HANFORD — Local country singer-songwriter JJ Brown is taking Hanford to Nashville.
The Hanford-based musician and Navy veteran won Thursday’s 106.7 KJUG Country Talent Showdown at the Tulare County Fair. He competed against CJ Green, a country singer from Exeter.
“There were so many Hanford faces out there and that meant the world to me,” Brown said. “It felt incredible. To win felt great because I have worked so hard.”
Thursday’s showcase was the third and final round of the 106.7 KJUG Country Talent Showdown. The competition’s first round consisted of online submissions and the top four singers were chosen to perform for the second round at the Kings Fair in June.
Brown’s win earned him the opportunity to perform a set at AJ’s Good Time Bar on Nov. 12 in Nashville for an audience including three record label executives. He will also tour Nashville and receive tickets to the Country Music Association Awards.
At his Tulare County Fair performance, Brown performed six songs - five of them he wrote himself.
“I have always loved to tell stories through the songs I write,” Brown said. “One thing that attracted me to country music is that artists can share their lives on stage.”
Brown draws a lot from his personal life for his original songs, he said. The ones he shared on Thursday included topics such as following dreams and the commemoration of late friend who was stationed with him in the U.S. Navy.
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The song that sealed the deal was performed halfway through his set and featured a mash-up of six country song covers. The showdown judges expressed the mash-up was one of the main reasons he won the competition, Brown said.
Brown was born in Columbus, Ohio and grew up in Chattanooga, Tenn. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 2000 and was stationed at NAS Lemoore, where he served in the War on Terror and the Iraq War.
He was in the Navy until 2005, when he moved to Nashville with his wife Main Street Hanford director Michelle Brown. Since the pair moved to Hanford in 2007, Brown has shared the stage with several country artists such as Peter Frampton, Kevin Costner and Clint Black.
Brown will be playing next at the 106.7 KJUG Free Concert Series at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 24 at Civic Center Park in Hanford. He will be sharing the stage with Illinois native country music singer-songwriter Drew Baldridge.
Radio station 106.7 KJUG and Brown will also be hosting a send-off party with Hanford’s Hop Forged Brewery in early November for fans to say goodbye before the artist departs for his week in Nashville.
Brown is looking forward to his upcoming performance in Tennessee and has his band to thank, he said. Hanford-based Travis Brooks plays Dobro guitar and Kingsburg native Matt Hopson is on the drums with him on stage.
“(Thursday) was overall a great night for me because I felt loved and supported and that was the biggest thing,” he said.