Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet




Nick's Picks: 03 Mercury; 05 I'm Gone; 09 Closing Time; 11 Glory To Glory

FCC ALERT: "Squeaky Clean"

Review by Steven "Nick" Nickelson of Pieta Brown Mercury :

Pieta Brownt is a talented and focused folk artist, whose songwriting talents have garnered her mention in no less than The Wall Street Journal, as well as opportunities to perform in festivals throughout the US and a tour with Mark Knopfler (formerly of Dire Straits). Her singing style is similar to Gillian Welch, and almost as sexy. Her songwriting does, however, reflect her youthful take on life (“Be With You”, “I Want It Back”). Her bandmates bring an abundance of professionalism and technically musical savvy to the table – particularly the haunting tremelo from Bo Ramsey and Richard Bennett (“Closing Time”, ”So Many Miles”, and “Night All Day” are excellent examples). With a more assertive singing voice, she could be favorably compared to the inimitable (irony intended) Emmylou Harris (“Butterfly Blues”, “I Don't Mind” are just a couple on this release). The musical arrangements on this, her fifth full release, are as impressive as the songwriting, singing, and playing. And her backing band doesn't hold anythingy back. It seems that each and every song in this release is sung in the same key; however, the change-ups in the pace of the songs prevent the listener from becoming bored. And that's my two nickels' worth........................Nick


Pieta Brown is an American musician and singer-songwriter who has released four critically acclaimed albums and three EPs in the last decade. She has performed with artists such as Mark Knopfler, John Prine, Amos Lee and Calexico. Brown was born in Iowa City, Iowa in 1973, the daughter of two preachers' kids.[1] Her early upbringing in Iowa was in a rural outpost with no furnace or running water. There, Brown was exposed to traditional and rural folk music through her father, singer songwriter Greg Brown. Brown spent her childhood living in 17 different residences between Iowa and Alabama. While living with her mother in Alabama, Brown began writing poetry and composing instrumental songs on piano.[2] Collaborator Bo Ramsey produced her 2002 debut record, Pieta Brown and co-produced her 2005 album In the Cool which was named one of the year's best by Amazon.[3] Her next album Remember The Sun was released in 2007 and was cited as one of the year's best in a The Wall Street Journal article.[4] After the release of her next album, One and All, Brown joined Mark Knopfler’s North American tour, had a string of performance dates with John Prine, participated in a full orchestral show with Brandi Carlile, and embarked on her own performance tour in Australia. Brown's 2009 EP, Shimmer was produced by Don Was after he heard Brown performing solo and live on his car radio.[5] In addition to Mark Knopfler, John Prine and Brandi Carlile, Brown has shared stages with JJ Cale, Emmylou Harris, Ani DiFranco, Calexico, Neko Case, Mason Jennings, Shawn Mullins, Carrie Rodriguez and Jim Lauderdale. She has performed at festivals throughout North America including Bonnaroo, Mountain Jam (festival), Edmonton Folk Music Festival and more. Her national radio credits include performances on eTown (radio program) and Mountain Stage. Albums 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)[6] Pieta Brown – (Trailer Records, 2002) [edit]EPs Shimmer EP - (Red House Records, 2009) Flight Time EP - (T Records, 2008) I Never Told EP – (T Records, 2003)

The Musicians:

・ Pieta Brown – songwriter, vocals, acoustic guitar

・ Bo Ramsey – electric guitar, electric 12-string guitar, backing vocals

・ Richard Bennett – lapsteel, electric guitar, national resonator, bouzouki

・ Glenn Worf – electric and acoustic bass

・ Chad Cromwell – drums, percussion

・ David Mansfield – strings

・ Mark Knopfler – electric guitar (track 12)

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.