Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page

Liz BrownLiz Brown began her professional singing career at the age of 3, performing in a cowgirl costume at her grandparents' gas station in the pine barrens of New Jersey.   Liz got her first guitar when she was 14 and taught herself to play from a Joan Baez song book.  

In the early 70's she moved to San Francisco singing the blues with some of the great Bay Area musicians of the time like Paul Butterfield and Taj Mahal, as well as experimental world music people embracing the San Francisco music scene.  Liz heard Betty Carter in a small alleyway club and soon incorporated scat and jazz into the Chicago style blues she was performing at honky tonks and roadhouses. 

In 1983 Liz moved to the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina and discovered amazing, young musicians attending Appalachian State University and the traditional mountain musicians, like Doc Watson.  It was at this musical crossroads that Liz formed the experimental blues band "Liz and the Tomcats." In 1994, she joined the area's best blues/funk/jam band "Chicken Fat Music Company," a high energy crowd favorite among the diverse counter culture thriving in the North Carolina mountains.  

Liz Brown is a talented singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Her music is a fusion of jazz, blues, and funk. Her high energy vocals are often accompanied by her agile slide and rhythm guitar work. It is definitely cool when she plays the Swampbox. The swampbox (pictured here) is one funky guitar made from a finely tuned cigar box and a few sticks.

Her band includes Ben Karp on lead guitar, Dave Miner on bass, Clayton Daspit on Rhythm/Lead Guitar, and Craig Overton on drums.