He began hearing Otha Turner, Napolean Strickland and others who played at picnics across the road from his home at 7 years old. Brown apprenticed with Mississippi Joe Callicott, who moved in next door to his home in Nesbit, Mississippi, from age 12 to 15, when Callicott died. 0
Around 1971 Brown began playing with two other musicians. Johnny Woods would make an occasional playing partner until his death in 1990. More steady was Brown’s learning with R. L. Burnside, who claimed Brown as his “adopted son,” In the early seventies they started to perform in their region, and would keep up as a duo for thirty years sometimes joined with Calvin Jackson on drums. Cedric Burnside joined their tours from about 1994, as Burnside’s reputation surged in the 1990s and early 2000s. Brown first appeared abroad in Sweden in 1989.
On record, Brown recorded with R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, Asie Payton, CeDell Davis, Paul “Wine” Jones, Frank Frost, T-Model Ford, Dale Hawkins, Mojo Bufford, Jessie Mae Hemphill, The North Mississippi Allstars, Jojo Herman as well as Cyndi Lauper.
Brown’s own debut album was Goin’ Back to Mississippi (1996),rereleased on Big Legal Mess produced by Dale Hawkins. He has recorded one album for Fat Possum Records, Stingray (2003). He released Cheap, Fast, and Dirty (2006) with Danish guitarist Troels Jensen, at Olufsen Records. Meet Ya In The Bottom (2008) is a CD Baby release, as well as his double album Can’t Stay Long in 2011.
Brown’s guitar work was featured in the 2006 film Black Snake Moan, where he provided backing for star Samuel L. Jackson‘s vocals. He can be seen in the film’s climax as a guitarist in a blues band, playing alongside Cedric Burnside.
Brown continues to perform locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally and currently lives in in the North Mississippi Hill Country.