Rex Brown may be best known for his badass bass playing in the legendary metal band Pantera, but he shows a much different side on his debut solo album “Smoke On This.”  Handling not only bass but lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Brown has delivered a record full of passion and soul. The sound is unlike anything we’ve heard from Rex before with a mix of classic 70’s southern rock, modern metal, and a real singer/songwriter feel. “Smoke On This” is the kind of album that just feels right whether you’re listening at the corner bar or cranking up the stereo as you’re  cruising down the highway of life.

Collaborating with Brown is longtime friend and songwriter Lance Harvill who handles lead guitar duties with Christopher Williams on drums. Brown’s husky vocals are a pleasant surprise whether on the grooving southern rocker “Lone Rider” or accompanying the bouncing riff of “Train Song.” The lyrics are real and easily relatable on tracks like “What Comes Around…” and “Buried Alive,” a song written about the loss of guitarist Dimebag Darrell. There are some interesting elements tossed in with the Indian folk instruments and trippy feel of “Get Yourself Alright” but it’s the slower poignant numbers that really take one’s breath away. “Best of Me” is a true stand out and “One of These Days” is outstanding as Rex’s vocals become the only thing you hear before a perfectly plaintive guitar solo grabs hold of you.

“Smoke On This” is music that goes back to the very roots of rock and roll and Brown delivers it in a beautiful way that will touch deep into your heart and soul.

About The Author Kris Engelhart

I am a small business owner, freelance writer, and part-time piano instructor in Charlotte, NC. My musical career started at the age of five when I was forced into taking piano lessons. I played flute in the school band and added the guitar as a young teen. There is nothing I would rather do than be at a live show. My first concert was Shaun Cassidy at the Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo in 1978.
My top five live shows ever are:

1. Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band – Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, NY 1984- They played for 3 ½ hours and it was awesome.

2. Carolina Rebellion- Metrolina Expo Grounds, Charlotte, NC, May, 2011 – The first ever Carolina Rebellion featured over 15 bands with Avenged Sevenfold headlining. Non-stop music for over 12 hours.
3. Chevelle- Food Lion Speed Street, Charlotte, NC, May, 2008 – The first time I ever saw Chevelle live and I was hooked!
4. Skillet with Red- Bojangle’s Coliseum, Charlotte, NC, April, 2010 – Skillet is one of my favorite bands and they totally kick it live.
5. 106.5 The End’s Weenie Roast #9- Verizon Wireless Amiptheater, Charlotte, NC , October, 2003- Featured Staind, Shinedown, Three Days Grace.