Soft but not soft-spoken, familiar but distinctive. After a couple years of performing at Rockville, Maryland open mics, talent shows, and in the hallways of his high school, Charles Brown finally found his place as a band leader when four scruffy rock-n-rollers knocked on his door in the middle of the night and flat out asked him to be their lead singer. Brown obliged and Sleepy Creek was formed. With Alan Slawter and Steve Bernd on guitar, Kendall Diehl on drums, and the stoic Greg Hardin on bass, the band tore up greater Maryland during his senior year 1977, playing a variety of covers and Brown’s heart-on-the-sleeve originals. An EP that included “I Just Want To Talk To You” was cut just prior to graduation, but the band broke up after a falling out between Hardin and Brown.
“I was crazy about him,” Brown said of Hardin. “I longed for him, not just physically but intellectually as well. That song came so easy and fast to me because it was so real to me. It was exactly what I was feeling and since I didn’t have many ways to express those kinds of feelings back then, writing these songs was my only outlet. I felt vulnerable and scared. There wasn’t much of a support system where I was back then for people to come out of the closet.”
Upon arriving at college that fall, Brown received a handful of copies of the Sleepy Creek EP in the mail. With the band estranged from each other and a lack of motivation in securing any real distribution, the record never saw the outside of Brown’s closet, where it became a mere souvenir of his final high school years and a relic of his first heartbreak. Numero has gathered the three song 7”, plus previously unissued outtakes from the band’s two recording sessions and demos from Brown’s stash of late-’70s soft rock nugs, to create Circles, a peerless collection of countryfied folk-rock from a voice that could not speak.
- Charles Brown with Sleepy Creek I Just Want To Talk To You
- Charles Brown with Sleepy Creek Tennessee Woman
- Charles Brown Restless
- Charles Brown The Hurtin' Kind
- Charles Brown Talk Too Much Blues
- Charles Brown Trouble Is
- Charles Brown Livin' In A Suitcase
- Charles Brown Circles
- Charles Brown All The Time
- Charles Brown Colorado (My Lady Says)
- Charles Brown Where Did The Love Go?
- Charles Brown On The Corner
- Charles Brown Like A Stone (Love Without Love)
- Charles Brown The Hurtin' Kind (Demo)
- Charles Brown I Just Want To Talk To You (Live)