Born: September 29, 1948
Died: June 22, 2018
Photo credit: Bill Steber – www.steberphoto.com
Originally from Brookhaven, Mississippi, Virgil “Big Juv” Brawley has been playing over 40 years. He started playing in a rock band in the mid to late sixties, and then enlisted in the army. After a tour of Vietnam, he came home and started mixing sound for several road bands and during this time enrolled in college where he studied film and television, creative writing. After graduating, he then moved to Texas, got married, raised a son and trained horses. Virgil is a Renaissance man with a storied past as a decorated Army sniper, a carpenter, a butcher and a horse whisperer. Brawley has been playing the blues ever since he was able to pick at the guitar strings. His life can be heard in his albums: Golden Hearts, Live From Mercury Room, Mojo Burning, and Bottle Tree. In his earthy, jazzy blues, you can almost hear his days of carpentry, butchering deer and training horses. In the early nineties, he started working in bands again and moved back to Mississippi in 1996. He appeared in the TV movie “The Last of the Mississippi Jukes” filmed at the famous Subway Lounge. He also wrote three songs for the movie “Oh, Mr. Faulkner Do You Write?” A plaster bust of his face is on permanent display at Delta State University along with many other noted blues men in a series entitled “Cast of Blues” by Sharon McConnell-Dickerson. After releasing 3 CDs with his band, The Juvenators, which he formed in 1997 in the last decade, he recorded a solo album, “Bottle Tree” in 2009. With influences such as Freddy King, T-Bone Walker, Duane Allman and Steve Blailock, the Juvenators have growing body of pure-form original material. Virgil is featured on vocals, slide, dobro and guitar.