Steven “Dandy” Brown is an Ohio native now based in Santa Rosa, CA. Most people on campus will know him merely as the manager that runs the beloved Lobo’s Pizza and Pub on campus, but he’s much more than just a manager. From performer, to producer, to teacher and now manager, Brown has held many titles, experienced life to the fullest, and inspires all he meets.
His musical journey has taken him to all corners of the world but it all began when his mother, a church organist, sat him down as a young boy and taught him hymns and gospels on their Wurlitzer organ. From then on his passion and love for music only grew. His family moved when he was about 13 and shortly after the move he befriended 2 neighbors who had a band that consisted of them on guitar and drums. They had a bass guitar lying around, Brown picked it up and was then introduced to a world of music that was unbeknown to him but would subsequently become one of his lifelong passions.
“My first formal band was with Greg Dulli, the guy who went on to form a band called the Afghan Whigs. Greg and I played in a band called the Black Republicans for a couple of years. After that, I bounced around in quite a few metal bands until forming a hard rock band called Dock Ellis. The band was signed to Capitol Records and provided me with the stake to open the recording studio that I operated for about a decade in Cincinnati” said Brown. After a few years of performing Brown started branching out in the music industry and used his prior experiences to open up SureTone Recording Studio in Clifton, Ohio in 1993. It was a very successful decision because throughout the 1990’s Brown engineered and produced albums for an innumerable amount of local and regional artists. While working at his recording studio, he met and got the opportunity to work with lots of a talented musicians.
After working on a heavy blues album, he met John Garcia and from there the band Hermano was formed soon after in 1998. They quickly picked up speed and finished recording their first album in 2002. They recorded four albums from 2002 to 2007. Following their 2002 album release, the band toured Europe and North America. They toured Europe once more in 2007 after their third album release. The band, while still active, performs less frequently in the present day, have been working on a new album but no release date has been announced.
Brown also founded an American desert rock band named “Orquesta del Desierto” in 2002. They released two albums from 2002 to 2003. The band dissolved in 2006 as the members split to pursue different artistic projects.
When asked what his favorite show has been Brown humbly replied, “Every show that I play is special to me. I’m just so lucky and thankful to be where I am. I have opened for and played alongside so many incredible artists from Black Sabbath to The Pixies.”
Brown has been working on some new material recently and new songs and music videos are set to release sometime this year with Taxi Driver Records which is based in Italy. This past summer Brown toured Western Italy for about two weeks with his partner Dawn Rich, a fellow Sonoma State student. Brown elaborated on his tour. “Back in March, in order to support my new album, my label, Taxi Driver Records, asked if I would come over to do a handful of shows to promote the release. The album title is “Scattered Days.” Since Dawn and I had been working on new music for the last year, we decided to put together a set that draws upon songs from my catalogue, along with new material that she and I have written over the last year. The tour was a huge success. We played in venues that have a capacity of anywhere from 100-200 people, and we played to packed houses every night” said Brown. They both agreed the it was an incredible experience and they had a wonderful time performing
Within the past year Brown relocated from Southern California up to Northern California where he now resides in Santa Rosa. He is currently running Lobo’s Pub on campus and is working on his Masters in Education. Brown shares his excitement about how his life is going at the moment. “I love being here at Sonoma State. I love the program here. I love my coworkers and colleagues, and I love the people and the atmosphere here” said Brown.