Virginia Omnivore
Something You Never Expect To Hear At A Brown Bird Show

MorganEve Swain

Someone shouting, “Go ‘head, girl!” at MorganEve Swain as she plucks her double bass. But that’s exactly what happened tonight at their packed show at the Jewish Mother opening for The Devil Makes Three. The crowd wasn’t as raucous as I expected, but the band more than made up for it with an electric and frenetic thirty-minute set. Aside from the strings on her fiddle breaking during “Shiloh”, resulting in them having to cut their set short and intermittent feedback during another song, the show was a prime example of how a two-piece Gypsy-influenced folk band from Rhode Island can “rock”. They even threw in a cover of Johnny and June Carter Cash’s “Jackson”, with Swain recalling June’s rough-and-tumble Nashville growl. If you missed them, they’re planning to return to the area sometime in February. 

In the meantime, be sure to pick up their new album Salt For Salt on Supply & Demand Music. 

Every song on Brown Bird’s new album Salt For Salt seems like it was pulled from the field recordings of Alan Lomax, especially the lead-in track, “Fingers To The Bone”. David Lamb and MorganEve Swain seem content to sing about labor and strife. They encourage listeners to enjoy their album in “a room made out of wood” as to not miss the layers of instrumentation. While Swain spends most of her time playing cello, violin, and double bass, Lamb sits in front of a kick drum outfitted with a woodblock and tambourine on a separate pedal. Though rooted in modern folk, their music also comes with a Turkish or Greek feel. 

However, tonight they’ll be appearing in a good old-fashioned building made of rebar and concrete, located in the midst of downtown Norfolk. Come see Brown Bird opening for The Devil Makes Three at The Jewish Mother. All the info can be found here.