Under the Hood: Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown on His Musical Identity

Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown was born in Vinton, Louisiana and raised just across the border in Orange, Texas.  He was equally skilled on guitar and violin, and was rightly known as a highly demanding bandleader.  The blues was certainly an integral part of Gatemouth Brown’s sound, but he disliked arbitrary musical categories and definitely took exception to being called a bluesman.  From the BluesMobile archives, the late Gatemouth Brown describes his musical identity.

“I don’t want to be labeled as no kind of straight-ahead musician period. Hearing the same thing all night man just bores the hecks out of me. I can’t stand it. I don’t care what they play or how good it is, if it’s the same old line like a train trying to pull up a hill, it turns me off. And I don’t like loud loud loud music. And when a vocalist doing his vocal, the musicians supposed to get beneath him and not even with him or above him. And I demand that on my bandstand. And that’s the way it is.” – Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown