At a recent performance, DJ Brown, aka Our Griffins, quietly spoke to the audience saying, "I'm only talking as a favor to my friends." It was nice to hear the twenty year old singer/songwriter speak, but there really was no need. The delicate turn of phrase, and ringing chords of his songs, already had his listeners in a temporary state of receptive grace.
A bit of an enigmatic personality, Dennis Joseph Brown, known as DJ, left high school after three days and opted for home schooling. It seems to have been a good move for the Easton, PA native. The past few years have been a journey in coming to a place where his love of music, coupled with his skill at guitar and songwriting, has blossomed. It started when he was ten years old, on vacation at Disneyworld and first really listening to the Beatles, after having bought a record for his sister's boyfriend. He says, "I fell in love with the music, the experience was so intense I can still recall the smell of the bed sheets in that hotel." From there, through the internet, he discovered and explored different types of music. Of mixed race, and struggling with his individuality, he gravitated towards the blues and Motown. "I'm light complected, and I wanted to get a sense of my identity, I never really fit in with my peers." Taking up the guitar seriously at fourteen, he practiced blues licks and pentatonic minors for hours.
DJ's first encounter at playing in a group came after Nazareth area rock band, The Wailing Waters, notable for having singer/American Idol contestant Tyler Grady as a member, asked him to join. The experience was a mutual pleasure but it became apparent that DJ should be writing his own songs. A new found love of poetry, and the wordplay of Dylan inspired him. "So long as I can make chords, on a guitar or piano, and just start singing whatever comes to mind, I find it easy, one of the easiest things I do, " he explains. With a wealth of his own material written now, DJ is ready to start his own career as a musical artist.
Recently back from Dallas, DJ has had tracks mixed by Grammy award winning producer/engineer Stuart Sikes at Elmwood Studios. Known for his work on Loretta Lynn's "Van Lear Rose", Sikes has also worked with other highly regarded acts such as Cat Power, and The White Stripes. Sikes and DJ have created a sound that is entirely his own, and Our Griffins is now set to release its debut recording. With introspective lyrics and a voice that resonates pure emotion, Our Griffins has sonic elements in common with indie folk artists Sufjan Stevens and Alexi Murdoch. Truly, DJ emanates the raw power of an emerging artist, without letting too much of the world intrude on him he has been allowed to create his own, and it is compelling.
Lyrics:Talk to me in gestures and waves Emphasis everything that you say I wish I could communicate well I stay trapped in a vanity spell But if you need me I'll be right beside Listening close No need to hurry just take your time no one has the most Laughing over plates of food Your appetite's in who's talking to you While I try not to mumble my words You're speaking clear oh so easily heard But if you need me I'll be right beside Listening close No need to hurry just take your time no one has the most
Lyrics:Worried you are Eleanor Shyer than all of your friends Carry yourself like a doll I won't hold my breath till the end What have you done to yourself Eleanor What have you done to yourself What have you done to yourself Eleanor I saw you last just a year ago You say we're all sick Eleanor That we're all lacking a need I can't bare to listen anymore The things that you say are scaring me What have you done to my friend Eleanor What have you done to my friend What have you done to my friend Eleanor We were both happy just a minute ago What have you done to my friend Eleanor What have you done to my friend What have you done to my friend Eleanor What have you done to my friend We were both happy just a minute ago We were both happy just a minute ago We were both happy just a minute ago We were both happy just a minute ago
Lyrics:I wait for the world to imply Every wrong that's in front of me Patient or anxious I watch what is mine Fall right out of reach I always put it off All these days we call rich Pull us back and take over the lead We wait for a miracle march To make it's way through everything we see I always put it off I want to know why I feel strange I want to know why I feel strange I want to know why I feel strange Nothing's going wrong with me now Fall your parts to the core No one's happy for you I don't wanna tell you no more We don't mind what happens next My friend's the talk of the town with his hands steeped in everything He ask's me to come along I throw a shrug and reach for my keys I aways put him off I want to know why I feel strange I want to know why I feel strange I want to know why I feel strange Nothing's going wrong with me now
Lyrics:He knows the stories That no one can tell Backed by no records But by fables and tales Don't wonder where they came from Just sit there and listen Their rise and their falling Reveal what is in them He'll shed some light each day Then suddenly go away To find a few More He keeps his steps careful He's been living very long His spirits been broken But he still seams strong But time always wore him down To his thinking I glanced over his shoulder his old eyes Stopped blinking So I took all his stories and claimed them all for me I I will always Keep you alive I I will always Keep you alive
Lyrics:I'm on top of it, I'm on top of it I can tell what's wrong I'm in the middle of, in the middle of everything that's wrong everything that's wrong I've seen his heart and hands, I've seen his heart and hands they both been torn apart his eyes stared humbly spirit filled back at me felt his pain rub off you know pain rubs off I'm telling the stories from the place that I was born and the lives that I got to know whether rich or sorrowful they make it easy too know right from wrong his sister lied awake each night she lied awake as the screams next door went on he held her heart and hand, held her heart and hand so they both would stay strong they both need to stay strong I'm telling the stories from the place that I call home and the lives that I got to know whether rich or sorrow full they're walking on their own and make it easy to know right from wrong I'm on top of it on top of it I can tell what's wrong.
Lyrics:I am the wilderness you are the road I am the shy one you are the fast talking socialite But as it be we still began Love and heat that can't be cooled down easily But we don't have to say any prayers Just have to do what we were made for and we don't have to think about it Just have to do what we were made for Another cut to our skin Their doubt is heavy the score is low we'll never win It pours the water over our heads But I am willing to find a way to get dry again But they don't have to say any prayers Just have to do what they were made for and they don't have to think about it Just have to do what they were made for Ain't it true There's no way to fight wrong and right Just blast the tunes Keep a smile on Be over soon But we don't have to say any prayers Just have to do what we were made for and we don't have to think about it Just have to do what we were made for
Lyrics:Within an inch of my life I took my vows and thought of nothing Enjoyed myself all wrapped up In comfort I asked for nothing I really don't mind to wait for this I don't mind to wait for this I don't mind to wait for this I don't mind to wait for this In the dark hold my hand and squeeze it tight in hope for something and In your faith we sit still and tell our selves there must be something I really don't mind to wait for this I don't mind to wait for this I don't mind to wait for this I don't mind to wait for this Within an Inch of my life I tell myself there must be something
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