A legendary player on the British (and worldwide) rock and roll scene, it’s always a pleasure to see Joe Brown out on the road, but with his forthcoming tout, Just Joe – expect something different. That’s because it’s literally just Joe (and his guitar and Ukelele no doubt) but no band, just the man himself and his songs and stories.
And it’s been quite a life for the man born in Lincolnshire and bred in London. Growing up with the likes of Lonnie Donegan then jumping, almost overnight, into rock’n’roll, Joe’s seen it all. Keith Richards respects him, George Harrison loved him, the Beatles supported him, Brown starred in six films, has presented shows on the BBC, and toured with Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent and Billy Fury.
The Just Joe tour kicks off on October 7th at Dudley Town Hall and encompasses 28 dates in all throughout the UK. Tickets are on sale now from all venues priced £25 – £35. We caught up with the man himself to find out a little bit more.
Hi, tell us about your tour – Just Joe?
Well it will just be music and stories really, there’s such a lot to fill it with that I could probably do four hours rather than two. I am bringing along Henry Gross – founder of Sha Na Na and the youngest person to play the Woodstock festival – he is a great guitar player and singer himself. Henry will be onstage with me most of the evening so it’s a two man one man show.
Has this been an idea for a while that’s just taken its time or something recent that sounded like fun?
No this is something I have thought about doing for many years now and its time has arrived.
It’s a pretty extensive tour as well, have you had to do anything in particular to get ready for it? Are you a practiser, or does it come naturally after doing it for so long?
This isn’t really such a long tour for me, we would normally do 40 shows in a tour, but I just wanted to see how this concept works and then we may go out and book a more extensive tour.
There are some things which do come naturally but I still practice everyday.
And what keeps you going? Is it the love of the music and playing live?
Yes if you love what you do it’s never a chore, and I do. If I was ever not enjoying doing something I would stop and do something else.
I presume that you’ve had to tweak the setlist as well, with there being no backing band, is that right?
There will certainly be some surprises. The songs will range from very old standards to some of the hits and a mixture of roots & favourites.
And you’re saving a few anedotes and jokes between the songs as well – after all, its been quite a life?
Yes well, that’s the point really, there is so much to tell and I will be doing the telling. The audiences will also get the chance to ask a question or two…. but you will have to come along to a show to hear any of the anecdotes.
And will the ukulele be getting an outing?
It most certainly will. In the show there are quite a few songs that I have been performing on the road during the last few years and which were recorded on The Ukelele Album, by far my most successful release. People will be expecting that and I won’t disappoint them.
And future plans?
Taking it as it comes. If this tour works well we will probably do more next year. I recently bought a house in Nashville and now spend half the year there so perhaps in Autumn 2017… we’ll see.