The Last Vaudevillian | Hacklebarney Tunes | Forty Days Across America

Hacklebarney Tunes: The Music of Greg Brown (co-directed with Andrea Truppin, 1993)

(This documentary is available on DVD from Red House Records.)

Hacklebarney Tunes tells the story of an American singer/songwriter from southern Iowa whose grandparents were folk musicians from Appalachia. The son of an itinerant preacher, Greg Brown grew up in small towns across the midwest. In the early 1980s, he performed weekly on National Public Radio with Garrison Keillor on "A Prairie Home Companion." Today, Brown regularly plays at clubs throughout the United States and Europe. Despite his international reputation, Brown continues to live in Iowa City, Iowa, appearing at local taverns and maintaining strong ties to his community. His music is eclectic in nature, but deeply rooted in traditional American styles including country, blues, folk, and gospel. Hacklebarney Tunes explores the culture of the midwestern United States through the life and work of a native son. We see a religious service at the rural fundamentalist church Brown attended as a child, go fishing with Greg, and visit Earlville, Iowa, the town of seven hundred where his formative teenage years were spent. Live concert performances in Minneapolis and Des Moines are featured, as well as informal jam sessions with local musicians. Music critics Jon Bream, Marti Keller, and Jay Walljasper place his art in the context of American musical styles. Hacklebarney Tunes discovers the roots of Brown's art in the landscape and folkways of the midwest.

Baltimore City Paper

All Music Guide

Denver Westword

Philadelphia Weekly

San Francisco Bay Guardian


"Pretty Boy Floyd"
Greg Sings "Early"
"Poor Backslider"
Jimmy, "If I Had Known"
"Our Little Town"
Fishing with Greg
"Hacklebarney Tune"

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