Hugh Christopher Brown
Born and bred in Toronto, and longtime NYC musical mainstay before setting up his studio in the old post office on Wolfe Island, multi-instrumentalist and music producer Hugh Christopher “Chris” Brown has “a real talent for writing thought-provoking political songs that somehow manage to keep the feet tapping and the mind racing at the same time” (All Music Guide). Beyond his own music, Chris has performed and recorded (usually organ, piano and clavinet – but sometimes trombone, tuba or other instruments) for many stellar artists including Ani DiFranco, Joan As Police Woman, Tony Scherr, Barenaked Ladies, Ashley MacIsaac, Crash Test Dummies and Jen Chapin, among others. Brown was one of the primary singers and songwriters for the alternative rock band Bourbon Tabernacle Choir in the 1980s and 1990s and when that band broke up, he continued performing as a duo with his Bourbon bandmate Kate Fenner.
Chris currently divides his time between Brooklyn, NY, and Wolfe Island, Ontario, producing albums, touring and performing solo or with many of his musical colleagues including Kate Fenner and his trio, The Ropes. Chris is also a passionate and committed social justice activist and founded the Pros and Cons program volunteering at prisons where he continues to run music workshops. The “inescapably honest and sincere” (Exclaim!) album Chris recorded and produced with the prisoners Postcards from the County (available as a free download) and Chris’ ongoing work with the prisoners has been acknowledged and hailed by the Toronto Star, Truthout, Examiner.com, CBC (Canada), Sirius XM Canada and many others. The Pros and Cons Program was recently awarded charitable status by the government of Canada.
Chris produces albums for Suzanne Jarvie (most recently ‘In The Clear’ which reached #1 on European/UK Americana charts) and David Corley ( ‘Available Light’ – 9/10 stars Uncut) which are both receiving international critical acclaim alongside his solo and band albums.
“For my money, HCB is one of the best lyricists— and poets— in the country. His work at the keyboards is poetry too.”
—Steven Heighton, Author
“Pacem is one of those albums that works on the listener from the inside out. The more I listen, the more I am astonished by its depth and intricacy. ..masterfully constructed songs, stream of consciousness epic ballads, and a piano instrumental where Brown gently demonstrates his virtuoso talents and interpretive depth.” Huffington Post
Brown devotes much of his current energies to Wolfe Island Commons, a not for profit working towards sustainable community practice at the intersection of arts and agriculture.