Mississippi Delta native Bronwynne Brent is a contemporary folk singer-songwriter living near Austin, TX. Her music is rootsy-eclectic, soul-stirring, and authentic. An accomplished guitarist and vocalist, Bronwynne’s songs are sparsely embellished with harmonica reminiscent of early Townes Van Zandt and Neil Young. Her solo acoustic performances are soulful, personal, and inspiring. Music critic Jordan Richardson describes her delivery as “an exploration of soulfulness and reality” and adds that “her forward-thinking approach mixes in the bits of neo-soul...with the roots and Americana vibes of yesteryear.” Bronwynne’s debut album, Deep Black Water (released April 2011), is receiving warm reviews and shows her inventive songwriting in it’s twelve original tracks. Produced by Mike McCarthy in Austin, TX, Brent is backed by Grammy- nominated Chris Maresh on bass, J.J. Johnson on drums, David Grissom on guitar, Ricky Ray Jackson on pedal steel guitar, and Ian McLagan on Hammond B-3
Recent performance highlights:
• Sundance Film Festival Stage (Park City, UT)
• Thacker Mountain, Mississippi Public Radio
• Wheatsville Art Festival (Austin, TX)
• WTUL Annual Hootenanny (New Orleans, LA)
• Burning Love Benefit (Wimberley, TX)
• Red Dragon Listening Room (Baton Rouge, LA)
What people are saying about Bronwynne Brent and "Deep Black Water":
“Brent’s voice is strong...and its warmth and richness wraps itself around you, adding dimension to the poetry and narrative in her lyrics” Josh Hathaway-No Depression
“[Brent’s] voice is toned and sensual with songs sensitive and compelling...a highly talented singer-songwriter” Laura Bethell-Maverick Magazine
“[Deep Black Water] is a super album of Gothic Americana...sheer perfection.” Sandra G. - Leicester Bangs
“An exquisite record of soul-spilling radiance.” Jordan Richardson - Blog Critics
“…a fresh talent destined for success…her stirring new album seals that fate.” – Little Boogaloo Entertainment
Deep Black Water (release date: 2011)
The Brent Sisters: Party Dress (release date: 2012)
[+ Show ]
IN REVIEW/Mark Shikuma Bronwynne Brent Old Town Coffee & Chocolates, Eureka - June 22, 2012 ...IN REVIEW/Mark Shikuma
Old Town Coffee & Chocolates, Eureka - June 22, 2012
(JULY 5, 2012) It came to me by blind luck or coincidence. Either way, it was fortuitous that I found myself in Old Town Eureka on a nearly-abandoned, soggy, gray evening. Having heard the Austin-based singer-songwriter Bronwynne Brent on the radio the day before (she had made an in-studio appearance on KHUM), I was struck by her strong, distinct voice that carried a faint Irish or British lilt, and I wanted to hear her live in Old Town. Her songs contained dark narratives of extinguished relationships. It wasn’t the straightforward heartbreak stuff. The lyrics carried a worldlier, older perspective.
The native Greenville, Miss. songwriter self released her debut full-length Deep Black Water, last year — falling under the radar of most places outside the greater Austin area. Produced by Mike McCarthy, best known for his longtime production work with Spoon, her 2011 debut sparkled with pop-influenced folk songs wrapped in a crisp, alt. country sound. Her backing band, comprised of some of Austin’s finest session musicians, included Faces keyboardist Ian “Mac” McLagan and pedal steel player Ricky Ray Jackson. Live, backed with only her guitar and harmonica, her often-melancholic songs resonated more powerfully in stark and intimate arrangements. Through her words and confident voice, the songs highlighted Brent’s eye not on a relationship’s flower, so to speak, but its thorns. In some regards, her narrators are similar to Richard Thompson’s — in their fascination, if not celebration, of characters that live on the darker side of the emotional street.
In two 45-minute sets consisting of material mostly from Deep Black Water, Brent’s self-effacing demeanor and Southern politeness often deflected any attention from the singer, per se, and allowed all the focus to be given to each song. “When the heat is on, and the storm is moving in,” she sang, in the album’s title track, “lightning is bound to burn you, like an unassuming friend. … I want to swim in your deep black water. Make me whole again.” That’s the beauty of witnessing Brent perform: You are caught off-guard, not prepared for such dark, poetic imagery being delivered by a shy, modest messenger.
Brent also peppered her set with a number of excellent covers, including Steve Forbert’s “Tonight I Feel So Far Away From Home,” Elizabeth Cotton’s classic “Freight Train” and a superb version of Townes Van Zandt’s “Pancho & Lefty.” She also covered several compositions penned by her songwriting mother (two of Brent’s sisters are also singer-songwriters).
Just past the coffee shop’s large window, light rain and the last of the day’s light were coming down onto the empty gazebo. The setting served as a perfect backdrop to Brent’s double-edged lines, her subtle and adept musicianship, her resonant vocals and her depth as a songwriter.
[+ Show ]
Bronwynne Brent – Deep Black Water (Independent) New Orleans singer-songwriter Bronwynne Brent reco...Bronwynne Brent – Deep Black Water (Independent)
New Orleans singer-songwriter Bronwynne Brent recorded her debut in Austin, Tx. with Mike McCarthy producing and a stellar band, including David Grissom on guitar and The Faces’ Ian McLagan on Hammond B-3. That’s a heavyweight cast for an artist recording a debut album, but their judgement was good, and “Deep Black Water” is a super album of gothic Americana and indie folk songs. The title track is sheer perfection, but it’s not alone. “Like The Thunder” is just beautiful, a haunting pedal steel guitar snakes around Brent’s words, and “Tell Be Sweet” is a devastating love song. Fans of Jesse Sykes and Joanna Newsom should hunt a copy down.
Review: Bronwynne Brent- Deep Black Water
[+ Show ]
It's become nearly impossible for me to take emerging singer/songwriters seriously with the glut of ...It's become nearly impossible for me to take emerging singer/songwriters seriously with the glut of them playing coffeehouses and self-releasing haphazardly recorded "albums" independently on CDBaby and other internet outlets these days, but every once in awhile something jolts my jaded indifference and makes me take notice.
Bronwynne Brent's Deep Black Water will dare me to suffer through well-meaning but inspired pap hoping lightening will strike twice, and it will still be worth it; this is the kind of record music lovers hope and dream is still being made despite evidence to the contrary on mainstream broadcast and even internet outlets.
Brent's voice was strong enough to pierce my resistance but what really won me over was the way its warmth and richness wraps itself around you and adds dimension to the poetry and narratives in her lyrics. In addition to voice and talent, one thing that separates Deep Black Water from the glut of singer/songwriter records is the production and arrangements. Mike McCarthy produced the set and joining Brent on acoustic guitar are Ian McLagan (Small Faces) on organ, Brent's award-winning sister, Eden, on piano, and David Grissom (Joe Ely, John Mellencamp) on guitar.
There's something delicious about opening a record with a gentle, tender song called "Like The Thunder." It's a bold title yet everything about the song save for its heart is small and understated. "Building A Wall" is a stirring piece of countrified folk with weepy steel guitar accents. "Baby We'd Be Fine" echoes classic Carole King combined with a touch of '90s Lilith Fair singer/songwriter aesthetic. "You're The Ocean" works similar terrain and Ricky Ray Jackson adds more gorgeous pedal steel. "Love Like A Web" opens with Brent's voice and her acoustic guitar with subtle steel guitar cries lurking beneath, followed by an electric slide guitar solo that burns slowly, carrying the song to the end. The title track is simple, lovely and heartbreaking.
Adam Duritz said, "The internet is the best thing that has ever happened to music in the history of music," and he's right. Music listeners always had to wade through teeming piles of rubbish to find the gems but had to overcome the additional obstacle of gatekeepers restricting the flow of music and ideas. The web has unleashed a torrent of underwhelming amateurs but it has also given us the power to seek out treasures. Deep Black Water is one of them.
Review: Bronwynne Brent - Deep Black Water
[+ Show ]
What is "roots music?" It's a term I've used in who knows how many reviews and I know what I mean...What is "roots music?"
It's a term I've used in who knows how many reviews and I know what I mean when I use it but I'm not sure I've ever sat and thought about what the term really means, or what it means to other people. I brainstormed the idea one afternoon and still don't have a simple, elegant definition but arrived at something a little more meaningful than "I know it when I hear it."
Roots music seems to me both pre-pop and anti-pop. Before radio segmentation, demographics, corporate takeovers, and programming consultants, you might hear just about anything on the radio. Jazz, classical, and opera might be played alongside country music with some swing or big band numbers mixed in as well. I think of "roots music" as the essence of the segmented, fragmented sounds. It's like going back before the flood and crawling back to start.
I also think of roots as anti-pop, at least the contemporary style of pop music. Roots music is organic and warm, independent of (most) modern technology. It's filled with natural sounds and air rather than digital manipulation and "studio-as-instrument" processing. It lives out on the outskirts of contemporary music, a willful outcast.
I said all that because I've spent the last few weeks listening to the debut album from singer/songwriter Bronwynne Brent. I could have described Deep Black Water as a singer/songwriter record and I'd have been correct but it doesn't do a service to you or the album. When I think of female singer/songwriters, I think of women with an acoustic guitar at Starbucks. There's nothing wrong with that kind of music -- it describes plenty of artists whose work I enjoy -- but that's not the record Brent made. There's much more to it than that.
Brent's warm, beautiful, rich voice wraps itself around you but the effect isn't lazy or nocturnal, instead refreshing and invigorating like a splash of cold water to the face from a picturesque stream. "You come rolling in like the thunder" is the opening line to the record but it's not presented to us as a roadhouse rocker or an arena anthem but in a tranquil, reflective song with subtle, lovely sonic garnishes. It is tranquil, yes, but not dark and dreary. She captures the sound of yearning throughout the record with a purity in her voice that is rare.
These are Brent's songs and she is at the center but aided by producer Mike McCarthy (Spoon, Heartless Bastards) and capable musicians who nourish her songs and ideas with their talents: Ian McLagan (Small Faces) plays organ, Brent's award-winning sister, Eden, adds piano, and David Grissom (Joe Ely, John Mellencamp) assists on guitar.
"Baby We'd Be Fine" echoes classic Carole King and that '90s Lilith Fair coffeehouse pop. It actually has a ring of The Sundays, if you remember them ("Summertime"). "You're The Ocean" has a little of that feel as well, only instead of King's piano you have Brent's acoustic guitar. What rescues it from the risk of blandness inherent in that kind of music is Brent's voice and gorgeous pedal steel from Ricky Ray Jackson.
"Love Like A Web" opens with Brent's voice and her acoustic guitar with subtle steel guitar cries lurking beneath. She holds the center before turning things over to an electric slide guitar solo that burns slowly, carrying the song to the end.
I love so many sounds, styles, songs, and records that have grown and blossomed from the deep roots long ago planted. We've also had a lot of weeds and overgrowth cluttering the airwaves, choking the breath of what we love. Bronwynne Brent's Deep Black Water reminds us why it's vital we never forget about our roots. - Josh Hathaway
Review: Bronwynne Brent
[+ Show ]
Deep and sensual Americana/folk singer-songwriter—for an independent debut this is of very high qual...Deep and sensual Americana/folk singer-songwriter—for an independent debut this is of very high quality...
Bronwynne Brent is a contemporary folk singer-songwriter residing in New Orleans. Her debut album DEEP BLACK WATER explores a seamless mix of Americana and folk, with a voice that is deep and resonating. Produced by Mike McCarthy (Heartless Bastards and Patty Griffin) in Austin, Bronwynne is accompanied by Chris Maresh on bass, J.J. Johnson on drums, David Grissom on guitar, Ricky Jay Jackson on pedal steel and Ian McLagan on Hammond B-3.
Opening with Like The Thunder her glorious vocals are toned and sensual, while her songs are sensitive and compelling. The title track Deep Black Water is a beautiful song, heartfelt and sorrowful, with her folk style prominently gliding throughout. Tell Me Sweet is an acoustic mellow number, almost sorrowful about losing someone you want to stay. The sweet tones of her voice are hypnotic. Wrecked My Mind is a much cooler song, soulful and gutsy, capturing the vibrancy of her performance. Thankfully is another favourite of mine on this record—the harmonies giving it a slight edge and variation in sound to what you become used to by the end of the album. Overall this record is of very high quality for an independent debut and a very promising showcase of this inspirational and highly talented singer-songwriter. Laura Bethell
Dark Water Runs Deep
[+ Show ]
Bronwynne Brent might look like another relic from the ‘70s, with her flowing brown hair, flowery fr...Bronwynne Brent might look like another relic from the ‘70s, with her flowing brown hair, flowery frocks and guitar in hand, but that assumption proves wrong when you actually listen to her music. Hailing from the Mississippi Delta, Brent has spanned the South, playing shows everywhere from New Orleans to Nashville, writing and performing her own music. She picked up a country-Americana influence along the way. Brent has been praised for emulating Joanna Newsom and Jesse Sykes, but she is perhaps more reminiscent of Jill Sobule, or the confident, slow and catchy tracks of Jewel. With a full band backing her, Brent has the luxury of incorporating instruments like the pedal steel guitar and the Hammond B-3, which contribute to the fluidity of her music, each song gracefully transitioning into the next, freckled with delicate instrumentals.
Brent’s lyrics read like pages from her diary, asserting lines like “the cold wind it blows me, straight back to your door,” or begging the question “won’t you reassure me that it’s all right?” Luckily, Brent has an all-star band supporting her heart-spilling, and packs just the right amount of emotion into each ballad. Brent’s album, Deep Black Water, was produced by Mike McCarthy, who has the cred of working with stars like Spoon and Heartless Bastards, and her band is composed of Grammy-nominee Chris Maresh, J.J. Johnson, David Grissom, Ricky Ray Jackson and Ian McLagan. These guys, who mostly come from Austin, all have plenty of experience under their belts. Brent couldn’t have a better group of guys to help her break into the scene.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.