Back​-​Road Highways

by Chastity Brown

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Emotions run the gamut with this record, with questions and longing, hurt and desire, being answered with love and warmth at the end of the journey.

C Bret Campbell - Middle Tennessee Music


Her music is forged through an intelligent commitment of soul, blues, and roots influences, each discernible in individual tracks, but what gives Brown her strength and elevates her far above her peers is the palpable emotion she invests in her songs and performances. Brown is not just a folk artist, she is a poet, one who pours every ounce of her life and feeling into her music, one who is impossible to ignore. Her past, her struggles, and her wisdom are scattered throughout her storyteller's songs, folded into lyrics sung in her dark honeyed voice....

Minneapolis Best Folk Artist - Chastity Brown - Best Of Minneapolis - City Pages


Chastity Brown is an old soul in a young body, with a gut wrenching sound that bridges generations with its originality and combination of diverse rhythms and genres, including blues, folk, country, pop and gospel that twist, turn and meld into something else.

Generation Soul: Music Musings for Modern Times by JAS


Brown’s voice is rich and butter-smooth, and her songs have a soulful, often melancholic blues-folk sound with accents of jazz, country and even classical touches.

22 February 2012 by Susannah Schouweiler in Music, St. Paul


The songs on Back-Road Highways will hit you square in the chest, knock the wind out of you, and make you stand up straighter. In her latest offering, Chastity gives the listener a library of blues history, modern soul, and unabashed poetics that seep in along the edges of every verse. At the same time, Chastity maintains a unique style--the real power in her music is her ability to make every lyric sound completely of-the-moment, like improv focusing inward

By Natalie Gallagher, Minneapolis Music - Gimme Noise


MARCH 25, 2012 - "Back-Road Highways" reviewed in Twin Cities Daily Planet!

"Soulful acoustic artist and Twin Cities icon Chastity Brown, singer-songsmith-guitarist, has everything it takes to go national. Including an incredible new album, Back-Road Highways (C & D Music Network). ... With melodic structure bordering on hypnotic. Vocals, beautifully raw-edged, leaning less on power, more on subtlety (make no mistake, Chastity Brown still can sing her way through a brick wall). Back-Road Highways is a career hallmark. The fine fun of “After You,” a rollicking blend of gospel, calypso, and country-western, stays with you long after the song’s been sung. “Solely” haunts, an eerie bluegrass-tinged ballad. “Could’ve Been a Sunday” is a trademark masterstroke. This song captures Chastity Brown’s quintessential attribute, soul-searching grit and grace." -

Dwight Hobbes, Twin Cities Daily Planet


MARCH 22, 2012 - Chastity featured in the Twin Cities Onion/A.V. Club!

"Attempting to succinctly categorize local songstress Chasity Brown’s boldly style-blurring tunes invariably challenges any music critic, and is likely to leave them either tongue-tied or spouting off invented-on-the-spot subgenre nonsense. (“It’s sort of R&Bluegrass music, kind of an alt-soultry thing going on.”) The simple truth is that pigeonholing Brown’s wide-ranging and joyously eclectic tunes is a fool’s errand, and it sort of misses the point. Recorded in her native Tennessee, Back-Road Highways, Brown’s fourth album, manages to confidently marry the sounds that made both Memphis and Nashville landmark music cities. Even on Brown’s glossiest countrypolitan tunes, her voice aches with raw emotion, while her forays into gospel and blues possess a surprisingly accessible melodic sensibility. The end result is the best of both worlds."

- Rob Van Alstyne, The Onion



released March 24, 2012



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Track Name: House Been Burnin
Try to find the words man, think about the government
Got your shoe tied wrong when, try to get that run in
Gotta get to breathin, try to catch that clean air
I’m just looking for a resting place trying to catch my wind

Who set the fire cause the house been burnin’
Who set the fire cause the house been burnin
Trying to find out but my head keep turning
Who set the fire cause the house been burnin

Hearing all the voices, lifted up in chorus when
They’re lifted high above the flame
But there’s one that’s in the crowd
Whose voice been singled out
Cause it’s been broken, its been strained
Oh just listen to him now
As he’s breakin all his chains!


Now don’t be scared love,
Just do what you got..cause
You know everybody’s been waitin' on you
No don’t be scared love, just do what you got cause
You gotta do what you gotta do

Track Name: When We Get There
Grab my shirt and a pack a smokes
Headin out don’t know where to go
Just gonna let the west wind lead

Now I’m driving down a dirt road
Out in the middle and I’m all alone
But there’s bound to be a change in me

When I make it through
When I make it through
Things will be different

Caught the eyes of a stranger’s face
Felt connected in the strangest way
Her babe he was laying on her knee

The bill collector, he came by today
Boarded up what they couldn’t pay
Her heart was set on which way when they leave

I couldn’t handle what I thought I saw
Lit a cigarette and took a draw
She grabbed his hand and said to him

When we make it through
When we make it through
Things will be different

You’ve been waiting on a phone call
From your baby wishing on a star
But the night is dark and it ain’t clear

And that’s the way when your vision’s blurred
In your pain you just reach for her
Feel the calm coming over you

When you make it through
When you make it through
Things will be different
Track Name: Solely
You were on your way up
I was on my way down
When I passed you my hand I did raise like the old time
You were on your way to the land of the bible
Where they tell you to kneel down and pray

It was solely, solely for me

I called my friend and asked him
Said where did you take him, where did you lay him I wanted to see
So I grabbed him some flowers, grabbed him some daisies
Some things I would have done as a kid

It was solely, solely for me

Had a day to get there
So I took my sweet time and drove through the valleys
Drove through the plains
Pulled up at mid-night the light was still on
I found myself between the stain and the frame

It was solely, solely for me
Track Name: After You
Now we're going to
the place we’re headed to
when I was after you

And you stand right there
I just grab your hand
Pray ya feel it too

Now we’re in the car
Going to the place
That you say your from

And the land stretches out
it goes for miles and miles
to the setting sun

And we walk right up to
The place we’re headed to
When I’ve been after you

Now we’re headed home
The place we finally know
As our own

And you lay your head
Right beside my head
Pray ya feel it too

Now we’re going to
The place we’re headed to
When I’ve was after you
Track Name: I Left Home
When I left my home this morning
You know I didn’t even cry
When I left my home, you know I didn’t even cry
I just bowed my head
Felt like bees were in my eyes

Guess I’ll head on down the road
Just to see what I can find
Head on down the road, see what I can find
Gotta be some work on round here
Lord, I’m gonna lose my mind

Well now I got me a fancy suit
And I’ve got me a dress to wear
Put on my dancin’ shoes
Get caught out in the midnight air
Lord knows I done spent my blood and sweat and all of my tears

When I left my home this morning
You know I began to cry
When I left my home this morning, sho’nuff I began to cry
Got to thinkin bout what I done did to get here
It makes me wanna die
Track Name: Leroy
Heard there was a secret land
that when you saw the sun
It just stretched out for miles and miles

And when the pasture turned
And when the grass bent
You felt yourself connected right between them

Oh now Leroy
I need you to get up
I need you to get ready, we’re leaving in the morn
Oh now Leroy
I need you to trust me
Where we’re headed I’ve never seen before

And I heard there was a strangers face
That when you saw his eyes
You felt like you had been there
Like you met in another time

And there is a well
That you can draw from
Yeh you can drink the water
And we can be together


And if I can’t cross the ocean
If I cannot climb the mount
And I cannot hold the shapeless in my hand
But I can try to lift it up

Track Name: Lift Us
I was heading down a road
Going nowhere
But I didn’t even know
Ya know I didn’t even care
But along the way
Came a word I was needing to hear

Love can lift us
Oh love real love
Love can lift us
Talkin ‘bout love real love

So you say you’re all alone
Drowning in a sea of people
I will throw you a rope
Pull you to shore
So you can feel this


Talkin bout love
If you’ve ever been on the floor
Aint go no where to go
Just lookin up keep lookin up

Track Name: Could've Been A Sunday
Round the corner there’s a little wall
A little place I go to think and hide from it all
And up above in the maple tree,
birds come to rest and find what they need
But you can look between the branches
And you gaze up at the sky

And it must have been a Saturday
But it could have been a Sunday morn
It doesn’t matter anyway
That’s all that I know (2x)

Sister Mary gonna stand up
She gonna tell about the week she had
How the lord came through when she needed him
Now Bobby gonna sit in the back
And Bobby gonna think to himself
This ain’t for me I’m gonna find something that is


Bobby said I went for a walk and I looked up
Hallelujah lord I need ya hal-le-lu-jah

Track Name: Say It
How do you say it
How do you say it
How do you say what you’ve been meaning to say

Would you look at you
Standing with your head down
Got a fist like a rebel and a heart of gold
It just weights you down
And I’ve been trying to
Walk right on up
Trying to get the words on out of my mouth


Must’ve been the middle of the night
Seem like a full moon
It was the same outside as the place you hide
Inside your room
Your just a little boy
Trying to be a big strong man
Trying to be what he never saw
And can’t seem to understand


You just say it
Track Name: Slow Time
It’s a blue-eyed Sunday, morning, afternoon
And I’m out here waiting for you to come on

I like it when you say
That you don’t believe what they tell us
You’ll find your own questions
And I like it when you say that

I’m the kind that takes my slow time just thinkin’
So my words don't come out right when you need them

I like it when you say
That you don’t believe what they tell us
You’ll find your own questions
And I like it when you say that
Track Name: If You Let Me
Lord if you let me
Live one more day
I’ll go and I’ll do what I never did
Send out my love
To all of my friends
Oh lord if you let me, I’ll make amends

And lord if you let me
I’ll call cousin George
And thank him, letting me crash there
When I was on the road
And I’ll tell him our blood
Is purer than gold
Oh lord if ya let me I’ll call cousin George

And lord if ya let me
I’ll go see my mom
She’s there with my brother, her only son
And I’ll tell her I’m grateful for all that she done
Oh lord if ya let me I’ll go see my mom

And lord if ya let me
I’ll sing one last song
Till my hands are all bleeding, and my voice is all gone
And I’ll sing out my heart to this one last tune
Oh lord if you let me
I’ll sing them the blues