Bosque Brown

Bosque Brown


Bosque Brown is the vehicle of Texas-based singer/songwriter Mara Miller. Damien Jurado compares her voice to “...the heartache of Kitty Wells and the lonesome howl of Robert Johnson.”


Mara Miller's grandparents have lived for more than 50 years in their house on Cerro Verde in Ocean
Springs, Mississippi, near Biloxi. During Hurricane Katrina, her grandparents attempted to weather the
storm, but escaped when the flood waters rose. A nearby neighbor with a second story let them stay in
their house after they fled theirs. Her grandparents and the home survived, but the repairs are still
Bosque Brown's Cerro Verde one-sided LP frames four songs about the home and family memories
and issues brought to the surface as the flood waters rose. In the uncertainty after the hurricane, the
family lost contact with the grandparents and led Mara and the others to both worry and reminisce. As
with any family that has been tied to one location for so long, the house became associated with many
events and memories, both good and bad. The frenzy of hurricane, missing grandparents, and the
house introduce the story, the door transitioning from physical house and opening to memory. The
record closes with the letting go of tragic memories held in the house, symbolically washed away with
the flooding: "flood within flows out the pain, let it rain and rain."
The front and back covers show Mara repairing furniture miniatures from a dollhouse her grandfather
made against a backdrop of wallpaper from her grandparent's house. Mara and her sister Gina played
with that dollhouse as children, just like her mother and mother's sisters did. Most of the furniture was
ruined during the flood and what remains needs to be repaired. The images are carried through to the
B side etching and are accompanied by a poem her grandmother wrote for Mara. Mara's grandmother
often wrote poems on special paper with some accompanied embellishments and these framed poems were in the house on Cerro Verde.
The album was recorded in Denton, Texas at the Echo Lab with Matt Pence (Centro-Matic) without
any digital intervention. The songs were tracked to 1/2" tape and transferred to the lacquer for LP
manufacturing. The cd is included for portability and is the digital "safety" copy in case the analog
master tape was damaged. The four songs feature only Mara Miller's signature vocals and sparse
acoustic guitar tracks.
Though both Cerro Verde and Bosque Brown Plays Mara Lee Miller are basically solo affairs, Bosque
Brown has blossomed into a full band. Their live show has become a local staple in the their
hometown, taking the Dallas/Ft. Worth/Denton, Texas area by storm. Bosque Brown Plays Mara Lee
Miller was chosen as the top local release of 2005 by the Dallas Observer and the band has grown in
popularity. They were also nominated for four Dallas Observer Music Awards including best song, best
new act, best female singer, and best folk/acoustic performer. They've headlined their own shows and
have played with Two Gallants, John Vanderslice, Will Johnson, Bobby Bare Junior, Damien Jurado,
and The National, and has most recently been asked to perform among respected Texas songwriters
Billy Joe Shaver and Ray Wylie Hubbard.

Mara Lee Miller grew up in Stephenville, Texas, a small, isolated town. Growing up in small-town Texas would seem too confining for some, but for Mara, it has become the source of her inspiration. Attracted to the simple life lived by the people there and being constantly reminded of her own childhood memories, Mara has been secretly perfecting her own stripped-down blend of "truth-telling" and woe.

Mara was discovered by the folk singer Damien Jurado (Secretly Canadian/Sub Pop) in late 2002 during a tour that passed through Texas. After Jurado's set, Mara's husband Ryan handed him some of the home recordings that she had been working on while she shyly waited in another room, hoping that Jurado might offer some constructive criticism to help her hone her craft. Damien later fell in love with the recordings and introduced Burnt Toast Vinyl to Mara.

Those original four track recordings featured Mara singing breathy country-influenced vocals over sparse and simple guitar and serve as the seed for her full -length album. Damien Jurado compares her voice to “...the heartache of Kitty Wells and the lonesome howl of Robert Johnson.”

For all intents and purposes, Mara Miller is a solo singer songwriter, but has chosen the moniker Bosque Brown as the vehicle for her recordings. "I feel a connection with writers like Townes Van Zandt and John Prine," Miller says. "There is something about being from Texas...when you hear others sing about it you just know." Hank Williams Sr., Gram Parsons, and Gillian Welch are other influences, not so much musically, but for the timelessness of their music. Mara's mother sings and plays piano, teaching her how to sing while growing up and sharing her love for old movies, which also influence Mara's
vocals and style. Her lyrics are simple and straightforward, about friends, family, love, the struggle between good and evil, or her feelings at the mo


Cerro Verde cdep+LP autumn 2006
Plays Mara Lee Miller 2005