Toni Brown became enthralled with the Dead Head scene with her first taste of jam band music emerging in the late 60s. From that point forward, Toni immersed herself in the life style, from owning and editing a key publication in the jam band scene to recording and releasing 4 studio albums. To think, it all began with her first concert, which just happened to be the Grateful Dead show the NY State Pavilion in Queens, NY on July 12, 1969. Recalling the exact date, venue and time speaks to the importance of the event for Toni. This show sent her down the path to becoming heavily involved in the dead head / jam band music scene.
Relix Magazine is the second longest, continuously running music magazine in the United States after Rolling Stone. As editor of Relix Magazine, Toni was also in charge of Relix’s label which supported artists like Hot Tuna, New Riders, Robert Hunter and some individual projects from Grateful Dead members. Toni credits these experiences as influencing her path to becoming a musician. However, just as Toni vividly remembered the day of her first Dead show, she also was clear about the defining moment that lead to her musical career. “In 1980 Robert Hunter handed over his guitar (a past guitar of Jerry Garcia) to me and said ‘learn how to play it,’ when someone gives you something like that… I figured he meant what he said” Toni recalls. Following the inspiration from Robert Hunter, Toni taught herself guitar and released her first album in 1995 with the help of Dave Nelson from the New Riders of the Purple Sage & Yorma from Hot Tuna.
Toni, a former poet, conveys emotion into her songs as a way highlight things she is passionate about at the time: “You need to sing from your heart no matter what and when you perform people can tell if you’re passionate about the music or not.” Her fourth album, State of Mind, released in Oct. 2009, coincides with a 25 year anniversary publication of Relix. State of Mind is meant to be a companion to the book and highlight the past 25 years of the jam band scene. We can expect some passion from Toni this weekend at Snipe’s Farm. A former resident of New Hope for 20 years, this is somewhat of a backyard show for Toni. She claims to have some surprises in store for us and is excited to play this show for the “Dead Head family.”
Toni will be taking the acoustic stage at 5:30pm on Saturday and from the sounds of it she’ll have a super fun show full of surprises for us. Don’t miss it!