Brown & White: Living Their Dreams
Duluth’s music scene is thriving. Each year, Homegrown has gotten bigger and bigger. New breweries and cafes opening up are making a point of having space for performances. It may be hard to keep up with what new quality music you should be listening and what performers you should see. Last week I sat down with one band, Brown & White, to learn what makes them unique among the scene.
“My music is like one of those mixed bags of jelly beans where you don’t know what flavors taste like what,” said Josh Brown. Josh White followed, “but its like the best assorted bag of jelly beans, like all your favorite jelly beans.”
By now you may have figured out where their band name comes from. Both named Josh, both have colorful last names.
Brown said they met at the Ugly Stick Saloon where they were both frequent open mic night performers.
“I was like who’s that playing? And they said that’s Josh White and I thought they were joking because my name is Josh Brown. Turns out that was his name and apparently I hijacked in the middle of the set and said ‘hey we’re gonna play together.’”
They went on to play Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty, and the rest is history.
Brown & White has been a band for about two years now. They said there was never a moment where they sat down and decided they were a band now. Rather they just enjoyed playing together so much they did it more and more often. Over time jam sessions progressed into becoming a band.
“After we played free fallin that night i knew we had to make music together,” said White. “Now I’m not a firm believer in any type of destiny or what have you but if there’s anything like that that’s happened in my life, it’s meeting Josh Brown.”
Brown and White come from very different backgrounds musically. Brown comes from a more country background while White comes from a more progressive/metal background. They’re lyric writing styles are different too. Brown writes very straightforward lyrics while White tends to be more metaphoric.
The best show they ever played was at Carmody Irish Pub. The crowd had a good roudy energy, and a couple had come in that had either just attended a wedding or maybe were a bride and groom. They danced excitedly to one of their songs and afterward asked what it was called. Brown & White got to tell them that was their own song, “Shoes.”
“That right there made my night,” said White.
I asked if there was ever a moment of doubt for them as a band. Brown said the two of them are such perfectionists that they get nervous when things aren’t just right. But just because there are times things are hard, he has never worried about failure.
“If it’s an option in your mind you’re going to worry about it,” Brown said. “Brown & White is what I do, that’s it. We play shows, we write music, we’re gonna keep meeting more people and playing bigger shows.”
Their idea of “making it” is exactly where they are right now: playing music together.
The next chance to see Brown & White is October 13 at Carmody.