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B.C. musician — a cousin of Jimi Hendrix — takes recording on the road

Experience Hendrix tour dates ahead for the veteran singer/bassist, who lives in Surrey
Musician Henri Brown inside his new mobile recording studio in Surrey on April 6, 2024. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Doors tend to open for a first cousin of rock legend Jimi Hendrix, and now Surrey resident Henri Brown has opened the door to his new mobile recording studio.

A longtime musician on concert stages in Metro Vancouver and around the world, Brown recently renovated a trailer for recording whenever and wherever he wants to travel.

He’s calling it Studio B.

“I’ve started a new record in here already, and it’s great,” an upbeat Brown revealed.

“This is the launch — you’re the first person to really know about it,” he added. “I just want to be mobile because so many guys I talked to, guys I’ve known for years, were like, ‘Yo, Henri, we got a band up here in the Okanagan, or wherever, and want to record something, but for five of us to come down to your studio, you know, where we gonna stay?’ and all that.

“I thought, I could just pull up in their driveway, take a box, pop it into the room, plug them in and I’m back out in the trailer with a camera and talk-back (microphone), here we go, we’re recording.”

Brown has earned himself some big-league connections in the music world. First cousin of the Seattle-raised rock icon, Brown is a mainstay on the Experience Hendrix tour that has featured a cavalcade of rock and blues stars including Buddy Guy, Johnny Lang, Dweezil Zappa, Kenny Aronoff and many others.

Back in 2020, one of the Hendrix tour stars, Joe Satriani, recorded guitar for a song recorded by Brown and his band, HB Wild. Satriani recorded his riffs elsewhere, not at Brown’s home studio in Fleetwood.

This year’s Hendrix-tribute concert tour kicks off in Seattle on Sept. 19, with Brown among performers again.

“I emcee the show and sing three or four songs, you know, play some bass and sort of bring everybody on and off (the stage),” Brown explained. “I’ve been on the tour since 2011.” They’ve talked about coming to Vancouver, he added, but no date yet.

Brown was in Detroit two months ago for a musical tribute to Buddy Miles, a member of Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys.

“I produced the last Buddy Miles record for him before he passed away,” Brown recalled. “I had Buddy up in my house, you know, when my studio was in the house. I had him here for about two weeks and we recorded two albums worth of material while he was here, around 1996.

“It’s called Miles Away From Home. We wrote a bunch of great songs for him, and with him,” he added. “And then we took a bunch of Jimi tunes. At one time Jimi and Miles Davis and Quincy Jones were gonna do a record together, we kind of took that concept of what would it be like to have Miles Davis, Jimi and Quincy in the same room, so we took tunes like Little Wing and basically made really cool soul-rock versions of all of these tunes. I never released that record yet, but we might. There are some amazing tunes on there, and that version of Buddy singing is incredible. They say the record I have is the last of the great sound of Buddy singing.”

When he’s not acting in local TV and film projects, Brown is polishing songs including A Heart with Holes, due out May 22. He sang the national anthem at a recent Canucks game, and is getting calls about his old recordings.

“I mean, the music is never old,” Brown underlined. “If the world hasn’t heard it yet, it’s brand-new to everybody. I had a company in the U.K. wanting to release on vinyl some HB Concept songs, unreleased archives. I told them that I got all this great new stuff, and they’re like, ‘No, we want the stuff you did in the ’80s,’ right. I get a chuckle. That just tells me that what we recorded back then was good. And we’re still trying to record good music, you know. Here we are, load up the trailer and go.”

Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news for Surrey Now-Leader and Black Press Media
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