By Mark Fauser
Jessie Brown is an amazingly talented young lady with a terrific future ahead of her. She is easy to work with and takes direction about as good as anyone I’ve ever worked with.
I directed Jessie in a show called “Bells Are Ringing” with Burt Reynolds and the CSA family. Afterwards we became very good friends and pushed each other as artists to be the best that we can be. I have to say she inspired me greatly and I finished writing my new feature called Standby. I would like to think I inspired her too … not to just sing other people’s work but tell her own stories and “Write what you know”. Jessie accepted the challenge and put pen to paper and wrote this incredible touching true story about her father passing before she got to know him called “Picture Book”. The words are sad yet optimistic of what will one day be. I not only appreciate her daringness to expose a vulnerable side of her life but turn it into a cathartic experience that can inspire others. It is a true piece of Art! Jessie brilliantly writes the words, melody and chorus of “Picture Book” with such heart and her voice is angelic. When she and Deric first played it for me on the Guitar in their house I cried. Not only because of the story but how moving the entire piece is and her accomplishment of fully owning her art. Jessie and Deric later recorded the song and I loved it even more. The story not only resonates with me but I wanted to tell the story visually and pay homage to Jessie and her father. I challenged Deric Brown to come up with a cornfield, combine, barn, camera crew and various other things in a very short period of time on a shoestring budget. He did a fantastic job of pulling everything together and producing and Jessie delivers a powerful performance and is simply beautiful in the video. This process of a dream to fruition reminds me of a conversation I had many years ago with my old friend Sheryl Crow while she had just finished singing backup to Michael Jackson. It was about the importance of writing your own material and being in control of your destiny. It was shortly after that conversation that Sheryl hit the big time. We can only hope for that same success with my very good friend, neighbor and fellow artist … Jessie Brown.