Junior Brown is a noted wizard on the guitar, combining country style picking, surf instrumentals, and good old rock 'n roll into his own unique style.
Brown was born Kirksville, Indiana. His music career began in the 1960s, and he worked through that decade and the next singing and playing pedal steel and guitar for groups such as The Last Mile Ramblers, Dusty Drapes and the Dusters and Asleep at the Wheel while developing his astonishing guitar skills. By the mid-1980s he was teaching guitar at the Hank Thompson School of Country Music at Rogers State University, in Claremore, Oklahoma.
In 1985 Junior invented a double-necked guitar, with some assistance from Michael Stevens. Junior called the instrument his "guit-steel". When performing, Junior plays the guitar by standing behind it, while it rests on a small podium/music stand. The top neck on the guit-steel is a traditional 6-string guitar, while the lower neck is a full-size lap steel guitar for slide playing. Brown has two guit-steels for recording and live work.
The original instrument, dubbed "Old Yeller", has as its standard 6-string guitar portion the neck and pickups from Brown's previous stage guitar, a Fender Bullet. The second guit-steel, named "Big Red", has a neck laser-copied from the Bullet neck, but in addition to electric guitar pickups, both the standard and lapsteel necks use an identical Sho-Bud lapsteel pickup. There is a pocket in the upper bout of the guitar to hold the slide bar when it is not in use.
Brown quickly became a local success in Austin, Texas, as the house band at the Continental Club. His debut album was 1993's 12 Shades of Brown; it was followed by Guit with It. Later that year (1995), Brown released Semi Crazy, and followed it with 1997's Long Walk Back.