“I’m an American,” intones Greg Brown solemnly on this album’s title track, “I’m gonna let my freak flag fly,” and he draws out the “fly” like a lingering dare. The song sets the tone for an album of darkly tinted folk and blues, with rumbling ruminations on big questions and simple pleasures. His deep-in-the-bones interpretation of “Let the Mystery Be,” the skeptic’s anthem written by his wife, Iris DeMent, is the capstone to another stunning set of dispatches from the heartland.
Have something to say? Send a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. This article first appeared in the July-August 2011 issue of Utne Reader.