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One thing I really love about local bands is that they’re excited to come home. They always just seem so glad to be playing to an audience who knows and loves them as a hometown band. Now, Brown Bird is from just across the state border in Providence, but when they played at Great Scott on the 22nd (with two even more local bands, Coyote Kolb and Red Heroine–formerly Mr. Sister–both of Boston) they played like they belonged there on that stage, with unstifled enthusiasm and an unapologetic power. David Lamb, who plays guitar, banjo, percussion, and sings, was going so hard he sweated out the inputs on two different guitars. Morganeve Swain rocked out more than I’ve ever seen anyone on an upright bass (and fiddle…and cello…and she also sings), and the overall effect was excellent.
I don’t really think I need to say much; they pretty much speak for themselves. You know how I’m all about melody and lyrics, and Brown Bird pretty much nails it.
“Bilgewater,” from their EP The Sound of Ghosts, and off their upcoming Salt for Salt: Rhythmic and smooth, but also builds up in a way that makes you kind of just have to move with it. Also, Swain’s background repetition is so perfect it seems as though it’s just organically coming out of the song.
“Cast No Shadow,” also also off TSoG and Salt for Salt: Swain’s genius with a fiddle, Lamb’s deft manipulation of multiple percussives, and their layered vocals totally remind me of the Charlie Daniels Band’s “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”. And I mean that in a really good way.
I’m excited for their new album. A lot of the new material they played at the show seemed to have a foreign traditional folk character, with a sort of rhythmic precision. And maybe they took a trip to Spain, because there’s also a lot of Spanish influence, especially in the guitar.
Salt for Salt, out October 18th. I’ve already pre-ordered…have you?
Back next Tuesday with The Head and the Heart!