There’s No Peace, There’s No Rest: A Brown Bird Preview
Earlier this year, my wife and I were lucky enough to travel to Rhode Island for the Newport Folk Festival. As with most festivals we’ve attended, there were bands on the lineup that we were not familiar with. What we didn’t expect was to come home completely enamored by those unknown-to-us bands, but that’s exactly what happened.
One of those bands is Brown Bird. Consisting of just two people, David Lamb and MorganEve Swain, Brown Bird pulls their influence from a variety of traditional genres, but their haunted sound is their own. Dark lyrics tell the stories of struggle and hard labor, of a life that’s not easy but rewarding. Lamb’s drum kicks and banjo plucks combined with Swain’s thumping upright bass will induce a foot stomping jig for those listening. Strong vocals and gorgeous harmonies from both will have you hanging on every word of those dark stories.
Ahead of their November 8th show at the Duck Room with Devil Makes Three (another stand out from the Newport Folk Festival), I had the extreme pleasure of a short Q&A with the band:
My first time hearing Brown Bird play live was at Newport Folk Festival this past summer and my fingers have been crossed for a St. Louis show ever since. Will this be your first time playing here?
This will be our first St. Louis show. Growing up in Southern Illinois I spent quite a bit of time there so it’ll be great to come back to see the city as an adult and to play music there for the first time.
The Sound of Ghosts and the recently released LP Salt for Salt seem to carry more energy compared to the previous albums. Was that a focused effort or did that happen naturally after trimming down to a duo?
We did set out to try and capture more of the energy that has been evolving in our music and live shows with these recent releases. We recorded them live in the studio with very minimal overdubs so that what you’re hearing on them is a lot like what you’ll hear at the live shows.
St. Louis knows and loves Deer Tick and The Low Anthem, both based out of Rhode Island. It seems like the music community up there would be fairly tight knit, is that the case?
The music community in the Providence area is pretty tight knit. There’s a very diverse array of really great bands there right now and you’ll find a good deal of collaboration and guest musicians showing up here and there. The other great part about the music scene there is that people go out and support bands of all different genres so you’ll see a lot of cross over from fans of noise, metal, indie and Americana bands out at lots of shows.
Brown Bird is opening for Devil Makes Three at the Duck Room this Tuesday (November 8th). I’ll be the one up front with the perma-grin.
Brown Bird was recently featured as the cover story for Performer Magazine.
Pop Matters reviewed Brown Bird’s latest album, Salt for Salt.