The key to any working musician’s hustle is never compromising the art. Feeling the pressure build from her day job, country singer-songwriter Francesca Brown lets it all off her chest with her new song “Hashslingin’ Blues,” premiering today on American Songwriter.
Her slight Eddy Arnold yodel curls around her words, adding fuel to her instinctual Loretta Lynn fire. “I’m throwing this apron to the wind / You can keep my pen and pad / No more ponytails / No more buns,” she sings, tossing up a proverbial middle finger.
“I gotta be strong / I’ve been waiting for this moment for far too long,” she reminds herself.
Brown has certainly shed blood, sweat and tears to get to this moment. She’s endured plenty of personal traumas – an unstable childhood, the death of her sister, and her mother’s cancer – and anyone else might have closed up shop on pursuing a music career. But this silky-voiced, steely-eyed storyteller only let her pain propel her forward. Her debut album, Collide, arrived in 2016 – with an EP, Whiskey Barrel Blues, later in 2017.
“I see that there is such a deep fear for women to really unwind and just be, the way a man can,” Brown said. “I really try to speak my truth as a woman, even if it’s ugly and vulgar. It’s more important to be strong and empowered than to be accepted as pretty and delicate.”
Then, in waltzes “Hashslingin’ Blues” and its thick-skinned charm and traditional-bent arrangement. Brown seems poised and ready to take on everything coming her way. “I served in Hollywood, slingin’ food and drink for many years now, mainly near all the studios… I have heard all their important exec meetings and conversations about success,” she reflected. “It gets to the point where you are just this ghost passing from table to table most people don’t even look at you, and if by chance on that rare occasion they ask your name it’s as if they are simply filling their karmic duty of the day so the universe will serve them more success.”
The song serves as her personal creed through such exhausting mundanity. “So, here I am trying to hold onto my patience and my artistic dreams. I open up my waitress pad and write down song lyrics, or sometimes I’d sneak off to the bathroom to record voice memos on my phone,” she said. “This somehow helps me keep my sanity because that is what songwriting is to me – it’s everything we do and how we live. It’s all salvageable. It’s kind of like recycling what the universe gives you. It don’t always come out lemonade… sometimes it’s sour milk and whiskey.”
Listen to “Hashslingin’ Blues” below.