Friday Night with Guitar George: Brushy One String Edition


At the beginning of any given week I have at least two or three ideas about what I want to do for FNWGG. By Wednesday I have chosen one, by Thursday night I have completed the write-up, and Friday morning it is in my editor’s email in box. But once in a while I come across something so remarkable it trumps all other ideas and becomes the feature that week. Such is the case with Brushy One String. I had never heard of him before Wednesday of this week. Wednesday night I saw this video for the first time. It is now Thursday evening and I am writing this piece, and tomorrow night this video will go out via BGS to all corners of the earth.

Andrew Chin, aka Brushy One String, is a Jamaican singer/songwriter who plays a guitar that has—wait for it—only one string. And not because it is a rudimentary instrument; it is actually a regular acoustic guitar with five strings missing. Not only does Brushy’s instrument have severe limitations, Brushy is vocally challenged as well. If you are not a great singer and your guitar is a few strings shy of a chord, you must have something to compensate. What Brushy possesses is a palpable genuineness—an unfettered sincerity free from the trappings of self-conscious pretentions. With endearing conviction Brushy offers us his social, philosophical and theological observations couched in a subtly nuanced blend of folk and blues and reggae. The resulting sound is something in between Robert Johnson and Parliament-Funkadelic.

Do yourself a favor and devote a mere eleven minutes to enjoy an encounter with Brushy One String. If you do so, I promise two things: your life will be enriched, and you will be singing “Chicken in the Corn” with unabashed glee.

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