"As a starting point for some of the most soulful, visceral music on our planet, the clapboard Gospel churches of America's deep south have long been a fertile fountainhead of talent. So it's no suprise to read that it's where Chastity Brown found her voice...Brown weaves a spell that evokes the spirit of Roberta Flack and Woody Guthrie.."
"...one of the best and most distinctive voices I’ve heard in years... Throughout this record Brown’s songwriting is triumphant, with vocals and instrumental arrangements that can only be described as extraordinary. This is without doubt one of the year’s best and most interesting releases, and I cannot wait to witness a live performance." (Back-Road Highways review 5/5)
"Classy Country-Soul with a hefty dash of the Blues to send a shiver down your spine...A year ago I missed a Chastity Brown performance by five minutes; and some of my friends are still tormenting me with tales of how great her performance was that night; but I have a copy of her debut album months before its’ release and now it’s my turn to be smug. (Alan Harrison of Jumpin' Hot Club promoters in the UK)
"She's a banjo-playing soul singer, a harmonica-blowing gospel belter, a piano-pounding blues woman. Altogether, Minnesota-based Chastity Brown is a rocking, rolling encyclopedia of roots music."
"Melding bits of soul, jazz and rootsy Americana into a potent stew, at times Chastity sounds like a young Mavis Staples, but with an edgy urgency instead of any retro affectation."
"She's worthy of not only a place on local lists, but national lists as well. Until then, we're proud to have her."
"Brown’s singing never took a backseat, and, at certain moments, the timbre of it—breathy and full-bodied at once—along with her rhythmically relaxed phrasing and fluttering vibrato recalled Lauryn Hill. And it felt really right that those sorts of R&B threads fit so naturally into Brown’s take on roots."
"On the final night of the festival, I decided to only see bands I’d never seen before. As it turns out, my favorite song I heard all weekend was from Brown, a Tennessee native who now lives in the Twin Cities. With an addictive banjo riff and a slow-burn voice, her tune “After You” knocked me out during her showcase at the Basement. She’s definitely a songwriter and performer to watch.
"This soulful songwriter has been gigging around the Twin Cities for a couple of years. Her new album Back-Road Highways shows why she deserves a national audience."
"Chastity Brown is not a blaxploitation film, but rather a mesmerizing Minnesota-based singer-songwriter whose softly powerful song is about gonna-come changes. If politicians were truly empathetic, this would be their type of campaign song."
"Brown works with a wide pallet of musical influences, producing songs that sound instantly modern and timeless at the same moment."
"Chastity Brown can sing the blues off a pair of jeans, then turn around and quietly play the banjo, just to keep you on your toes. Blending folk and soul, she's opened a volcanic seam on the rugged landscape of American song."
"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....Hers is not the record you put on in the background, it is the record you hear once and never forget, and it is that soul, that brute-force emotion, that separates her from the pack."
"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."
"Back-Road Highways is a record which conveys an evident journey. It's the product of two years traveling between Minnesota and Tennessee where the majority of the recording was done, grounded in Brown's southern roots, and a process which involved dozens of musicians and producers. The result is an album which grandly flows, more of a lyrical poem than 11 separate tracks. It's Chastity's ode to life and home. On this album, she has never sounded more confident."
"She belongs to no genre, because what she does is beyond folk, blues, soul, or any hyphenated combination of those categories. Her poetic lyrics seep into your bones."
"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."
"...the quality of the work is head and shoulders above the vast majority of releases in the roots genre. The pure, raw emotion that this woman generates is something even veteran blues and soul artists could take a lesson from. The girl emotes, and emotes with passion."
"...Brown’s voice pours forth like warm honey, a sweet and rich concoction of melody and passion"
- Lavender Magazine, 2/2013
- CMT, 9/26/2012
- City Pages Gimme Noise, 8/3/2012
- MN Monthly Magazine, 5/2012
- MetroMix Twin Cities, 11/3/2011
- Twin Cities Daily Planet
- Paper Darts Magazine