Former Pantera bassist Rex Brown has set Smoke On This as the title of his debut solo album, due on July 28 via Entertainment One (eOne). The disc will be the first time in Brown’s career in which he will serve as both lead vocalist and guitarist in a band.
Everyone who pre-orders Smoke On This on PledgeMusic will get a digital download of the new album on street date. Once you pre-order, you get instant access to a special part of the site via the “AccessPass.” There, Rex will bring you into his little private, cool world. You will hear streams of new songs, see video teasers of recording in the studio, check out unreleased photos and much, much more. Your first update is an instant download of the song “Crossing Lines.”
Brown wields a six-string guitar as confidently as he wore the bass in Pantera and Down. His engaging voice crackles with easygoing spirit and truth-telling power. It’s a crunchy drawl that’s down-to-earth, grippingly relatable, charmingly welcoming, and gritty, somewhere between the achingly resonant spiritual shamanism of Tom Waits and the instantly recognizable everyman AM radio vibes of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.
After a season away to gather his wits about him, rediscover his own roots, and assemble a group of players ready to help him execute his vision for the days ahead, Rex Brown re-emerges with a semi truck’s worth of rock n’ roll tunes as honest and sincere as they come. The new album is the sound of the man’s own truth, forthright and ego-free. As he likes to say, “You’re only as good as your word and your word better be good.”
Rex’s solo album is full of mojo and the force of character, determination, and nerve. He tracked lead vocals, rhythm guitars, and bass, working with his primary collaborator and old friend Lance Harvill, a Nashville-based guitarist and songwriter, on the album’s songs. “Lance was and is my main man on this. Everything we did was finely tuned, both musically and brotherly.”
Drums were tracked by Christopher Williams, himself no stranger to diverse tastes, from funk music to punk. His talent has been utilized by country music star Lee Greenwood, the reconstituted Blackfoot and most recently, power metal legends Accept. The album was produced by New Yorker-turned-Nashville-transplant Caleb Sherman, a multi-instrumentalist with work on records by Little Big Town and Porter Block, among others. “Caleb produced the project from a musician’s standpoint,” adds Brown. “Not just a typical producer’s standpoint, which was something I definitely needed. Between Caleb and Lance, we were a force to be reckoned with. They really pulled out the best in me.” Peter Keyes, known for his work with Lynyrd Skynyrd, can also be heard on a few tracks. All bass tracking came from Rex himself as well.
“My motto these days is ‘Shake some shit up,'” Brown declares. “I’ve had my ups and downs, like anybody in this business. I wanted to feel like a true artist again, where I can write and record songs without worrying about any of the bullshit. This is just something else I’m doing for fun, man. And musical freedom. Fun has to come into it or I’m not going to do it. I’ve had a tremendous career and now I feel like I’m twenty-five years old again. This has given me that freedom I needed.”
“I’ve got so much more in me,” he enthuses. “I’m just getting my feet wet.”
Smoke On This track listing:
01. Lone Rider
02. Crossing Lines
03. Buried Alive
04. Train Song
05. Get Yourself Alright
06. Fault Line
07. What Comes Around…
09. So Into You
10. Best Of Me
11. One Of these Days