For Postcards, folk-pop singer Pieta Brown fleshed out her rustic sketches with a little help from friends | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

For Postcards, folk-pop singer Pieta Brown fleshed out her rustic sketches with a little help from friends 

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click to enlarge Pieta Brown

Pieta Brown

Courtesy Red House Records

For her atmospheric new album Postcards (Lustre) folk-pop singer Pieta Brown enlisted a wide variety of colleagues to help flesh out arrangements. She didn’t convene the disparate crew in a single recording studio, but instead sent out loose husks of her new material, inviting collaborators to finish off her ten songs. Some tracks are rustic, others nicely polished. “Stopped My Horse,” with singer-songwriter Carrie Rodriguez, conveys a rural drag with poky banjo and languid fiddle arcs, “Station Blues” “Station Blues” shuffles along thanks to drumming from Chad Cromwell, and “All the Roads,” featuring help from the Pines, is rich with a kind of ambient twang. What’s remarkable in the end is how cohesive Postcards sounds, considering that even more help is provided by Calexico, guitarists David Lindley and Mark Knopfler, and steel-guitar whiz Eric Heywood with singer Caitlin Canty. Brown sings her tunes with a fragile intimacy, as if she’s whispering into your ear, but also with a full-toned, aspirated drawl that feels both seductive and wounded. She performs with her husband and main musical collaborator, Bo Ramsey.   v

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