown set too! The Oli Brown Band just gets stronger and stronger, securing support slots in 2008 with artist such as Jon Cleary, Johnny Winter, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Robben Ford, Walter Trout and Devon Allman, as well as headlining their own gigs. These gigs saw them playing in larger venues and increasing their rapidly growing fan base. 2009 saw The Oli Brown Band carry out their first major UK tour. This was the OPEN ROAD Tour, presented by HMV in association with Rhino Agency. The rest of 2009 sees the band perfoming at various festivals both in and out of the UK and ending with a further UK Tour. If you have not see The Oli Brown Band live, please check out the gigs page and book yourself into one - you will NOT be disappointed. © www.oliselectricblues.co.uk/index2.html


Oli has played guitar since the age of 12. His first main guitar playing influence was Jimi Hendrix. The Blues initially was a genre of music for him to solo over and he didn’t take the time to really understand its meaning, but, in 2005, when invited to the States to guest with American Blues band Blinddog Smokin’, that all changed. Carl Gustafson (who initially invited him to the States) and the rest of Blinddog, took time out of their busy touring schedule to explain some of the history and meaning of the Blues. Whilst with this American band Oli also learnt more about stage performance, soloing , timing. Oli has been back to the States on numerous occasions to be with Carl and the band and all these trips have helped develop Oli's writing, singing and playing to produce a consummate performer. The America tours each summer with Blinddog Smokin' has seen Oli open for artists such as Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Delbert McClinton, Koko Taylor, Eric Sardinas and many others. In England. Oli has had the pleasure of playing alongside Walter Trout, Robben Ford, Devon Allman and many other great artists, including the legendary Godfather of British Blues John Mayall ! Oli has many guitar heroes that have influenced his playing, far too many to name them all, but they include Chris Cain, Albert Collins, Freddie King, B.B. King, Albert King, Hollywood Fats, Hendrix, Stevie Ray etc the list goes on. Oli's other musical influences include Tom Waits, Jon Cleary, Jonny Lang, The Big Pill and Psychedelic Zombies. This is a full-time career for Oli and his education now comes from life on the road and the people he meets along the way. © www.oliselectricblues.co.uk/oli_brown.html


bullfrog said...

dead link, will you please re-post, thanks

A.O.O.F.C said...

Cheers,bullfrog! ALT LINK @

Thanks to Bandit