Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
In 2006 Oli Brown was told by Carl Gustafson from the American Blues band Blinddog Smokin' that he should form his own band in his own name - this was the birth of The Oli Brown Band.
Towards the end of 2006, Oli asked drummer Simon Dring and bassist Fredy Hollis if they would become the rhythm section for The Oli Brown Band.
January 2007 saw Oli, Simon and Fredy start rehearsals, March 1 2007 saw The Oli Brown Band perform their first gig at The Walnut Tree Shades in Norwich.
After that first gig, the rest of 2007 saw them playing up and down the country. A major highloght for 2007 was recording a live session for BBC Radio 2 (at Maida Vale studios) for the Paul Jones Blues Show which was transmitted 14 May 2007. Other notable events that year included supporting acts like Walter Trout, Aynsley Lister, Devon Allman, Ian Parker, as well as performances for various local radio stations.
2008 was exciting and extremely busy: In January Oli signed to Ruf Records and went to Germany to record his first Ruf Records album, titled "Open Road", it was released in June and received great reviews.
In February, whilst in America, The Oli Brown Band were invited to record at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis, by John Fry himself. (Ardent Studios have been involved with the recording of albums by artists such as REM, The White Stripes, Led Zeppelin, Isaac Hayes, ZZ Top, the list goes on and on) Oli and the band recorded a couple of tracks and then performed a live session for "The Ardent Sessions". The hits on the website for The Oli Brown Band set was over 1.4 million in three weeks.
The Oli Brown Band secured support slots in 2008 with artist such as Jon Cleary, Johnny Winter, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Robben Ford, Walter Trout and Devon Allman, as well as having Oli Brown Band headline gigs. All of the gigs saw them playing in larger venues and increasing their rapidly growing fan base.
Early 2009 saw Oli perform as a member of the legendary Blues Caravan Tour of Europe, an annual event put on by Ruf Records which included playing in Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Norway, Lithuania, Poland, the list goes on.
2009 is also were The Oli Brown Band carried out their first major UK tour. This was the OPEN ROAD Tour, presented by HMV in association with Rhino Agency and was a great success.
The rest of 2009 had the band perfoming at various festivals both in and out of the UK and ended, following requests from fans with a further UK Tour.
The follow up album to Oli's debut, Open Road, is called "Heads I Win Tails You Lose" and is released 26 April 2010. We were honoured to have the legendary producer, Mike Vernon working on this album.
If you have not seen The Oli Brown Band live, please check out the gigs page and book yourself into one - you will NOT be disappointed.