Band of the Week: Rachel Brown and the Beatnik Playboys

Meet the band: Rachel Brown (singer-pianist), Bill Watson (bass), Dave Huddleston (guitar), Roy King (drums)

An Early Start: Brown grew up in Akron then moved between Nashville and Akron. "I started singing when I was a little girl," she says. "I had stage parents and started playing five nights a week when I was 14 years old. My parents were pretty religious so we listened to old-time country music — George Jones and Loretta Lynn, the country music on the radio."

Cover Girl: It took years for Brown to issue her studio debut, last year's Just Look My Way. She says "life" got in the way of her putting an album out earlier. "I was in cover bands just to keep working," she says. "There was never money because that's what I did for a living." She finally went to college and started teaching after getting her master's. "I feel lucky. I have summers off which works out well because we play a lot."

Why You Should Hear Them: Recorded at Suma Recording in Painesville with her stellar backing band the Beatnik Playboys, her new album Once Again feels like a classic country record. The title track is a tender ballad that features Brown's supple voice and "Jimmy C" is an elegant tribute to a honky tonk legend. "This was a live record so that part was different," she says of the recording process. "I like the emotion we get when we play live. It's not perfect because it was live. But I'm okay with that. We really wanted it to reflect how we really sound."

Where You Can Hear Them:

Where You Can See Them: Rachel Brown & the Beatnik Playboys perform at 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 8, at G.A.R. Hall in Peninsula and at 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 15, at St. John's Episcopal Church.

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
Scroll to read more Local Music articles
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.