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Pieta Brown

A Conversation with Pieta Brown (continued)

PM: Remember the Sun, that's another lovely record you've got here.

PB: Thank you.

PM: It's really a signature recording, and there are some really, really great songs on there, and superb playing. I would imagine that's going over very well, because it's really classic Pieta music.

PB: I'm really happy about the record for sure. I feel really good about the record.

PM: How has the airplay been? Are they getting on to it? It's a pretty new release.

PB: It just came out on Tuesday. So yeah, I'm not quite sure, but I know there's been some support from some of the bigger NPR stations, and it looks like All Things Considered might review the record. And then my friend out in L.A. called me and said, "Hey, I just heard your song on KCRW."

PM: Oh, wow.

PB: So there's some support. It's kind of early. And I'm so busy with the other things, I can't keep up with things like airplay and various other career details, unfortunately.

PM: Oh, yeah, the road is completely all consuming, just being on the road. Tell me about One Little Indian. Who is that label? Is that you, or is that somebody else?

PB: No, that's a label that was started in the UK, actually, by a guy named Derek Birkett, who was an old punk rocker, and he started a label I don't know how long ago. But Bjork is on that label in the UK. It's just very eclectic. And then this woman named Celia Hirschman kind of got on board to do a little US version of the One Little Indian. So I think it's a pretty small, and she's based out of San Francisco, I believe. So it's kind of an eclectic, small indie label.

PM: Sonically, on this record, between the tremolo of the guitars and the purring of the Wurlitzer there's this pulsing, like waves, that really seems to set the whole record up. I'm really enjoying that ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah, through the record, between the Wurly and the tremolo. It's part of the magic.

PB: Yeah, I'm a big fan of the Wurlitzer piano. And I played tremolo on a couple guitars, I think. I'm not sure I was thinking of that consciously or anything, though.

PM: Yeah, to me it just kind of comes on you in beautiful waves. I really love the composing on this record. "Rolling Down the Track," for instance, which is a very folk rock tune, has a very unpredictable bridge--

PB: Uh-huh.

PM: --that turned out so nicely in the studio. And you continue to evolve as a songwriter remarkably.

PB: Well, thanks. I hope I always do that.

PM: It's funny that I call it folk rock, since they call it Americana today, which sometimes seems an absurdly nationalistic name when so many Canadians do it better than we do, for instance.


PB: Yeah.

David Mansfield

PM: I really like David Mansfield on the violin and viola.

PB: Oh, man, he's something.

PM: Remarkably transparent but, at the same time, indelible.

PB: Yeah. I knew I wanted strings on that record, and I definitely had kind of a folk rock sonic vision in my mind. So when I started talking to Bo about my different ideas he said, "I know the guy to call for strings." And he called David Mansfield up, and away we went, and it was great. David knocks me out. And then actually I got to do a show in New York City--I guess it was a couple weeks ago now, it might have been two and a half or three weeks ago--and he came down and sat in. It was just me and David.

PM: Wow. Where was that show?

PB: It was at the Bowery Ballroom.

PM: Oh, that's such a nice room.

PB: It is a nice room. So that was fun to play with him live, too. It's such a different deal to play live than to play in the studio.

PM: What kind of a man is he? What's he like as a person?

PB: He's got a little air of mystery about him, which I really like.

PM: Really?

PB: Yeah.

PM: Is he a big guy or a little guy? I don't think I've seen pictures of Mansfield before.

PB: He's--he's--I guess I didn't really pay attention.

PM: [laughs] See how you are. That's interesting.

[To find out more about composer & multi-instrumentalist David Mansfield, visit david-mansfield.com]



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