Dark Americana indie folk
Brown Bird brings a variety of influences
By Erica Febré firstname.lastname@example.org
Brown Bird, The Accident That Led Me to the World, The Vampires and The Low Anthem will bring folk to Eleven Eleven Nightclub in Manchester on Thursday, Sept. 13.
The evening is part of a regular night of original music presented every Thursday by Bird Bath Records.
Referring to themselves as a “dark Americana indie-folk” trio, Brown Bird is singer and songwriter David Lamb, from Boston, Mass., on vocals and guitar; cellist Jerusha Robinson, from Portland, Maine; and her husband Jeremy, a multi-instrumentalist on accordion, banjo, toy piano and slide-guitar (on recordings).
Brown Bird released their first full-length, Such Unrest, in April, which includes 12 original tracks. They’re also working on new materials for a second full-length release.
“Our music definitely has its roots in more of a folk structure, with the guitar and vocals — although maybe not just American folk; some of our influences include eastern European folk, with things like the banjo, a folk instrument and the accordion,” Jerusha said. “We’re just attracted to the different sounds that you can make with non-traditional instruments.”
Jerusha and Jeremy bring to Brown Bird a touch of harmonizing background vocals, while all the members help out with the handful of other percussion elements by multi-tasking.
“Our newer songs have more and more percussion, so we’ve found that it works for us to use our feet to add it all,” said Jerusha. “Like Dave uses a tong or a couple different pedals to do the tambourine or the cow bell. I’ll even put a jingle bell thing around my ankle and play it like that.”
While percussions and vast vocal harmonizing do a lot of the driving, the harmonizing between Jerusha on the cello and Jeremy on the accordion also pack some of the power. Jerusha said keeping a balance between all the instruments is done by only adding arrangements where needed.
“Each instrument kind of takes a turn backing up. But the accordion has quite a bit of lead on a few of our songs. A lot of people say that they love the way the accordion and the cello sound together,” Jerusha said.
Brown Bird is currently collaborating with Ron Harrity of Peapod Recordings in Portland on a project called The Map Room Sessions, described as a photo-book containing music recordings. Brown Bird spent about 48 hours improvising to develop music for the project. The Map Room Sessions is scheduled for a fall publish date.