Scooter Brown Band returning to Great Falls for July 20 Downtown Summer Jam

The Scooter Brown Band is returning to Great Falls this week for the Downtown Summer Jam on July 20 at the intersection of 5th Street and Central Avenue.

The band played at Newberry in December and Brown said they had such a good time, they told organizers to book them back again.

“We’ve been looking forward to coming back since our last one for sure,” he said in an interview with The Electric.

Scott Brown is the band’s front man, is bringing his friend Donnie Reis with him to also perform some music from their side project, War Hippies.

Brown served about four years in the Marine Corps and deployed twice, including Iraq in 2003.

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He said that he draws from that experience for some of his songwriting and tries to be a voice for the veteran community and do as much as he can for veterans through music.

Brown didn’t start playing the guitar until he was in the Marines. It was something he’d always been interested in and a Marine buddy taught him a couple chords.

“I fell in love with it and ran with it,” he said.

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Initially, he’d planned to make a career of the military, but after making it through combat, decided to move on and form the Scooter Brown Band.

They played in Texas for awhile and he’s been in Nashville for about the last six years.

“It’s kinda crazy. I pinch myself every day thinking is this really what I do for a living,” Brown said.

To him, artists and musicians are “jesters of the court, we’re there to entertain people.”

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People go to music shows, Broadway, opera or other live entertainment to escape every day life, he said.

“I love being able to provide that for people. It’s a really cool experience on my end,” Brown said. “Music has been the language of the world since the world existed. Music just resonates and vibrates in your soul.”

He said it’s unfortunate to see a  lot of communities doing away with music programs in school systems since music is proven to spark parts of the brain that otherwise sparked just by listening to it, and even more so when actively performing music in some way.

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Brown said students do better in school when they’re participating in music and “I think that it needs to be out there, it’s so important.”

His friend Reis, who will be performing with him at Downtown Summer Jam on July 20, is a fellow combat veteran and was a child prodigy violinist.

Brown said that Reis has said he grew up learning the violin and it kept him out of trouble.

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“I don’t think people understand really how big music has an impact,” Brown said. “It makes your brain work in a different way that you don’t get anywhere else.”

Brown said adults talk to him about learning to play the guitar and he reminds them that it takes time to learn and their fingers “are gonna hurt.”

To this day, he said, when he’s feeling stressed or upset, that he picks up his guitar and plays and sings a song to himself.

“It just makes me feel better,” Brown said.

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The War Hippies side project started toward the end of last year on a whim, Brown said.

He said that he’d always wanted to do an acoustic sound and why don’t we try to do something together.

“We’re just trying to find ways to keep ourselves creative,” Brown said.

They’ve released a single and their next single is coming out Friday. They’ll release another single in August and the full album will drop as they prepare to tour with Travis Tritt and Chris Janson this fall.

They’re both combat vets but are both long haired, free spirited dudes, Brown said. He’s into meditation and natural remedies and prefers peace over war, he said.

But, they’ll fight when necessary, he said.

“You can have the peace pipe or the blade,” Brown said.

For those unfamiliar with their music, Brown said the Scooter Brown Band describe themselves as a rock band with a country problem. The War Hippies duo has its own sound.

Brown said the last time they performed in Great Falls, they went out with locals after the show and they try to get to know communities every where they go.

Especially when they’re out west, the Colorado native said, since “I’m a mountain soul.”