IPR Studio One Underground Pieta Brown & Bo Ramsey
Join us for IPR Studio One Underground — Iowa Public Radio’s monthly live series featuring Iowa and touring artists, broadcasted live from The Basement. Attend the show free or tune in to listen live.
We are lucky to have two back to back sets from two amazing artists!
“There’s a lot of love in this album,” Pieta Brown says of Paradise Outlaw, her sixth album and fourth Red House release. “There’s a lot of love in the songs and a lot of love in the way it was recorded, and hopefully that comes through.”
The level of emotional engagement that Brown routinely brings to her work is evident throughout Paradise Outlaw. The self-produced 14-song set fully embodies the qualities that have already established the iconoclastic singer-songwriter as a fiercely individual musical force.
Recorded at Bon Iver mastermind Justin Vernon’s April Base studio in Wisconsin, with a supporting cast that includes Vernon, Amos Lee and Brown’s father, legendary troubadour Greg Brown, Paradise Outlaw boasts some of Pieta’s most emotionally resonant compositions, and some of her most expressive performances, to date.
Such gently intoxicating tunes as “Do You Know,” “Wondering How,” “Ricochet” and “Flowers of Love” feature organically orchestrated arrangements that accentuate the insight and intimacy of Brown’s lyrics, the understated craftsmanship of her tunes, and the alluring immediacy of her uniquely expressive voice.
Bo Ramsey is used to an outside world invading his inner world with deep messages and mesmerizing songs. As it came time for Ramsey to record again, an idea that had been hanging around would not be denied: an instrumental album. Of course, it has to be a little more convoluted than that. “We have a big kitchen in our house, and I’m always playing guitar in there,” Ramsey says. “There always seems to be two or three amps in there too. One day last fall I was on the road and swung into a guitar store in the Twin Cities and on a stand sitting on top of an amplifier was an old Harmony electric guitar. Just yelling on me.”
That Harmony “yelling” was the birth of Bo Ramsey’s irresistible new album WILDWOOD CALLING. The musician, who was born and raised in Burlington, Iowa, and has lived in Iowa City the past few decades, has carved out a unique career for 40 years. And it shows not one sign of slowing down. He has been involved in enough high-profile and low-down endeavors to have become somewhat of a legend, but a legend who still hides from the spotlights and leans away from stardom. Maybe that’s because Ramsey has mystifyingly maintained a devotion to the music side of the music business, and lets everything else fall by the side. Naturally, an all-instrumental album was just a matter of time.
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