Scott “Scooter” Brown gets to tick a big bucket off his list this weekend when he and his band take their “Story of My Life Tour” to the Golden Days Rodeo on Saturday in Fairbanks.
“It’s my last state of the 50,” Brown said earlier this week while he was stopped at Cape Flattery in Washington watching bald eagles chasing gulls over the ocean. “Nobody in the band has ever been to Alaska. We’ve been chomping at the bit.”
While the Scooter Brown Band hasn’t been to Alaska (yet), they’ve been just about everywhere else. Brown is a former Marine who had two overseas tours, including one combat tour in Iraq. A buddy taught him to play guitar and when he left the Marine Corps in 2005, he started playing acoustic shows and writing songs.
“Over the years, it grew into a band thing,” he said. “The personnel has changed over the years, although my drummer (Matt Bledsoe) has been with me since the very beginning.”
The band toured relentlessly, opening for the Charlie Daniels Band, Travis Tritt, Dwight Yoakam, Lee Roy Parnell and the Marshall Tucker Band, while refining their own “modern Southern rock” sound, based in large part of Brown’s love of classic Southern rock, Led Zeppelin and country superstars Waylon Jennings, George Jones and Kris Kristofferson. They released “American Son” in 2017, with Brown writing or co-writing 12 of the album’s 13 songs. The only cover is of Charlie Daniels’ “New York City / King Size Rosewood Bed.” Daniels himself sings on the album’s title song and has been a mentor for Brown.
“The country people like us and the rockin’ people like us,” Brown said. “It’s a nice blend for everyone.”
“American Son” has garnered widespread attention for the band. Brown was named the 2019 Rocky Mountain Country Music Awards’ Male Vocalist of the Year and one of Rolling Stone’s “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know.” They will make their Grand Ol’ Opry debut on July 30.
The band is a strong advocate for the military and veterans. They support organizations such as like Base Camp 40 — Warriors in the Wild, Lone Survivor Foundation, and the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation.
He is working on new music, but likely will release songs as they are ready instead of putting out a full-length album.
“In today’s day and age, you can just release it as you go,” he said. “Everything now is done on the phone. You can release a song a month and keep people engaged on social media.”
Brown started writing music in high school and is constantly writing. “As a songwriter, you base a lot of your songs that you write about what’s happening in real life,” he said. “It may not be 100% your life, but it’s coming from something you’ve witnessed. I think it’s the cool thing about being an artist that cuts your own music — you get to tell your own story.”
The Scooter Brown Band will be performing Saturday as part of the Golden Days Rodeo. Gates open at 3 p.m., the festivities begin at 5 p.m. and live music begins at 7 p.m. with the Arctic Entry Band opening for Scooter Brown.
Contact staff writer Julie Stricker at 459-7532
IF YOU GO
What: Scooter Brown Band
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, July 20
Where: Tanana Valley Fairgrounds, 1800 College Road
Tickets: $23 adults; $20 military; kids 8 and under free