Pieta Brown

  • Friday, Jan. 15, 2016

    singer-songwriter

    Pieta Brown

    1060 Cerrillos Rd., Santa Fe
    James A. Little Theater
    7:30

Self-styled poetess, folk goddess and country waif, Pieta’s music resonates with a seductive simplicity and lyrical grace.  — BBC

Alabama-bred, Iowa-based Pieta Brown will open Iris DeMent’s Santa Fe show. Brown’s quietly riveting tunes and gritty, charismatic performing style resist easy categorization. DeMent describes her as “the best poet I’ve heard in a long damn time,” and Mark Knopfler observes: “When Pieta sings you’re aware of something effortless and natural, like rain on earth.” Born in Iowa, the daughter of singer-songwriter Greg Brown, Pieta moved 17 times during her youth. Her parents separated when she was two, but she grew up surrounded by artists and musicians, absorbing all manner of bohemian artistic influences. By age eight, she was writing poetry and instrumental music on the piano, eventually picking up the guitar and merging the two into songs. “Songwriting feels like home to me,” she says. “I’m experimental by nature and an explorer at heart, and that’s what keeps me chasing the songs.”

Brown’s sixth album, Paradise Outlaw, was recorded at Bon Iver mastermind Justin Vernon’s April Base studio in Wisconsin, with a supporting cast that includes Vernon, Amos Lee, Greg Brown, and husband Bo Ramsey. The record boasts some of Pieta’s most emotionally expressive performances. “I was thinking a lot about freedom, experimentation, poetry, folk songs, bending forms and voices,” she says. “I also wrote and delivered half the songs on the banjo, which was completely new for me…. One link running through it all was this spark that I caught from re-reading a lot of beat poetry, especially Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and thinking about that feverish hunt for freedom.”

7:00 DOORS, 7:30-8:00 PIETA BROWN8:15-9:30 IRIS DEMENT
GA $35, First 4 rows $49. 800-838-3006 or GET TICKETS ONLINE
James A. Little Theater, 1060 Cerrillos Rd., Santa Fe, NM