Colleen Brown and Dead Red Pine
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Colleen Brown and Dead Red Pine


Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Vue Weekly - Dead Red Pine"

Nature takes centre stage in the lyrical imagery of Dead Red Pine, one of the city's newest additions to the indie folk scene.

The band's simplistic, yet sophisticated sound is crafted through tranquil melodies that weave together elegant string arrangements with soft guitar, mandolin, upright bass, banjo and layered vocals.

The five-piece formed a year ago and is comprised of an eclectic group of local musicians and transplants from Montréal, including guitarist and vocalist Marco Taucer, who relocated to work on his master's degree in physics.

Taucer is the principal songwriter for the group, and says while the band's name doesn't have any specific meaning, he draws heavily on the influence of nature for inspiration, as well as a contrasting urban and human element.

"I guess I'm interested mainly in the interface between human interactions and sort of misguided human ambitions with a more basic, natural state of humanity," Taucer notes. "I'm interested in the nature that we lose track of in our busy lives."

Despite Taucer penning the majority of the lyrics, the spirit of the band remains collaborative and brings something new to the Edmonton folk scene through its intricate, orchestrated melodies. The band also has no drummer, which viola player and vocalist Sophie Heppell, who also plays in the reggae-folk group Third Branch, says has been a whole new experience.

"Dead Red Pine caters more to my musical roots, which are in the Celtic and folk idioms. It gives me a chance to play for a super attentive audience who are there to really listen to the intricacies of our music," she says, adding she enjoys both bands equally.

The band's debut EP was recorded at the Theatre Arts Community Outreach Society in collaboration with Bramwell Park.

"He's a great musician. He performs with the Provincial Archives and he's also a terrific performer songwriter in his own right," Taucer says, adding Park helped with the performance aspect of the disc as well.

The collaborations will continue for Dead Red Pine this summer when they take the stage for a whole new kind of performance at this year's Fringe Festival. The Mindhive Collective recruited the band to provide the musical score for Awake, which will run throughout the festival at the Southside Memorial Chapel. - Vue Weekly

" - Colleen Brown's DIRT (review)"

By Kerry Doole
Edmonton, AB-based songstress Brown gained a deserved national profile last year with the re-release of her second album, Foot In Heart. Look for that momentum to continue with this strong new record. If you just read her lyric sheet before hearing her, you'd likely place Brown in the rather crowded category of introspective female singer-songwriters. Her work transcends that niche, courtesy of her bright, powerful voice, one that has a widescreen pop feel, and instrumentation that's often heavy on the horns. There are a couple of musical personalities on display. Tunes like "Happy Love Song" and "Singing in the Garden" definitely bring '70s-era Joni Mitchell to mind, while a vocally and lyrically more assertive persona is shown on "Fight!Fight!Fight!" and "Good Girls." The rather raucous, horn-fuelled former cut is catchy as hell (it has already won a New Music West Songwriting Award), although the chant of the title verges on stridency, while "Good Girls" is similarly brassy and bold, with a distinct disco vibe. Strong closing track "This Love is Growing" was co-written with Pierre Marchand (Sarah McLachlan). It'd be nice to hear Brown attempt a full album of upbeat, R&B-inflected pop songs, but there's plenty to enjoy while frolicking in this Dirt.
(Independent) -

"NOW Magazine - Colleen Brown - DIRT"

NNNN (of 5)

Edmonton singer/songwriter Colleen Brown isn’t doing anything futuristic or daring on her third full-length, Dirt, but that’s absolutely fine. Marrying classic folk-pop with traces of jazz and soul, the results are often reminiscent of the late Phoebe Snow or a less ethereal Joni Mitchell. She’s definitely got the vocal chops to pull off this sound, and the production is appropriately warm and intimate.
The album is much more rhythm-focused than most gentle pop music, and manages to swing and get funky without getting too cheesy. Despite the accessible references, the more you listen to Dirt, the more you appreciate its subtle quirkiness and playfulness, both in the album-spanning narrative and the combinations of influences and sounds. You can see why she’s become a bit of a CBC darling and keeps winning awards.
Top track: Fight! Fight! Fight! - NOW Magazine (Toronto weekly)

"Globe & Mail - Colleen Brown's Latest CD Is A Declaration Of Independence"

At the end of a prairie winter, the crusted old snow seems to recede like the latest ice age, and the dirt underneath shows through. It can be a bit startling to see how raw the earth looks when it has been out of sight for a few months, but you know that that muck is where the life is.

That natural sequence is a pretty good metaphor for what happened to Colleen Brown over a year or so. The Alberta singer-songwriter realized that much of what she took for the whole of life was happening up on the snowdrifts, and when those started to clear away, the mucky solid ground came up under her feet.

Dirt is the title of her latest album, and she’s not shy about connecting the dots between the songs and her life. The lyrics are preceded in the CD booklet by a short written account of what was happening in her life that needed to be sung about in those lyrics and that music.

You don’t need to read the notes to perceive the good bones in Brown’s songs, or to appreciate her fluid, powerful voice. She’s one of the best singers in Canadian pop, and a superb maker of music for her own voice. Her talents as singer, writer and instrumentalist – she’s also terrific on keyboards – are well known in Alberta, where she performed with two bands (the Kit Kat Club and the Secretaries) before striking out her own.

Dirt is a declaration of hard-won independence, from some kinds of relationships and from many of the expectations Brown absorbed while growing up. She was a good Catholic girl from a big family, an overachiever who aimed to please, and it took her years to discover how punishing it could be to play that role as an adult.

“A lot of my relationships were failing and being really hurtful to me, because I was trying to be this perfect, good woman,” she says.

When she started to question that goal, her perspective changed radically. The CD cover visualizes the change: It shows Brown in a pretty dress and jewellery, kneeling in the dirt, her legs and arms grimy. “I like the idea of this woman dressed up pretty, falling into a normal social profile of a good, respectable attractive woman, and then something occurs that allows her go back into this liberated animalistic state,” she says. “This woman doesn’t care how she’s perceived any more.”

Growing up in Lloydminster, a town right on the boundary between Alberta and Saskatchewan, Brown was one of those kids whose every moment was booked for some kind of extracurricular activity: ballet, piano, crafts, singing in church or in school musicals. When she was done with high school, she veered away from teachers college (her mother’s preference) and studied music at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton.

She learned much there that she had to unlearn later, she says, but she got a lot of technical grounding, and discovered a different kind of musical community, which made its own music and played in bars. She waited on tables, performed a lot of shows and conquered her stage fright. She wrote and recorded an excellent solo debut album, Foot in Heart, that singer-songwriter Emm Gryner heard and relaunched on her Dead Daisy label in 2009. Dirt is an independent release – incredibly, Brown is still not signed to a label.

Her variable pop idiom has room for a bit of R&B and rock, and has a pleasant retro feeling to it. Distinctive as they are, her songs usually connect in some way with the best radio pop of the sixties and seventies. Her voice has a pure soaring quality that at times recalls the young Joni Mitchell or Anne Murray. Still, her music can be a bit hard to place in the current scene, which may be a hindrance or a virtue.

Dirt was obviously a record that had to be made, for reasons that weren’t just about music. Brown talks like an explorer who still has other destinations in sight, though she is happy to have reached a place where she feels less swayed by illusory goals and unsustainable expectations.

“I think my dad was a little put off by how personal the record is,” she says. “He said something like, ‘You sure are brave for putting this out like that.’ I’m grateful that that was his response, that I shouldn’t be embarrassed by my emotions and this struggle.”

You can hear the struggle in the lyrics, but not in the songs. They come out smooth and strong, like a natural process that can’t be restrained, like something that heals even as it measures the wound.

Colleen Brown performs at Hamilton’s This Ain’t Hollywood on Jan. 19, the Dakota Tavern in Toronto on Jan. 20, Jimmy Jazz in Guelph on Feb. 2, London Music Club in London, Ont., on Feb. 3 and Ottawa’s Elmdale House Tavern on Feb. 8. For western tour dates in March and April, check - The Globe and Mail


Dead Red Pine (self-titled EP) 2012

Colleen Brown's DIRT (full-length) 2011

Colleen Brown, Foot In Heart (re-release on Dead Daisy/Outside Music) 2010

Colleen Brown, Foot In Heart (independent) 2008

Colleen Brown, A Peculiar Thing (independent) 2005



‘Since her debut recording in 2005, Colleen Brown seems to have become - musically speaking - Edmonton's "it" girl. Looking for that young performer with a bright future? Colleen Brown quickly comes to mind. Looking for someone who can be a sensitive singer-songwriter in the spotlight? Can strap on her electric guitar and rock out? AND who can step readily into popular music of the 60s, 70s and 80s? Colleen Brown is all those things and more. She can sing, she can dance, she's a prolific songwriter and she's extremely photogenic. But with her new recording Colleen Brown's Dirt she reveals the frayed edges that can come from trying to be everything to everybody.’ (courtesy of CKUA radio)

This collaboration with 5-piece roots-string ensemble Dead Red Pine represents a new and exciting excursion into unmapped musical potential. It takes songs from Colleen’s three previous releases, as well as new material from both acts, and places it in the ten capable hands of guitarist/singer/songwriter Marco Taucer, upright bassist Steve Badach, Sophie Heppell (viola/vocals), Rebekah Sherman (violin/vocals) and longtime Colleen Brown guitarist/singer Stephen Tchir- armed here with mandolin and banjo. Together the sextet re-imagines the folk/pop song with earthy instrumentation and vocal harmonies, framing hook-laden melodies in an old-time singalong ethos.

More about Dead Red Pine:

DRP made it's debut in the Edmonton music scene in June 2011 and has been performing at local venues and festivals ever since. Their self-titled EP was released in July 2012. Collaboration with the Mindhive Collective on the interdisciplinary piece A Wake in the 2012 Edmonton Fringe Festival further exposed this emerging ensemble. Meaghan Baxter (VUE Weekly) commented, "The band's simplistic, yet sophisticated sound is crafted through tranquil melodies that weave together elegant string arrangements with soft guitar, mandolin, upright bass, banjo, and layered vocals"

Colleen Brown:

Singer-songwriter Colleen Brown, based out of Edmonton, Alberta has steadily gained momentum since her 2008 self-released 2nd album “Foot In Heart”. Sandra Sperounes, of The Edmonton Journal calls Colleen Brown “a national treasure in the making – along the lines of Joni Mitchell, Anne Murray, Gordon Lightfoot or k.d.lang.”

‘Foot In Heart’ was re-released in 2010 with Emm Gryner’s Dead Daisy Records & Outside Music. Brown toured extensively that year, playing music festivals, concert halls and clubs across Canada and continues to receive regular airplay on CBC (including a live performance in late 2012 on Q with Jian Ghomeshi), CKUA and college stations across Canada. Brown played 2010’s Edmonton Folk Fest, and has shared stages with Jakob Dylan, Randy Newman, Jim Cuddy, Hawksley Workman, Patrick Watson, Brandi Carlisle, Dan Mangan, Hey Rosetta, Kathleen Edwards, Frank Black and Don MacLean. Brown has toured Canada with Crash Test Dummies, Emm Gryner, Hannah Georgas and Buck 65.

Brown's 3rd full-length album, a pop concept album about love, personal growth and cultivating perspective, called Colleen Brown's DIRT, was released in 2011 to noteworthy praise. Robert Everett Green, of the Globe and Mail proclaimed “You don’t need to read the notes to perceive the good bones in Brown’s songs, or to appreciate her fluid, powerful voice. She’s one of the best singers in Canadian pop, and a superb maker of music for her own voice … Dirt is a declaration of hard-won independence”

The album features 13 original songs including one co-written with Sarah MacLachlan’s regular collaborator Pierre Marchand. Included with the CD is a narrative that ties the songs together through Colleen's personal experiences. ‘Fight! Fight! Fight!’ one of DIRT'S rock anthems won the Harvard Broadcasting/New Music West 2011 Song Contest and in addition the video for ‘Fight! Fight! Fight!’ won best music video at the Alberta Motion Picture Industry awards. The album was released Oct 25, 2011 at the Arden Theatre in St. Albert with a CBC Radio 2 live performance. Colleen and her band played shows across Canada in support of the release.

Kerry Doole, of wrote of Brown's DIRT “If you just read her lyric sheet before hearing her, you’d likely place Brown in the rather crowded category of introspective female singer-songwriters. Her work transcends that niche, courtesy of her bright, powerful voice, one that has a widescreen pop feel… there’s plenty to enjoy while frolicking in this Dirt."

Colleen Brown and Dead Red Pine acknowledge the assistance of the Edmonton Arts Council.