Singer/songwriter Pieta Brown, daughter of Grammy-nominated folk musician Greg Brown, released her self-titled debut album on Iowa independent label Trailerpark Records in June 2002. With her languid delivery and ethereal style, the versatile singer built an impressive career both in the studio and on-stage.
A native of Iowa City, Brown spent her formative years splitting time between her mother's house in Alabama and her father's back in Iowa. Although music was a key component of her youth, Brown's songwriting career didn't begin in earnest until she was in her mid-twenties. The songs that would soon comprise her debut album were written in a small shed in her father's backyard and first issued on a homemade cassette. Her debut was co-produced with Bo Ramsey, a longtime collaborator of her father's who had also served as a producer and guitarist for Lucinda Williams on Essence. Helping out on the effort were the rhythm section of Rick Cicalo and Steve Hayes, Brown's sister Constie, her father Greg Brown, veteran folkie Dave Moore, and Don Heffington.
In 2005, she recorded In the Cool with Ramsey, whom she would later marry, once again in the co-producer's seat. The album reached far and wide and received airplay on Americana radio. Brown signed briefly to One Little Indian, where she recorded and released the acclaimed Remember the Sun in 2007.
Two years later, Brown signed with venerable folk label Red House, longtime home to her father's recordings. One & All, her debut for the label, appeared in 2010, followed quickly by 2011's Mercury. Both were well-received not only by listeners but also by musicians: she opened gigs for everyone from Mark Knopfler and Mavis Staples to J.J. Cale, Ani DiFranco, and Calexico, and made vocal appearances on two of the latter's alums, Algiers and Carried to Dust. In 2012, Brown guested on Amos Lee's Mission Bell. She resumed recording in early 2014 with Ramsey and a slew of guests including her father, Lee, and David Mansfield. They cut Paradise Outlaw at Justin Vernon's April Base studio in Wisconsin (he also appears on the recording). It was issued in late September. Her sixth album, 2017's Postcards, featured a collaboration with a different artist on each song and included guest appearances from Mark Knopfler, Calexico, and the Pines. ~ Erik Hage & Thom Jurek