Greg Brown to play Dream Center benefit at the Englert

Greg Brown
Greg Brown plays the Englert in support of the Dream Center this Saturday. — photo by Sandra L. Dyas

The Dream Center Presents Greg Brown

Englert Theatre — Saturday, May 17 at 8 p.m. ($25-$100)

Greg Brown is a folk legend. His 40-plus-year career is a monument to life in Iowa, and it’s not just because one of his landmark albums is called The Iowa Waltz.

Often described as one of the greatest songwriters of his generation, Brown is known for his intimate and wistful lyrics about small towns and farm-life, as well as his impassioned songs about politics and human dignity. 

Whether it’s because of his rich, relaxed voice or because of the simplicity of his writing style, there’s also a layer of ennui to almost everything Brown sings. His warm, folksy sound harkens back to a quieter and simpler time, but Brown has been expertly reminding us for years that nostalgia can be painful.

It’s fitting that he’s playing a benefit show for The Dream Center, a local non-profit dedicated to helping fathers stay involved in the lives of their children. A father himself, music is the family business, it seems: One of Brown’s daughters, Pieta, has received critical acclaim for her music, and all three of his daughters covered a song of his on Going Driftless, a 2002 tribute album which also featured country legends Gillian Welch and Lucinda Williams. 

In addition to Brown’s performance, the benefit show will feature performances by young artists, testimonies by Dream Center beneficiaries and a talk by Reverend Sam Mann.

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