Spencer Mackenzie Brown
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Spencer Mackenzie Brown

Lawrence, KS | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Lawrence, KS
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Folk Indie


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Review of "Part One""

Spencer Brown is a folk mastermind. His wonderful EP Part One is five tracks of stunning musicianship, strong vocals, and stellar lyrics. The fast paced tempos of “Travelin’ North” and “Burning Cold” are wild masterpieces, letting Brown belt out his rich, warm voice. The rigorous time signatures become foot races between the guitars and his lightning quick delivery of the lyrics. “If I ever see you again, I’ll tell you where to go…” he sings on the second track with raucous piano and rowdy guitars.

Brown brings in the sweet melancholy of “Wasn’t For You,” a gorgeous duet with Ali Edwards. Heartbreak flows through the lyrics and emotions run high. You’ll even feel a chill in the blazing summer heat when Brown and Edwards harmonize on the chorus (“The blood and the hurt, they weren’t the worst/It’s the long winter nights that are my curse”). That longing is enough to make your chest swell and your breath short. But what’s great about the song is that both perspectives know that it wasn’t meant to be. An incredible track.

The pop sensibility is clear on “Call Me” with its shimmering electric guitar. As short as Part One is, Brown hits all the sounds he wants with perfect accuracy and always come off as genuine and clear with his lyrics (“Why don’t you just call me if you need/Misery needs company/I’ll be at your side”). The record culminates with “Hard Time Killing Floor,” a great closer that really encompasses what he’s shown on the previous four tracks. Brown lets the tension build and build for two minutes before the guitars explode. You can feel the strumming as if the band were in the room with you. From beginning to end, a beautiful accomplishment from the singer/songwriter.

Favorite Tracks: “Wasn’t For You” & “Call Me” - I Heart Local Music

"Bands to look forward to in 2015"

Behold the booming voice of Spencer Mackenzie Brown! This kid absolutely exploded onto the scene with a powerful thrust behind “Travelin’ North.” From there, his songs gracefully developed and his onstage posse grew. He’s now gracing large stages and finding himself surrounded by larger crowds with every passing show. This diverse performer is crooning his way to a successful 2015, and don’t be surprised if you see him pop up in the most unexpected places. - I Heart Local Music

"Pitch Magazine Interview"

Spencer Mackenzie Brown looks vaguely uncomfortable as he sits at the bar inside Lawrence's Bourgeois Pig. He takes long sips of the bourbon cocktail in front of him, smiling with some trepidation when I sit down at the stool next to his. The 24-year-old singer-songwriter seems more at ease when the topic of conversation turns away from his singing and his songwriting.

Until the July release of his debut EP, Part One, Brown was never the center of attention. A year ago, he was the lead guitarist in another group, the Plugged-In Band — a Christian group that Brown says he "stumbled into" in 2007. He says it was mostly just a learning experience. And one thing it taught him is that he prefers to stay busy.

"When the Plugged-In Band ended, I realized that I needed to keep playing music," Brown says. "It was a natural move into writing my own songs and trying to better myself as a musician. The next step from playing lead guitar was writing songs that people remember, and continuing to work on that and getting better. Part One has been a culmination of those efforts."

The efforts pay dividends on songs such as "Travelin' North," a swift, gritty track that recalls the Allman Brothers' "Ramblin' Man," and "Burning Cold," which taps into the same rowdy, rootsy vibe. Brown's high-pitched rasp, especially on the slow-burning "Wasn't for You" and "Call Me," glints like gold, and throughout the EP, the songs are alternately tarnished and light-catching.

"The songs that I love are the ones you can relate to, that bring you back to a certain moment or get you through a certain moment," Brown says. We've moved onto the patio at the Pig, and he talks a little easier in the sunlight. He watches some traffic pass and says, "I'd like for that to come off in my music, for people to find something that they can relate to. I think whenever I write a song, it's a way of me processing and dealing with something, and once I write it, it's almost like I'm over that, and that thing is a part of that song and no longer me. Sometimes I'll go back to that, when I'm playing or sitting in my room practicing, but it also changes meaning over time."

Three of the songs came together in the fall of 2013, when Brown had moved from Lawrence to California's Hermosa Beach area. It was a brief stint — just six months — but it afforded him some perspective.

"I suppose that when I moved to California, I was not content with my life," Brown says. "I left for a reason: I wanted something new. I didn't want to be stuck. Everybody gets stuck, and I felt that way. And I'm back here now, but it felt natural. And the music happened that way, too. The EP felt natural. It all came together really easily. I'm happy with Part One. I try not to listen to it because if you listen to it too long, you start to hate it. And I'm ready to move on to my next EP, Part Two, and see if I can do something better."

All indications are that he can. Even when Brown is mournful, as on the regret-intensive "Wasn't for You," he puts you at ease. "Call Me" sounds like a man who means it, as though playing the song a few times in a row would bring Brown to your door with a bottle and as much time as you needed. We've all been there a few times, he says. Yeah, we have. But this time, Brown is here to help. - Pitch Kansas City

"A Whirlwind Year: Hard-working folk-rocker quickly winning over fans"

Playing Middle of the Map Fest is something Spencer Mackenzie Brown never thought he’d do. But the Lawrence indie folk rocker will be hitting the Riot Room stage on April 25 as part of the massive music festival, and it’s all because he just had one heck of a year.

Words of encouragement

At the beginning of 2014, nobody had really heard of Brown. He was just getting his feet wet in his music career. After years of watching one local band after another rule the vibrant music scene in Lawrence, Brown decided it was time to take action.

“I started going to local concerts and seeing local bands, and I really wanted to be a part of that,” he says, noting the fact that anyone from your friend to your neighbor was involved with live music. “Going out and seeing these bands and knowing that I knew them was really encouraging. It was possible. You can play this music; it’s not that far or inaccessible.”

So after a few experiments with musicians, Brown got a band together and began hosting showcases in his home with other bands who weren’t quite yet hitting the venues.

“People seemed to like what I was doing,” says Brown, whose home-recorded demos leaked and wound up getting airplay on The Voice of Lawrence. After hearing his song on the radio, he got picked up for an acoustic show at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, last year.

“Nobody knew that I was starting a project, I didn’t even know myself that I was starting a project. But because of that showcase, people began asking questions and wondering what it was, and it quickly snowballed into what it is now.”

Getting there

In what seemed like the blink of an eye, crowds began taking notice of Brown’s infectious and catchy tunes, as well as his impressively booming voice. His first official Lawrence show after SXSW was on the Replay patio in May. He was then approached by two recording engineers (who happened to be in the wildly-popular band Hembree) about cutting an EP, which was released in July. By August, he was already playing Liberty Hall. After that, he started opening for major touring acts, such as Augustana at the Granada in December and The Delta Saints at the Bottleneck in January.

In March of this year, Brown celebrated his 25th birthday by returning to SXSW. But this time he had a full band in tow and a larger showcase scheduled. For someone who went from wistfully watching local bands and wishing he could join their ranks just one year ago, Brown was finding himself in one surprising Cinderella story.

Now, he’s scheduled to play Middle of the Map Fest in Kansas City, an event he’d only dreamed of attending up until now.

“When I heard about Middle of the Map Fest, I was not playing in this project. I hadn’t written these songs, but I did really wish that I was on one of those stages, and it seemed pretty unattainable to me,” Brown admits. “The previous year when I saw local bands get to do that, it encouraged me that this was possible. If you make good music and you worked hard, you could get there. So finding out that I’m playing a show, no matter what day or what time the show is, it’s a huge accomplishment in my mind. I saw it as near impossible, and now I’m doing it. It’s exciting for me, and it’s exciting for my band.”

Throughout his whirlwind of a year, Brown’s intentions have always been the same.

“I think in life we all struggle to search for these things that give us fulfillment. Throughout my teenage years and early 20s, that was a huge struggle. Finding not only what makes you happy, but what fulfills you and keeps you going every day so you’re not stagnant,” Brown says. “When I was 21, it became very apparent that working on music is what kept me from being stagnant, what kept me happy and moving forward. I have to keep doing this for myself because it’s the only way that I’ll truly feel fulfilled.”

You can see Spencer Mackenzie Brown continue his quest for fulfillment when he hits the Riot Room at noon April 25 as part of Middle of the Map Fest. - Journal World Newspaper

"Romanian Blog Interview - Playlist"

See link - Warmer Climes

"Urban Outfitters Blog"

"made even better with a bonfire and songs by local musician Spencer Mackenzie Brown" - Urban Outfitters


Part One - 2014
Part Two - 2015



In a little over a year, Lawrence indie folk rocker Spencer Mackenzie Brown went from watching bands make music to forming his own band, striking out on his own and never looking back. The 25 year old released his debut EP, Part One, in 2014, his second, Part Two, in 2015 and has since notched performances at SXSW, Kansas City's Middle of the Map Fest, Boulevardia and shared the stage with Leon Bridges, Nathanial Rateliff, Houndmouth and Wild Child. 

Band Members