Wade D. Brown is more than a musician. Although he never played an instrument as a high school student at Central Heights. Years later, his love for music and poetry would turn into a musical passion that has led to the release of his first album.
Brown, who graduated from Central Heights in 1999, started playing guitar as a college student at K-State to play in a band with some friends. After college he didn’t pick the guitar up again until he was 27 years old when he started listening to Bob Dillon and Chicago blues and he started playing again. He credits his love of many different kinds of music to members of his family.
“No one in my family played any instruments but music was always around,” he said. “The radio was always on in my house. My dad had an old 8-track player and he was really into classic rock. I would spend the summers with my grandparents and they were into country music. I remember riding around with grandpa listening to old country.”
Brown said the singer-songwriters like Dillon really spoke to him along with Tom Waits and Neil Young. He was also influenced by the early delta blues and even bluegrass.
As he started getting passionate about the music, he began to write his own music as a hobby.
“Once I wrote my first song it was just like an addiction,” he said. “I just couldn’t stop.”
Brown loved to create music and never had any desire to be a performer until one night he went to an open-Mic night in Kansas City and about a year ago he started booking performances. He performs alone with a guitar and harmonica and would like to a piano and banjo in the future. His performances feature his original songs as well as some old songs, with his own twist.
Playing shows led him to release an album and he is excited for it to be debuted on May 25. The album “From A Child” is a concept album and wanted it to be seen as a complete piece of art. The nine songs range from genres like New Orleans jazz band to psychedelic disco, bluegrass string band to Middle Eastern raga. Each song on “From A Child” is a stand alone, however the album is a bit conceptual in that most songs unintentionally incorporate childhood themes like dogs, trains, toys, pie, nursery rhymes, and playful banter to address more grownup issues like loneliness, love, and struggle. These varying moods and wandering lyrical and genre changes present the listener with a glimpse of being inside the mind of a child. Thus giving the album its name.
“I like albums where I can listen to every song and know that each is different than the other,” he said. “It adds artistic value. It goes back to my influences. When I write music I don’t sit down and try to write a country song because that takes away the art. I want to sit down to write and just see what comes out on the page.”
Brown’s album can be found at https://wadedbrownmusic.com and will be on streaming services like iTunes. You can also find a listing of his upcoming performances on his website.