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In the Cool

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Album Review

There's more than a hint of Lucinda Williams' down-at-the-heels grittiness to Pieta Brown's determinedly greasy roots rock. And though the press materials seem designed to make you feel guilty for thinking it (she grew up without heat or indoor plumbing! In Iowa, and then in Alabama! She's for real!), there also seems to be an element of calculation at work in her sound. Take "4th of July," for example — there's a melody in there, and you can bet she's fully capable of singing it, but she doesn't sound interested. Instead, she slips down the sides of the notes like beer foam sliding down the outside of a glass. It's not a bad effect, but it does come across as an effect; it sounds like she's slouching, and every once in a while you want to tell her to sit up straight. "In the Cool" is a completely affecting lover's plea, and "Precious Game" rocks out nicely in an understated but sturdy way, but "This Old Dress" is based on a roots-music cliché that couldn't be more tired. Again, you feel guilty pointing it out (her mama sewed that dress, for crying out loud), but still. Producer Bo Ramsey contributes his patented falling-down guitar throughout, and there are harmony vocals from Iris DeMent, which never hurts.

Customer Reviews

Pieta Brown Definitely In The Cool

This is one great disc of haunting melodies with vocals to match. Pieta Brown is one of those artists you discover and want everything she's done. The guitar work blended with the vocals on this project is superb! If you're looking for a fresh taste of folk and blues, this is IT!

Amazing! A soul-stirring album full of haunting melodies.

Pieta Brown's soothing vocals are perfectly suited to her elegiac melodies, soulful song-writing, and the emotive guitar work of Bo Ramsey. A touching mixture that produces simultaneous feelings of joy and melancholy. Infectious!


Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Pieta Brown, the daughter of Grammy-nominated folk/blues singer/songwriter Greg Brown, released her self-titled debut album on Iowa independent label Trailerpark Records in June 2002. With her languid, ethereal delivery, she has weathered numerous comparisons to such singers as the Cowboy Junkies' Margo Timmins. The Iowa City, Iowa native moved in with her mother after her parents' divorce, which occurred when Brown was only two years old. Five years later, after her mother graduated medical school,...
Full Bio
In the Cool, Pieta Brown
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Customer Ratings