(Fairhope, AL.) No "auto tunes" here! My best friend Gina Brown just recently confirmed something I've always known, "the girl can sang!" Gina surprised me when she ended up in an impromptu concert with singer/songwriter Mike Eagan.
Eagan was performing a few cover songs at Aurora's in Downtown Fairhope. He was gracious enough to welcome the New Orleans native to the stage Labor Day weekend. What struck me immediately when we walked into the dimly light room was small spotlight that lit Mike's hair and the boxed fan that blew his long "blond" locks in the wind for affect. Check out the video and you'll see what I mean.
Gina Brown Performing at Aurora's-Downtown Fairhope
There they were, Mike, his single stool, his guitar, mechanical fan and Gina. Though the room, the stage area just off the banister where Mike stood was completely dark, it shed a light on something I wasn't prepared for. Sometimes you have to "take advantage of unexpected opportunities." But even with that, you better know your craft and always, always be prepared.
This impromptu concert was not only an opportunity for Gina Brown to show her growth and maturity as an artist, it solidified something I've always known..."if you can sing, you can sing anytime, anywhere and in any genre." Gina Brown who has performed with an eight piece band and even an orchestra standing there in the dark--on the side of a single instrument flexing her vocals in a way they had never been used before. She was singing one pop tune after another and "nailing it!"
Gina's history for the most part consists of jazz, blues and the occasional cover tune, but this particular night she just nailed anything she sung and completely unrehearsed! She really grabbed me when she performed one of my favorites--Etta Jame's "At Last!" I've heard Gina sing "At Last" a dozen times before, but not like this. There was something about that single guitar, no drums, no base line that gave me a chance to finally hear the raw, "unplugged" version of this dynamic singer's talent.
I'll be the first to admit I'm biased because I know how hard Gina has worked to get to where she is in her career. Gina Brown has played everything from nightclubs to Jazz Fest in New Orleans. She has played everything from the "chitterlings circuit," to Las Vegas. I personally know about her dedication to her craft and her season after 20 years she is finally reaping a harvest. Gina Antoinette Brown is finally getting her due. She has a repertoire of songs, thanks in part to her producer and husband Rick Jones that are her own. "Can't Stop Thinking of You," "The G-Slide", "I'm a Lady" and many more soon to be released on her new CD.
I couldn’t' be more proud of my friend because she's earned everything that's coming her way. That night with Mike Eagan only reminded me of what it means to be a "professional singer." In an age "auto tunes" Gina Brown isn't some "souped up" performer, she's the real thing. Put her in any setting and with any musician--she knows what she knows. She truly lives up to her tag line, "music isn't what I do, it's who I am!
Gina Brown’s popular line dance "The G-Slide" is a single on her new CD -"The G Spot" set to be released September 30th. Check out her website www.ginabrownonline.com for more information.