In the past few years, Rhode Island has become a region of sound not to neglect. Amongst Deer Tick and Joe Fletcher & the Wrong Reasons, Providence duo Brown Bird saves American music—and then some. While their folk/blues sound situates this pair appropriately in the Newport Folk scene, Brown Bird’s eastern European elements separate them from contemporaries.
With simple foot-percussion, violin, cello and upright bass, Brown Bird held the attention of a sold-out New York crowd at Mercury Lounge last night for well over an hour after Joe Fletcher took the stage. Weaving in songs from 2011’s Salt for Salt as well as a few surprises from their upcoming new album, the band left New Yorkers wanting more. Luckily, they perform again tonight at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn.
NPR lauded Brown Bird’s Salt For Salt as their favorite folk album of 2011; their follow up, Fits of Reason (out April 2nd), continues to raise the bar. “We’re showing a little bit more of our international influences,” explains guitarist/percussionist/singer/songwriter David Lamb. “We’ve been listening to a lot of ’60s and ’70s psych-rock from around the world – Pakistan, Peru, Cambodia, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey.” Now on their sophomore album, Lamb plays electric guitar exclusively and Morgan Eve has taken up electric bass on several tracks.
After criss-crossing the continent for an extensive two-month tour, Brown Bird has established a national fanbase and rubbed elbows with other prominent musicians such as The Devil Makes Three, Yonder Mountain String Band, Trampled by Turtles and Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket). Although they will not be returning to this year’s Newport Folk Fest, the duo will head west and spread its wings for the California festival scene. Additional dates below.
2/13 – Knitting Factory (Brooklyn, NY)
2/23 – the Hibes (Oswego, NY)
3/9 – Common Fence Music (Portsmouth, RI)
4/28 – Stagecoach Country Music Festival (Bermuda Dunes, CA)
5/24 – Strawberry Music Festival (El Portal, CA)
5/24 – 27 – Sasquatch! Music Festival (George, WA)
6/2 – Nelsonville Festival (Nelsonville, OH)