Wow! Well, we just got finished listening to Austin Brown’s cover of “Unchained Melody” and we can tell you that it’s one of the best we’ve ever heard.
Not only that, but we can pretty much guarantee that his perfectly smooth vocals will definitely stir up some emotions.
His voice is truly something special. Just wait until you hear him hit those high notes!
Who is Austin Brown, you ask?
He’s been a member of country music’s a capella fivesome Home Free, which won the 2013 season of NBC’s The Sing-Off.
But since then, the pandemic gave Brown the chance to launch a solo career after the group’s world tour was canceled. Of course, he would need to start off online.
Using the crowd-funding service Patreon, Brown got the encouragement he needed, specifically from Home Free’s fan base.
And just because he used this last year to create some solo vocals, that doesn’t mean the group is done. They’re already back together performing.
Now with musical accompaniment
Sure, Brown’s voice can hold its own, but it’s nice to have some backup every now and then.
According to his website:
“His debut single, “Earn It,” features 808 drums and electronic beat drops, a far cry from the vocal-driven melodies of Home Free .Though the track may have a very different sound than what Brown’s fans are used to, its message stays true to his grassroots Southern upbringing.”
And like so many other talented vocalists these days, the Internet provides many platforms for musicians to get their music out to people without being beholding to a record label.
He’s interested in pursuing his own sound right now, with the help of a business partner – and it’s the man who happens to provide the guitar back-up in his “Unchained Melody” video.
“The Wizard Behind the Curtain”
That wizard is Steven Martinez, who not only plays guitar but also serves as the producer for Brown’s content.
So far they’ve created around 40 original tracks to be released to his Patreon audience. But YouTube is a great place to find some of his cover songs.
Brown also has a membership page on his website where you can become a Superfan and get early access to his music and other content.
But listen to “Unchained Melody” first – because we’re not kidding when we say it’s an epic cover. And while you might know it from the 1990 film Ghost, it’s actually much older.
Back in 1955…
Believe it or not, that’s when “Unchained Melody” was first released – and even though you might hear it at weddings, it was originally written for a prison movie!
The film Unchained is based on a book called Prisoners are People, which shows what life is like inside prison. According to The Atlantic, it was a low-budget film, not something you’ve likely seen, but the song is performed by an inmate sitting on his bed, soulfully singing to fellow prisoners and accompanied by just an acoustic guitar.
The song everybody knows
The song immediately became a hit even if the movie did not and by June of 1955, the UK music charts contained 4 versions of the song – performed by Al Hibbler, The Les Baxter Orchestra, Jimmy Young, and Liberace!
In fact, it wasn’t until 1965 that The Righteous Brothers covered the song. And that version would appear in Ghost.
“Unchained Melody” was declared by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers to be one of the 25 most-performed songs and musical works of the entire 20th century. And while you may love Elvis’ version or even U2’s, we guarantee that Austin Brown’s is going to knock your socks off.
Be sure to scroll down below to give it a listen.
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