Video: Keeper Of The Flame

Posted by: on January 31, 2019

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Spring Newsflash

Posted by: on June 5, 2018
Hey friends,
Lots of news to share.

First of all, a couple upcoming shows I’d love to invite you to:

NYC – Rockwood. Stage 3. Tuesday. June 12. 7:00 pm. I am honored to be one of the artists featured on WFUV’s John Platt’s On Your Radar series. I’ll be sharing the stage with Anna/Kate Band and Greg Klyma. Tickets are $15. I will be joined by Kate Fenner, Tony Scherr and Kenny Wollesen. Can’t wait.

Here’s more info & the Facebook event:

June 14-17 – 2nd Annual Wolfe Island Garden Party. Music. Art. Agriculture! 

Music from myself, Jenny Whiteley, Joey Wright, David Corley, Suzanne Jarvie, Hadley McCall Thackston, the Stephen Stanley Band, One River, Luther Wright & more will take place over four days, coinciding with panels and events to deepen our appreciation for nature, celebrate the agriculturalists in our midst and raise awareness about the future of food.

Weekend passes can be purchased for $20 (or Pay What You Can) and children free. Wristbands are available for advance purchase at the Wolfe Island Tourist Information Centre or during the event at all music venues.  

Secondly, I am extremely grateful for all of the excellent ongoing features about the Pros and Cons program, and all of the records produced on Wolfe Island. Here’s a few (in case ya missed them)!:

Finally, I hope you’ll help me spread the love across the world for my new official video for “Love, The World”, directed by Sean Michael Turrell:  

So appreciative of all of your support & hope to see you at the June gigs in NYC and/or on Wolfe Island.

You can listen to or gift Pacem on bandcamp:

Or on Itunes:

Buy the physical CD here:

Kind words about Pacem:

“There’s a lot about this record that reminds me of Van Morrison, the deep spirituality and the fluid jazz notes being the foremost. Brown has a range of talents and founded a program to introduce music to prisons. He’s a fearless artist.” Americana UK

“Pacem is one of those albums that works on the listener from the inside out. The more I listen, the more I am astonished by its depth and intricacy. ..masterfully constructed songs, stream of consciousness epic ballads, and a piano instrumental where Brown gently demonstrates his virtuoso talents and interpretive depth.” Ira Israel, Huffington Post

““Pacem” is more than just a record; it is a living, breathing experience.” Great Dark Wonder

“A cathartic, vulnerable piece of work, Pacem brings feelings of serenity and introspection to the listener.” Canadian Beats

“It’s the most musically diverse collection Brown has ever put out, and it’s a welcome return from a songwriter who has a lot to give.”  Michael Barclay, Radio Free Canuckistan

“As one of Canada’s consummate musicians over the past three decades, Hugh Christopher Brown has always tapped into the spiritual healing power of song…It’s the kind of soul music few artists outside of, say, Van Morrison, ever attempt…” Jason Schneider FYI Music News

“Hugh Christopher “Chris” Brown has a tendency to find music — actually, he would say that it finds him — in the most unexpected places: while at a funeral, sitting in a Toronto lawyer’s kitchen, or even from behind bars.” Peter Hendra/ Kingston Whig-Standard

“Keeper of the Flame” is a delicate, thoughtful shuffler led by piano and Brown’s sincere vocals that focuses on following your inner light.” The Daily Country

“An album best heard in the late hours, preferably with a broken heart or a sense of ennui, PACEM is an excellent collection of songs on which to ponder.” Paul Kerr/Blabber ‘N Smoke

“Pacem emphatically joins singer-songwriter records from a few decades ago and initially reminded me of Van Morrison’s classics. In the end, however, the Canadian manages to free himself from the past with ease and makes music that matters in 2018.” Erwin Zijleman/dekrentenuitdepop (Netherlands)

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Posted by: on January 17, 2018
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On Tour with Kate, Suzanne and Tony In Ireland and London September

Posted by: on August 29, 2016

We will tour Ireland as a quartet beginning Sept 22 at Cleere’s in Kilkenny, Sept 23 VISUAL, Carlow and ending October 3 Ballymore Eustace. Full schedule to be announced this week.

Sept 21 we are back in London as part of the Locally Sourced series at Brioche

Thanks to Ira Israel for the great conversation and article in Huffington Post

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The Pros and Cons of Chris Brown and a Prison Music Program That Offers Hope

Posted by: on February 3, 2016

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Wonderful to start the year in the Netherlands

Posted by: on February 3, 2016

Thanks to all of you who came out, and treated us all so extraordinarily well:

Vr Jan 15th, 2016 Breda: Chassé
Za Jan 16th, 2016 Oss – Railroad Roots
Zon Jan 17th, 2016 Private House Concert
Woe Jan 20th, 2016 Enschede – Nixenmeer
Do. Jan 21st, 2016 Goirle – Jan van Besouwhuis
Za. Jan 23rd, 2016 Lage Vuursche – In The Woods
Zon Jan 24th, 2016 Nijmegen – Lux
Ma Jan 25th, 2016 Eindhoven – Mr. Frits
Woe Jan 27th, 2016 Heusden – De Republiek
Do Jan 28th, 2016 Terheijden – Puur Wit

Looking forward to coming back for R&B fest in Groningen with David Corely, and more Netherlands shows later in May. Watch for dates TBA

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Ravensong featuring Crystal Lameman

Posted by: on October 6, 2015

Here is Ravensong, for The Beaver Lake Cree. I had simply asked Crystal, “what are the tarsands?….”

guitar  Marlie Centawer     drums  Gregor Beresford

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Watch my Tedtalk on music in prison

Posted by: on October 6, 2015

Here is a link to my talk on Pros and Cons; the experiences and gleanings from making music in prison. We are currently working to grow this program as far and wide as possible. Do not hesitate to get in touch with ideas

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Posted by: on July 26, 2014
July 24, 2014
Press and radio contact:Bernadette Quigley/Quigley Media/917.414.9765
Canadian musician-producer and social justice activist Chris Brown Releases An Album of Songs – Postcards from the County – Recorded with Prisoners at Pittsburgh Institution
Kingston, Ontario –  Every powerful note on Postcards from the County was played, sung and recorded in jail. The prisoners at Pittsburgh Institution collaborated with musician/producer Hugh Christopher “Chris” Brown, writing and arranging songs in the prison chapel, which the men helped convert into a recording studio every week for the sessions.  The album is available for a free download here:
Brown had an idea for what he calls the Pros and Cons program (encouraging professional mentorship of inmates) over 3 years ago after the government shut down numerous prison farms, including the farm at Pittsburgh Institution.  Chris recently spoke with journalist Peter Hendra/ The Kingston Whig-Standard: “I wanted to get in there and do something positive…How [the prisoners] experience their time inside directly affects the state of our society on their release.  It seems to me to be very responsible conduct for ourselves and our government to provide truly meaningful programs that allow people to properly rehabilitate.”
Read full article here:
As fate would have it, Brown’s path would cross with then chaplain Kate Johnson one evening a few years back at a film screening hosted by the chaplaincy at Queens University and he approached her with his idea. Chris was granted his request to work with the men and began music sessions at the prison on a bi-weekly basis,  encouraging and inspiring the inmates to sing, write, and learn production, arrangement, recording and engineering skills through the process.
From the opening moments of the first track, “I Wonder” (by Melwood Cutlery) on Postcards from the County, the listener is invited along an intimate journey through song filled with humanity, raw honesty and wonderment.  Among the many other highlights are Paul Simon’s “Silent Eyes” led by Kate Fenner; “Christian Highway,” written and performed by one of the incarcerated men,  who doesn’t ask “you to believe in me/just trust in the God I serve/to help me become the man I could be/the son you deserve”; and Sarah Harmer’s stirring “How Deep in the Valley.” In addition to the songs penned by the prisoners and the aforementioned songwriters, Postcards includes songs by a number of notable Canadian musicians who collaborated and recorded with Chris and the men, including Sarah Harmer, Kate Fenner, Luther Wright, Sarah McDermott (Openhearts Society) and Pete Bowers (Gertrudes).
Click here to stream and/or download Postcards from the County:
Track List:
1. I Wonder (Melwood Cutlery)
2. Lincoln’s Feet (Openhearts Society)
3. Silent Eyes (Paul Simon)
4. Love In Time (Openhearts Society)
5. Christian Highway (P.I.)*
6. Tangled Entwined (P.I.)*
7. Road To Demascus (P.I.)*
8. Oblivion (Brown)
9. Northern (Wright)
10. Truth In War (P.I.)*
11. How Deep In The Valley (Harmer)
12. Love In Time /Reprise (McDermott/Schenkman/Brown)
*Tracks followed by P.I. indicate original works by inmates who have desired anonymity. All of the prisoners who participated agreed to do so on the condition that they would remain anonymous. They desired anonymity out of respect to the victims, and wanted to participate in this project in service to society without any kind of personal recognition or recompense.  It is their hope that the music inspires the listeners to support any or all of their suggested charities below.
Candace House:
Joe’s M.I.L.L. (Joe Chithalen Memorial Musical Instrument Lending Library)
Kingston Food Bank:
For more information:
Chris Brown Youtube channel:
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chris brown & kate fenner Facebook page:
follow chris brown on twitter:
BIO for Hugh Christopher Brown:
Born and bred in Toronto, and calling NYC home, before recently setting up his studio in the old post office on Wolfe Island, multi-instrumentalist and music producer Hugh Christopher “Chris” Brown has “a real talent for writing thought-provoking political songs that somehow manage to keep the feet tapping and the mind racing at the same time” (All Music Guide).  Beyond his own music, Chris has performed and recorded (usually organ, piano and clavinet – but sometimes trombone, tuba or other instruments) for many stellar artists including Ani DiFranco, Joan As Police Woman, Tony Scherr, Barenaked Ladies,  Ashley MacIsaac, Crash Test Dummies and Jen Chapin, among others.  Brown was one of the primary singers and songwriters for the alternative rock band Bourbon Tabernacle Choir in the 1980s and 1990s and when that band broke up, he continued performing as a duo with his Bourbon bandmate Kate Fenner.
Chris currently divides his time between Brooklyn, NY, and Wolfe Island, Ontario, producing albums, touring and performing solo or with many of his musical colleagues including Kate Fenner and Open Hearts Society.  Chris is also a passionate and committed social justice activist and founded the Pros and Cons program volunteering at Pittsburgh Institution where he continues to run music workshops. He recently completed albums with Suzanne Jarvie and David Corley slated for release this fall/winter, and is currently working on a solo album as well as projects with OHS and Kate Fenner.
We the inmates of Pittsburgh, who participated in the project, are extremely pleased to present to you this collection of music, produced entirely inside Pittsburgh Institution.
A love of music and the joy it can bring to the soul in a place where a soul can be lost.
Respect for the many individuals who guided us through this process. The musicians who shared their songs, the talent they so freely gave, and the inspiration we gleaned from them.
The desire to give something to society. A society we have each wronged in our own way. It was determined at the beginning of this project that any monies that may be derived from this should be directed to charitable endeavours. It gives us a great deal of satisfaction to be able to do this.
It is for this reason that we hope you enjoy the fruits of our labours.
We have been given so much joy through this experience. This is what we now pass on to you.
POSTSCRIPT: So many people who have participated in this project from its inception have moved on from here. Wherever you are, whatever directions your lives have taken, we wish you God’s peace. Bless you all.
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Postcards From The County released free online

Posted by: on June 5, 2014 is where to find info and free streaming/downloading of the album Postcards From The County recorded entirely in prison. Inmates are donating the music anonymously to support restorative justice and local charities.

I will be playing some supporting events, including June 14 at The Blacksheep Inn, Wakfield QC with Awna Texeira and Luther Wright and June 23 at The Screening Room, Kingston ON

June 21 you can find me hosting David Corley in the Piano Room at The General Wolfe Hotel, Wolfe Island ON

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