Solid singer-songwriter Ray Brown, an Antifolk veteran from the now defunct Chameleon club. ”

— The New Yorker

Another performer who digs deeply into life’s ferment is Ray Brown, who on Saturday performed a set of songs that were personal, powerful, and sometimes raw in their depictions. ”

American Songwriter Magazine

Genius Songwriter and Spiritual Leader of Miscreants ” - Christopher Barry

— Drumcondra Daily News

Ray Brown's songs can slap you with their rawness, but once you get past the initial jolt, you'll find that he has entered rich new songwriting territory. A world of intense, confusing, and often contradictory emotions that most of us feel but rarely hear so openly explored in song. With his unusual melodies, and a voice that is somehow both smooth and gritty, Brown delivers loving and revealing nuggets of humanity.”

— 2014 Antifolk Festival Playbill

Ray Brown - a mixture of dark, funny and beautiful songs from a soft spoken New Yorker ”

— Brooklyn Tea Party

Saddest Song: Anything off Canyon. It’s no secret that Ray Brown’s songs are often way too autobiographical (blatantly so) for anyone to pretend that he’s singing about a “character.” Let’s hope he never has reason to write a beautiful set of songs like this again. One record is enough. ”

— (music blog)

Ray Brown was an East Village performer 20 years ago. He dropped out after the closing of the famed Chameleon Club on Sixth Street. In the last couple of years, he’s returned to the scene of his earlier crimes, performing regularly just a few doors down at his current roost, the Sidewalk Café. The seemingly autobiographical material that drives the best of Ray Brown’s songs is funny and tragic at one time. A dedicated audience member, Brown elicits the same from his crowd. Expect regulars to sing along with chorus after chorus.”

— Boog City (East Village Arts Quarterly)

He's a cunt, but he's also the father figure of antifolk. Anybody's music you like has been inspired by Ray. He only learned how to play piano this last year and his best shit is yet to come, this is the show you could say you were at before he blew up.”


The last night of the Antifolk Festival provided some awe-inspiring moments. Ray Brown's show in particular provided numerous moments of soulful charm. Ray's songs are deeply emotional, often on unexpected--sometimes harsh-subject matter. His melodies and voice are rich and interesting. In particular I've grown fond recently of his song about an infatuation at Catweazle. On Sunday, Morgan Heringer, sang with Ray from her seat in the audience near the stage on a couple of songs, and something about the sound and vibe, especially the laid back, spontaneous feel of the whole experience was really transcendent. As a little zinger, Ray ended his set with a kind of medley of "I Don't Know How to Love Him," and "Oh Happy Day." 'That's it Ray--throw us off base.' After the frankness of some of his other songs, testaments to Jesus weren't exactly what I was expecting--but we all loved it anyway--and sang along. ”

— Sidewalk's Sidewalk (music blog)

Recorded live at Whelan’s club in Dublin, Ireland, last fall, Ray Brown's Deadly Craic is going to go down in history as one of the greatest live records of all time. " ”

— Boog City (East Village Art's Quarterly)

Ray Brown is a man of impossible depth who’s driven to pass himself off as a mawkish simpleton. He’s genuinely messed-up, prurient, selfish, drug/drink-dependent, snide, credulous; and sweet, sentimental, vulnerable, innocent, avuncular, wise; and all those parts meet in the middle in his music, songs which are usually cryptic confessions. He moved to New York from Florida as a young man, and played in the East Village ‘antifolk’ scene for some time, before giving up for a long spell. His return to songwriting coincided with my first summer in New York; he immediately cemented his cult status at the Sidewalk Café open stage by blowing the roof off with his out-of-the-blue performances of ‘Garage Apartment’ and ‘CT Highways’, before red-facedly refusing the offer of a further gig while scurrying from the room. Ray consistently makes terrible decisions in arranging, recording and releasing his music, and just as consistently strikes gold. He has about 18 songs in his repertoire at the moment, I think, and at least 7 of them should be standards: Garage Apartment, CT Highways, The Grand Canyon, Polo Ralph Lauren Is A Racist Cult, Columbus Day Weekend, Pimping Ain’t Easy, Last Summer (not that many people can get away with covering them). There isn’t a dud to be found on his album Canyon. I mostly relate to Ray through his music, and I kept my distance for a long time, not wanting mundane reality to spoil it, but the more I’ve got to know him, and his labyrinthine personal life, the more the mystery deepens. ”

— (Irish Music Blog)