Pieta Brown — Paradise Outlaw
♠ Expanzivní? Plné lásky. Méně honk. Více tonk. Charakteristický, karamelový a krémový zpěv s těžkými víčky.
♠ Její psaní písní je zaměřeno na prchavé obrazy, s kultivovaným citovým obsahem dosahovaným přes arrangement a jasnou stavbu. Pokud hledáte ty příběhy písní, jaké nacházíme často v klasickém folku, tady to nebude. Ale pokud toužíte po emocionálních krajinách, promyšlených obrazech a dobře zahrané jemné akustice s příchutí elektrického vibráta, vaše uši si odpočinou při této verzi.
♠ Kdo jsou vaši songwriting hrdinové? Mám jich tolik. Někteří, co mi přicházejí na mysl okamžitě, jsou Loretta Lynn. Sonny Boy Williamson. Willie Dixon. Elizabeth Cotten. Tom Petty. Van Morrison. Neil Young. Billie Holiday. Bob Dylan. Chrissie Hynde. George Harrison. John Prine. Můj táta (Greg Brown). Jimi Hendrix. Tom Waits. Lucinda Williams. Mark Knopfler. Iris Dement. JJ Cale.
Location: Iowa City, Iowa, USA (1973)
Album release: SEPTEMBER 30TH 2014
Recorded: in just four days at Justin Vernon’s (of Bon Iver) April Base studio in Wisconsin
Record Label: Red House Records
01. Wondering How 3:08
02. Ricochet 2:47
03. Flowers Of Love 3:26
04. Do You Know? 3:00
05. No Not Me 4:18
06. Before Gas And TV 3:19
07. All My Rain 3:47
08. Little Swainson 2:55
09. Painter's Hands 3:25
10. Heading Home 3:43
11. Letter In Hand 3:52
12. Back To You 3:30
13. Receiver 3:28
14. Rise My Only Rose 4:36
◊ All tracks written by Pieta Brown except Do You Know: Pieta Brown / Amos Lee
♠ JT Bates Drums, Percussion
♠ Greg Brown Guitar (Acoustic)
♠ Pieta Brown Banjo, Composer, Guitars (Ac.+Resonator), Liner Notes, Photography, Piano (Electric), Producer, Vocal Harmony, Vocals, Wurlitzer
♠ BJ Burton Engineer, Mixing
♠ Richard Dodd Mastering
♠ Jon Penner Bass
♠ Mark Knopfler Composer, Quotation Author
♠ Amos Lee Composer, Duet, Vocals
♠ David Mansfield Mandolin, Pedal Steel, String Arrangements, Strings
♠ Bo Ramsey Guitar (Electric), Producer, Vocal Harmony
♠ Michael Rossetto Banjo, Electric Banjo, Guitar (Electric)
♠ John Svec Engineer
♠ Lucie Thorne Vocal Harmony
♠ Justin Vernon Vocal Harmony
♠ Mei–Ling Shaw Williams Cover Art, Design, Portrait Photography
•» "Paradise Outlaw was recorded in four days at Bon Iver mastermind Justin Vernon's April Base studio in Wisconsin with a supporting cast that includes Vernon, Amos Lee, Brown's troubadour father, Greg Brown and various members of an experimental group of players she calls the Sawdust Collective.
•» Paradise Outlaw boasts some of Pieta's most emotionally resonant compositions, and some of her most expressive performances, to date. Showcasing Brown's established strengths while staking out fresh new creative territory, Brown says of the songs, "On my last album, I was recording near Nashville with top–call studio musicians who I hadn't worked with before, and exploring the idea of craft and trying to hone in on more classic forms than I had previously."
•» She adds, “Paradise Outlaw came from a radically different place. I was thinking a lot about freedom, experimentation, poetry, folk songs, bending forms and voices. I also wrote and delivered half the songs on the banjo, which was completely new for me. Paradise Outlaw features twelve originals by Brown plus a co–write and duet with soulster Amos Lee ("Do You Know") and a cover of Mark Knopfler's "Before Gas And TV." Brown continues, "Growing up around many musicians and artists, often living on the fringe, I have always felt most at home among them. And that s where I made this recording. Surrounded by friends in an underground Mid–western goldmine.”” ♠ Greg Brown, special guest
Review by Thom Jurek | Score: ****
•» The one constant in Pieta Brown's recordings is change. The throaty modern folk of her self–titled debut in 2003 shifted eventually to the rockist edges for 2007's Remember the Sun, which in turn gave way to the nearly raw gracefulness of Shimmer in 2009 and the crisp, loose Americana of 2011's Mercury.
•» Everything in her sound world has traveled an eternally widening path. Brown's Paradise Outlaw shifts focus yet again; her vocals are softer, the music less insistent. Likewise, her writing has become more economical. Each syllable carries weight in the grain of her delivery. The set was recorded over four days at Justin Vernon's studio in Wisconsin. Brown's (and Bo Ramsey's) production is warm, rounded, and fluid. "Wondering How," with its short yet weighty lines, is introduced by her voice and acoustic guitar. As Ramsey's trademark, spidery, electric guitar lines paint the edges, her banjo answers haltingly just as her voice relays the terrible wonder in her lyric: "How do I start over again/When this/Isn't even over yet…" Vernon's lithe, breezy harmony underscores the poetic mystery in "Ricochet"; Brown's lyric is discovered by her voice as she delivers the words. It is Ramsey's guitar that bridges them. Vernon also assists on "Flowers of Love," with Brown's slippery banjo amid hi–hats, tambourines, and watery, reverbed electric guitars. Amos Lee's duet with Brown on "Do You Know" is a rootsy little groover illustrated by rhythm and blues and pre–1964 rock & roll. The contrast between her smoky contralto and his gruff yet gentle baritone is striking yet perfectly balanced. David Mansfield's string arrangement adds dimension and color. The ghostly version of Mark Knopfler's "Gas and TV" is led by her minor–key banjo, and Greg Brown's strummed, acoustic guitar is answered by wafting cello and Ramsey's tasteful blues playing. "Letter in Hand" is a folk–blues carried by the banjo, extended by distorted, dark guitar lines, whispering snare, and bassy kick drum. "Receiver" is a love song that loops through modern folk and Americana with Mansfield's pedal steel and Ramsey's guitars, framing the songwriter's open, unflinching lyric. Her speaking subject owns a devotion fearless in its resolve and direct in its inquiry.
•» Brown, through a vocally even-tempered presentation, creates ample space for the listener to insert herself into the words of all these songs. Paradise Outlaw stands out among Brown's recordings for its intimacy, musical generosity, and the restlessness of its vision. :: http://www.allmusic.com/
Written by Hal Horowitz | September 30th, 2014 at 8:54 am | Score: 4/ 5
♠ The words “ethereal” and “banjo” aren’t often used in the same sentence. The dichotomy of those two almost seems like an oxymoron. But on this, Pieta Brown’s sixth release, banjo becomes a key element of the stripped down to almost nothing, atmospheric sound. Brown, the daughter of veteran folk singer Greg Brown (who guests on one track here), has always favored a less–is–more style and seems to have consciously pared the instrumentation back to wispy drums, murmuring banjo, softly strummed guitar and her distinctive, heavy–lidded caramel and cream vocals.
Recorded in four days with seemingly few overdubs at Justin Vernon’s (Bon Iver) Wisconsin studios, these 14 tracks flow seamlessly together, tied by not only Brown’s hypnotic singing, but husband/guitarist/co–producer Bo Ramsey’s sinuous, heavily reverbed, ever-present guitar leads. They underpin and propel these understated performances with subtle grace. The album’s name is borrowed from the title of a book of photographs and essays about “the Beats” and Brown explains how she shares a similar affiliation with these 60s writers and poets whose view of art was “unelitist, anti–hierarchical and egalitarian.” That may be a handful to absorb but the album that stems from those concepts is a lovely, thought provoking and dream enhancing experience.
♠ It is front loaded with its most catchy material, including “Do You Know?” a pop leaning ditty assisted by a surprise appearance from Amos Lee whose grainy vocals trade verses with Brown’s more fluid style yielding the album’s most accessible and arguably finest moment. The rest of the disc stays on lower boil with Brown’s succulent, sexy voice slurring what seem to be stream of consciousness words like another instrument, as her subtly plucked banjo brings earthly delights to this garden of low-–ey pleasures.
♠ At 51 minutes, an argument could be made that paring a few tunes off the set list might have made this a stronger, less similar sounding listening experience. Still, Pieta Brown is a major talent whose songs reveal themselves with unhurried creativity. Her artistry combines folk, country and dusky swamp in a graceful, supple and elegant genre of their own. :: http://www.americansongwriter.com/ © Bo Ramsey & Pieta Brown
Written by Emily Williams July 14th, 2014 at 8:00 am
♠ Pieta Brown is no stranger to superstar collaborations. She’s toured with Mark Knopfler and shared the stage with John Prine, Brandi Carlisle, JJ Cale, Emmylou Harris and Amos Lee, just to name a few. The daughter of folk singer Greg Brown is set to release her 6th studio album, Paradise Outlaw, (recorded over four days at Justin Vernon’s Wisconsin studio — the Bon Iver frontman contributes vocals on a few songs) this September. She spoke with American Songwriter about why she enjoys duets, “letting songs in,” blending poetry into folk songs and more.
How would you describe Paradise Outlaw?
♠ Expansive? Full of love.
How would you compare it to your last album?
♠ Less honk…more tonk! More experimental than my last album. I made this album with players that I have played with live quite a bit. Although the recording session was the first time I had all the players together as a collective. So there were some strong unspoken connections going on. The sound of the album has a lot to do with that room, the players and the engineer, BJ Burton.
♠ On my last album, Mercury, I was challenging myself to pay more attention to the “craft” of songwriting than I have in the past. On this new album that was the last thing on my mind. I was thinking a lot about bending forms. I was thinking a lot about poetry, folk songs, freedom, and exploration.
Why did you include a cover of Mark Knopfler’s “Before Gas And TV?”
♠ I have been a fan of Mark Knopfler’s music and songs since I was a girl. I used to roller-–kate around our apartment complex in Birmingham, Alabama blasting Dire Straits on my headphones. When I did the North American “Get Lucky Tour” with Mark and his band in 2010 I got a copy of Get Lucky and fell in love with that song. There are a lot of songs as a songwriter and a singer that I love that I would never try to “cover” or record…but this one really let me in. The melody line is strong, but open and it has that vibrant yet ancient thing. Also, I grew up without a television. And I grew up around a lot of musicians and artists living on the fringe…passing around their guitars…and when I sing this song I feel all that.
How’d you end up co–writing with Amos Lee?
♠ I wrote the melody and the first 3 verses of the song Do You Know in my head, staring out the window, riding shotgun heading out east on I–80 to open a string of shows for Amos. When we were out on the road, I told Amos that I had started this song that I thought he might need to finish. But we never got there. About a year later I was getting ready to go into the studio and I was still thinking about trying to record that song, and I randomly got a really sweet message from Amos one day. I replied and told him right away that I was getting ready to go into the studio and I asked him would he want to hear this song I still couldn’t finish and try recording it as a duet with me and he said yes. I sent him a rough sketch/demo of the song and the next day he sent me back that last verse. And Do You Know got a heartbeat. And was recorded shortly after.
What’s Justin Vernon like to work with?
♠ Fun. Musical. Sweet. Experimental. A pleasure.
What’s one thing you learned about songwriting from your father?
♠ How about three things that I learned indirectly about songwriting from my father? ♠ To listen very closely. To make sure to include having fun in writing songs. Songs are meant to be shared.
How often do you play for fun, just for yourself? What sort of stuff do you play when you do?
♠ Very often. All kinds of stuff. I work on my own songs. I learn other people’s songs. ♠ I play a lot of slide guitar at home.
How did you learn how to play guitar?
♠ I taught myself…or the guitars taught me. I grew up around a lot of music and guitars. So once I finally picked up a guitar, it was a bit like breathing. Felt very natural, though I knew absolutely nothing about the technical side of it. I just listened…and followed what sounded right to me. I first tuned the guitar to what sounded good to my ear, which I found out later was an open D minor tuning. Eventually I got a chord chart and learned some chords in standard tuning. And I’ve been experimenting ever since.
Who are your songwriting heroes?
♠ I have so many. Some that come to mind right away are Loretta Lynn. Sonny Boy Williamson. Willie Dixon. Elizabeth Cotten. Tom Petty. Van Morrison. Neil Young. Billie Holiday. Bob Dylan. Chrissie Hynde. George Harrison. John Prine. My dad. Jimi Hendrix. Tom Waits. Lucinda Williams. Mark Knopfler. Iris Dement. JJ Cale.
What was the first song you ever wrote? Tell us about it.
♠ The first song I remember writing was when I was three. Certain family members still sing it…it has its own little melody and stars a man that goes up the stairs and down the stairs and plays tricks on other people in his house and ends up in the bathtub.
What’s the last song you wrote or started?
♠ I just wrote a song the other day called “In The Rain.”
What’s the best song you ever wrote?
♠ I wouldn’t trust my judgement — and that’s not a title…but maybe it will be someday?
How do you go about writing songs?
♠ I hang around with my instruments.
What is your approach to writing lyrics?
♠ I don’t have one beyond the “open” thing…staying as open as I can..and making space to be alone when I feel that song thing coming on…writing songs, or letting songs in as I like to call it, is such a natural part of my response to the world that I rarely think about it.
What sort of things inspire you to write?
♠ I consider anything fair game. As I mentioned it’s really a response to this world we’re living in for me…a life-line, so to speak…a vice.
What’s a song on Paradise Outlaw you’re particularly proud of and why?
♠ I’m particularly proud of the song “Do You Know” (the duet with Amos Lee). I’ve always enjoyed duets because they have an inherent fun factor, whatever the subject…and Do You Know is my first official duet composition. So I feel proud of that. ♠ And honestly I’m very proud of every song that made it on Paradise Outlaw.
Do you ever do any other kinds of writing?
♠ I write in my notebook a lot…rambles and poems and letters mostly.
If you could co–write with anyone living or dead, who would it be?
♠ John Prine? Ringo Starr? That sounds fun!
What do you consider to be the perfect song, and why?
♠ So many perfect songs. “You Are My Sunshine” comes to mind. Anyone can sing it and people can sing it together. And any song that makes people feel like dancing is a contender in my book. :: http://www.americansongwriter.com/
Also: By Youa Vang Wed. | Oct. 8 2014 at 3:00 AM
By Nathan Emerson | September 21, 2014
:: http://www.livegigshots.com/pieta-brown-paradise-outlaw-album-review/ © ♠ Pieta Brown, P.M. Buys, Schubas, Folk & Country, Chicago Reader. Press Photo Pieta Brown Mei–Ling Shaw Williams
PRAISE FOR PIETA
~ "Pieta is a major talent whose songs reveal themselves with unhurried creativity. Her artistry combines folk, country and dusky swamp in a graceful, supple and elegant genre of their own." — American Songwriter
~ "It's not only one of the best folk discs in recent memory, but it's also an album so singular in style that it may indeed raise the bar for all who follow in her wake." — BLURT Magazine
~ "Self–styled poetess, folk goddess and country waif, Pieta's music resonates with a seductive simplicity and lyrical grace." — BBC
~ "...moody, ethereal...I will listen...over and over again." — NPR's All Songs Considered
~ "...a dreamy wandering into the heart and soul of uniquely American music. Highly recommended." — Direct Current
~ "(an) artist with vision, intensity, and the talent to combine them into compelling music." — Amazon.com
~ " She has that kind of voice...intimate, raw, enveloping." — Chicago Reader
~ "...a style and a sensuality that’s all her own...." — Pop Matters
~ "One of the best poets I've heard in a long damn time." — Iris Dement
~ “...luminescent atmospheres and shimmering production.” — All Music Guide
~ “Among the top tier of songwriters today...” — FAME (Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange)
~ “...every listen reveals something new and worthwhile.” — Vintage Guitar
~ “ When Pieta sings you're aware of something natural, like rain on earth.” — Mark Knopfler
~ “… a masterful, satisfying circus of sounds…” — Omaha Reader
~ “...sultry vocals and bright, poignant lyrics” — FolkWax
~ “...a gifted singer-songwriter whose lyrics are pieces of polished poetry” — Huffington Post
~ “Driven by her mercurial voice against a backdrop of twangy folk and country rock, her latest proves that less really is more” — Boston Globe
~ “...gentle swing mixing with swagger as perfectly as beer and chasers.” — Q magazine
PIETA BROWN PARADISE OUTLAW
♠ "There's a lot of love in this album," Pieta Brown says of Paradise Outlaw, her sixth album and fourth Red House release.
♠ "There's a lot of love in the songs and a lot of love in the way it was recorded, and hopefully that comes through.” The level of emotional engagement that Brown routinely brings to her work is evident throughout Paradise Outlaw. The self–produced 14–song set fully embodies the qualities that have already established the iconoclastic singer-songwriter as a fiercely individual musical force. Recorded at Bon Iver mastermind Justin Vernon's April Base studio in Wisconsin, with a supporting cast that includes Vernon, Amos Lee and Brown's father, legendary troubadour Greg Brown, Paradise Outlaw boasts some of Pieta's most emotionally resonant compositions, and some of her most expressive performances, to date. Such gently intoxicating tunes as "Do You Know," "Wondering How," "Ricochet" and "Flowers of Love" feature organically orchestrated arrangements that accentuate the insight and intimacy of Brown's lyrics, the understated craftsmanship of her tunes, and the alluring immediacy of her uniquely expressive voice. Although the Alabama–bred, Iowa–based Brown's quietly riveting tunes and gritty, charismatic performing style resist easy categorization, they've helped her to win a fiercely loyal international fan base that extends to many of her fellow artists. "When Pieta sings you're aware of something effortless and natural, like rain on earth," Mark Knopfler observed, while Don Was called her "a great singer-songwriter who possesses major star–power magnetism," and Iris DeMent described her as "the best poet I've heard in a long damn time." Paradise Outlaw showcases Brown's established strengths while staking out fresh new creative territory. "On my last album Mercury, I was recording near Nashville with top–call studio musicians who I hadn't worked with before, and was exploring the idea of craft and trying to hone in on more classic forms than I had previously," she explains, adding, ♠ “Paradise Outlaw came from a radically different place. I was thinking a lot about freedom, experimentation, poetry, folk songs, bending forms and voices. I also wrote and delivered half the songs on the banjo, which was completely new for me.” The project was set into motion in mid-2012, when Brown met Justin Vernon while both were on tour in Australia. As she recalls, "The initial spark for this quest was when the songs 'Painter's Hands' and 'Rise My Only Rose'— both of which I wrote before I ever made my first album—fell out of a notebook onto the floor in a hotel room and landed next to the copy of Howl by Allen Ginsberg that I'd happened to bring out on the road. Later that night, I met Justin and he told me about his studio, and it just rolled from there. It was a fun track to follow, and one link running through it all was this spark that I caught from re–reading a lot of beat poetry, especially Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and thinking about that feverish hunt for freedom, as a human." Recording in the comfortable environment of April Base, Pieta was joined by a colorful supporting cast that included co–producer and guitarist Bo Ramsey (also the artist's husband) and members of her touring band, as well as guest vocalists Justin Vernon and Amos Lee (who co–wrote and sings a duet vocal on "Do You Know"), as well as legendary multi–instrumentalist David Mansfield, who provides pedal steel, mandolin and string arrangements on the heart–tugging instrumental "Little Swainson," and Pieta's dad Greg Brown, who adds acoustic guitar on her distinctive reading of Mark Knopfler's "Before Gas and TV. The sessions emphasized inspiration and spontaneity, capturing the soulful interaction of a group of like–minded musicians in a big, warm–sounding room. "April Base and the players had a lot to do with the way the album sounds and feels," states Brown, who played piano, banjo and various guitars on the session. "I went to check out the studio before we recorded there, and I knew immediately it was the perfect place. I dug the room, and I loved the land there.
♠ I was also really comfortable with the engineer, B.J. Burton, who was really creative and open to different ways of doing things. There were a lot of unspoken connections going on, which to me is what a lot of great music is about. "We recorded live, in just a few days, with everyone in one big room, and what you hear on the recording is the way the music went down as it was recorded," she continues. ♠ "Growing up around a lot of musicians and artists, I have always felt most at home among them. And that's how I made this recording — surrounded by friends in an underground midwestern goldmine." The creative restlessness that drives Paradise Outlaw has been a constant in Pieta Brown's life. Born in Iowa, she lived in at least 17 different residences in multiple states during her youth. Her parents separated when she was two, but she grew up surrounded by artists and musicians, absorbing all manner of bohemian artistic influences. By the age of eight, she was writing poetry and instrumental music on the piano, eventually picking up the guitar and merging the two into songs. "Songwriting feels like home to me," she asserts. "I love songs because at any given moment they can do any number of things — make me feel better, transport me for a bit, open my mind, open my heart, articulate some wild thing I'm experiencing in a way that talking about it can't. It's a lifeline for me, and luckily it's always hanging around. One lifetime won't be enough for all the realms I want to explore. I’m experimental by nature and an explorer at heart, and that's what keeps me chasing the songs." With Paradise Outlaw documenting a compelling new chapter of her ongoing musical journey, Pieta Brown continues to seek out and conquer new creative challenges. As Pieta puts it in the album's dedication, "In the preface to a super cool book of photographs of the Beats called Paradise Outlaws, John Tytell says it well: 'The notion of paradise may be one of our ultimate fictions, but it still motivates action in the world. While the way the Beats saw the world made them outlaws, they also shared... a view of art that was unelitist, anti–hierarchical, egalitarian.' That makes a lot of sense to me. I feel like my songs come from the same beat streets and off–kilter countrysides, and the same worlds where peace, love and freedom will always be worth exploring. So to all my fellow paradise outlaws, thank you for the hopeful illusions, the grit, the grace... and above all, the songs and music that carry me through."
♠ Mercury — (Red House Records, 2011)
♠ One and All — (Red House Records, 2010)
♠ Remember the Sun — (One Little Indian, 2007)
♠ In the Cool — (Valley Entertainment, 2005)
Pieta Brown — (Trailer Records, 2002)
♠ Shimmer EP — (Red House Records, 2009)
♠ Flight Time EP — (T Records, 2008)
♠ I Never Told EP — (T Records, 2003)
♠ Dirt Road Blues — from the album A Nod to Bob 2 (Red House Records, 2011)
♠ King Of My Heart — from the album Think Out Loud. (Ezekiel Records, 2010)
♠ Birds — from the album Before The Goldrush: A Project to Benefit Teach For America (2008)
♠ This Land Is Your Land featuring Calexico (2007)
♠ Spell of Wheels —
Special Guest Appearances:
♠ Mission Bell, Amos Lee — (Blue Note, 2011)
♠ Carried to Dust, Calexico — (Quarterstick Records, 2008)