Banana artist brings folk music to Berger

By Noah Lopez

Arizona Daily Wildcat

It's hard to eat in the Fidlee Fig without noticing a print of two bananas in a compromising position. A closer look finds that this is actually poster art for one of America's most respected yet unknown singer-songwriters, Greg Brown.

Brown will make a special appearance in Tucson this Friday, not in the Student Union, but at the Berger Performing Arts Center. Over 15 years of songwriting history will accompany Brown, whose 10 albums are filled with beautiful small town elegies.

Despite Brown's wealth of critically acclaimed songs Brown's 1985 album "In the Dark With You" has been called one of the best recordings of the '80s, and his 1993 release with fellow folk star Bill Morissey, "Friend of Mine," was nominated for a Grammy and his featured spot in the Fig, Brown remains largely unheard outside of folk circles. That folk circle, however, has remained a strong support for the artist, turning his show into standing-room-only events.

Friday night should be no different. Brown has played several successful shows here in the past, and the Berger Center should be an excellent acoustic home for the warm and humorous songs that Brown sings in his inimitable growl. Brown's soothing voice reminds the listener of the late night DJ character that Tom Waits played in "Mystery Train," fusing with his rhythmic blend of blues, rock, calypso and jazz. Greg Brown's songs have been sung by Willie Nelson, Santana, Shawn Colvin, and Mary Chapin-Carpenter.

Sal Valdivia will open the show with a brief set of original songs. Sal is one of Tucson's best singer-songwriters, with a strong voice and smooth style of back-up guitar.

Advance general admission tickets are $10, and are available at Hear's Music, Bentley's, and Piney Hollow. Reserved seats are $13 and available only at Hear's Music. The show starts at 8 p.m. For more information, call 327-4809.

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