This Vagrant Heart
About Rolly Brown's guitar journey: Rolly was just six years old when the Everly Brothers released 'Bye Bye Love'. For some unknown reason, the sound of their big Gibson sunburst guitars permeated his little developing brain. He was left with a 'fixed idea'; that he, too, could become a guitar player. Young Rolly whined for eight years before he convinced his mom to buy him a cheap guitar.By that time, he had forgotten all about the Everly Brothers, so, instead of proceeding immediately to the sound his soul craved (the four bar guitar intro to 'Bye Bye Love'), he began meandering around the guitar cosmos, learning everything he could find, from folk to blues to jazz. Names of esoteric guitar virtuosi like Bert Jansch, Dave Van Ronk, Steve Mann, and Joseph Spence became household words to Rolly. He met the great Rev. Gary Davis, and studied Davis' ragtime blues style, meanwhile transcribing many of the classic rags of Scott Joplin and the ornate pieces of Jelly Roll Morton. In 1980, Rolly won the prestigious Nat'l Guitar Fingerpicking Championships held annually in Winfield KS. Afterwards, he settled in Philadelphia, where he studied jazz guitar with Joseph Federico. He produced a weekly public radio show called 'Guitar Wizards' for three years, and played backup guitar for many folk luminaries who passed through Philly while also pursuing a solo career. In 1989 he was nominated for a Philadelphia Music Award as best instrumentalist in folk music. In the early '90s, Rolly saw an old film clip of the Everly Brothers playing 'Bye Bye Love', and, as if a heavy object had fallen on his head, suddenly remembered why he began the guitar. He grabbed his big Gibson sunburst guitar (why had he been drawn to that guitar, anyway?) and learned the opening bars of 'Bye Bye Love'. His journey was complete... Well, not totally complete...since then, Rolly has studied with jazz guitar great John Carlini, recorded four CD's, and continued to teach and perform around the country. 'This Vagrant Heart' is the most recent offering, and highlights his intimate and distinctive solo jazz guitar style.