Mel Brown RIP – Swamp Fever +2


The Late Great Truly Funky Mel Brown



Listen – Mel Brown – Swamp Fever – MP3″

Listen – Mel Brown – Ode to Billie Joe – MP3″

Listen – Mel Brown – Son of a Preacher Man – MP3″

Greetings all.

So, we spent the last week marking the passing of the great Eddie Bo, and I get this week’s posts all ready to roll, and then my man Tony C drops me a line to let me know that the great Mel Brown had died.
Will it ever stop?
Of course it won’t. We’re in a period where classic artists of the 50s and 60s are passing at an alarming rate, and once again it behooves us here at the Corners to take a moment and recognize.
This is especially appropriate when we’re talking about Mel Brown, one of the funkiest guitarists to ever roll down the pike, who recorded a string of amazing albums for the Impulse label in the 60s, and the man behind one of my fave 45s, ‘Swamp Fever’.
Back in the olden days (of yore, natch) I used to have a fave digging spot out in the Pennsyltucky Dutch Country, which was sadly depleted a long time ago. However, back when I first made it out there (with my man Haim) one of the first very cool 45s I unearthed (also one of the first tasty breakbeats I ever found) was ‘Swamp Fever’. I’d never heard of Mel Brown, but the title, the fact that it was on Impulse and a cover of ‘Ode to Billie Joe’ on the flip made me put it on my ‘to be previewed’ stack. These were pre-portable days, but the store had a listening station so all was groovy.
This was especially so when I dropped the needle on ‘Swamp Fever’, which opens with a break, drops out into a couple more, and in between all that featured some very funky guitar from Mr. Brown.
It’s a 45 that I’m carried in my DJ box often and started me on the road to Mel Brown fandom.
Oddly enough, though I’ve gotten a bunch of his 45s over the years I have never scored one of his albums in the field.
Today I’m going to serve up both sides of the ‘Swamp Fever’ 45, and his very solid version of ‘Son of Preacher Man’.
I hope you dig the sounds, raise a glass in remembrance of Mel Brown, and we’ll be back on track by mid-week (assuming we don’t lose anyone else).



PS Head over to Iron Leg for some melodrama from the Walker Brothers

PSS Make sure to fall by DJ Prestige’s Flea Market Funk for a hot new funk 45 mix…

6 Responses to “Mel Brown RIP – Swamp Fever +2”

  1. fleamarketfunk Says:

    R.I.P. Mel Brown…another good one bites the dust.

  2. Todd Lucas Says:

    I tell you, you could dedicate an entire blog just to those great artists who are passing these days. Goodbye Mel Brown.

    Thanks for the heads-up on these sides. The only Mel Brown that I currently have is “Chicken Fat”, yet another winner. I’ll be on watch for these two.


  3. lou Says:

    ah man… 😦 RIP.

  4. Tony C Says:

    Thanks for this Larry.Swamp Fever should definitely go on the Funky 16 corners Facebook,favourite guitar instros.
    R.I.P Mr Brown.

  5. chuck money Says:

    Shame to hear Mel passed.
    I just picked up ‘I’d rather suck my thumb’.
    Nice version of ‘Its your thing’ on it.
    Check it out if you don’t already have it.
    Thanks for the post larry, this is a 45 that I also have a keen memory of digging. In a porn kings warehouse, duluth mn, winter, no heat, in a pile of 45’s all sleevless, looking like a back hoe dropped them there. Good times.

  6. Berry Bell Says:

    Was also unaware of Mr. Brown’s passing. A fine guitar instrumentalist who I just recently discovered. A real shame to lose so many of the great ones, with not many on the horizon to replace them. Trying to find a copy of “18 Pounds of Unclean Chitlins” as we speak.

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