Theater & Arts

Artists you should know: JJ Brown

JJ Brown sings, writes and plays from the heart.

"Music that embraces you, lifts you up, and reminds you to dream," is what Brown calls his music.

So far, he's been able to open for acts such as Peter Frampton at Tachi Palace in Lemoore, as well as make the club rounds in Fresno and the South Valley, both on his own and the band he sings with, From Now On.

This weekend, Brown has back-to-back shows lined up: A headlining gig at 9 p.m. Saturday at Lucky 13, 4113 W. Swift Ave. Then at 8 p.m. Saturday at Crossroads, 3315 N. Cedar Ave., where he'll be opening for SoCal band Inhale. Both shows cost $5.

We talked to Brown to get to know him better:

Describe your style of music. Acoustic alternative.

OK, let's get mathematical with that. Give us an equation for your sound. Counting Crows + The Cure / Nine Inch Nails - Smashing Pumpkins / Jack Johnson (sum) / Ani DiFranco = JJ Brown

What is it about acoustic music that appeals to you? I enjoy the fact that no matter how hard I strum the acoustic guitar, every note can be heard proudly. I also write all my music around the chord progressions that I use with this instrument.

I know you're not originally from this area. How did you get here? I was stationed in Lemoore while I was in the military. That is how I met my wife, Michelle, who is from Hanford. We moved to Nashville, Tenn., for a few years until she got pregnant with our son. We decided to raise him in the Central Valley.

You opened for Kevin Costner, The Doobie Brothers and Peter Frampton in the past. How did you land that? A miracle laced with dedication. I performed every weekend at Tachi Palace in their beautiful outside bar. I literally called the promoters every day letting them know my intentions of serving as an opener, and finally I struck gold. I remember making it a reality in my mind that it would happen, and it did.

How do you think those opening shows helped your career? Mostly by providing the chance to perform in front of very large crowds with only my acoustic guitar. It reminded me that anything I put my mind to is possible and that you don't always need a live band.

What else should people watch out from you in the coming months? I am writing/producing a complete record that I have been working on now for about six months, and will be finished very soon. The songs have some of the best lyrics that I feel I have ever written. I have dug deep and gotten really personal.

For music and more: Go to a local musician more people should be familiar with? Send the who and why to Mike Osegueda,