Pieta Brown - In The Cool
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In The Cool (Valley Entertainment, 2005)

Pieta Brown

Reviewed by Brian Steinberg

"These days / I turn the radio on," sings Pieta Brown on her new album, "and it's just one clear channel playing the same songs / but those lonesome songs weren't meant for radio / they live in a room that's warm and full." So goes a cute little joke (the reference to a "clear channel" is too pointed to be casual) on "In The Cool," a disc filled with so-called "lonesome songs" about love and memories from a budding folk singer.

Brown, daughter of Greg Brown, has an open-air voice that brings Edie Brickell to mind, except that her elliptical lyrics are married to blues or folk settings, courtesy of a crack band that includes producer/guitarist Bo Ramsey and organist Kevin McKendree. The musical settings often make the songs, despite a certain vagueness in the lyrics that can leave a listener wanting just a smidgen more detail about some of the wistful thinkers to whom Brown gives voice. The lead track, "#807" is filled with mystery while "Fourth of July" (not the Dave Alvin song) conjures up memories of romantic interludes and humid nights - without getting too steamy.

Brown hasn't risen to the top of her powers yet, but she gives an inkling of them.

CDs by Pieta Brown

Freeway, 2019 Paradise Outlaw, 2014 Mercury, 2011 Shimmer, 2009 Remember the Sun, 2007

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