Monday, June 8, 2009

Mr. Brown you've got a lovely daughter

Some things have changed I think
Fashions, names, the latest drink
Some things have changed for sure
Divorce and pills are commonplace
Computers are running the human race
And walking is just a waste of time
In my mind I was talkin' to Loretta...

I had been preparing for some time to give Pieta Brown's 2002 self-titled debut album a PSSST! and then, in my mind, I started talking to Loretta. Spending time with her 2007 release "Remember the Sun'' on One Little Indian Records, well, created a quandary of sorts.

(This in no way is dismissive of the two albums she released in between, which are reliable guideposts in tracking her growth and evolution as a singer and songwriter.)

Pick up any CD -- whether you have one or need to track one down -- and start listening. "Remember the Sun'' might be the easiest to get your hands on. Although Brown can kick it up a notch with rockin'-down-the-highway numbers like "Sonic Boom,'' it is her honey-dew delivery on gentler songs like "Innocent Blue'' and "In My Mind I Was Talkin' to Loretta'' that allows you to wrap yourself around the thoughtful lyrics.

I first heard her on Redhouse Records' "Going Driftless: A Tribute to Greg Brown'', singing with sisters Zoe and Consti. Then, not long after hearing her debut album, I had the chance to see her perform at another one of those memorable 400 Bar engagements in Minneapolis (man, I miss that place.) I was hooked, but good.

Her daddy, of course, is Midwestern songwriter and balladeer Greg Brown. Although Pieta didn't start following in those considerable footprints until she was a young adult, she is catching up quickly. Comparisons to Lucinda Williams and early Rickie Lee Jones are as complimentary as they are inevitable, and it certainly doesn't hurt to have Bo Ramsey playing guitar and producing for you.

But give full credit to the girl from "Middle of nowhere, Iowa'', as it reads on her MySpace page. She has a gorgeous voice and a poetic vision that keeps revealing itself in rich lyrical ways. As good as she is, you can't help but believe the best is yet to come. But we aren't going to wait a minute longer to make her a Personal Six String Sanctuary Tout.

According to Brown's web page she has assembled a new band, Dream #9, that will begin playing this week at the Redstone Room in Davenport. (Ramsey is still on lead guitar). Click here for her tour schedule, and catch her if you can.

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