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Bob Brown only made two records—decades ago—but they became somewhat legendary for crate diggers and folk heads. In the early ’70s, Brown, a D.C. musician whose style of country-folk had him rubbing elbows with the likes of Richie Havens, Leonard Cohen, Harvey Keitel, and Jeff Bridges, was poised to have a lucrative and successful music career, but it never worked out.
Instead, as a 2013 Washington City Paper story by contributor Leor Galil documented, a failed stint in L.A. led to a pilgrimage back to D.C., where he met his wife and started a career in the hospitality business. His two albums—1970’s The Wall I Built Myself and 1971’s Willoughby’s Lament—faded into obscurity, relished only by collectors of rare records. That changed when Vinyl Vaults, San Francisco-based Amoeba Records’ website for buying rare records, put it online digitally, without Brown’s permission or the permission of his then-label, Stormy Forest.
Now, record collectors need not search so hard: Tompkins Square Label is reissuing both of Brown’s long out-of-print LPs on May 13, with liner notes written by Galil. On April 8, Brown will make an appearance at U Street’s Red Onion Records at Josh Rosenthal‘s reading for his new book The Record Store of the Mind.
You can listen to a track below: