Mikki Brisk
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Mikki Brisk


Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


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"Distance and Miles"
(released April 2006)
(Albino Catfish Music)
("Distance and Miles" has had over 1,000 spins on primarily non-commercial, NPR and internet radio in North America and internationally)

"Cowgirl Christmas / Joey"
(released December 2006)
(Albino Catfish Music)
(This two-song holiday single received airplay on ~125 radio stations during the Christmas 2006 season)




"You don't know what you have here."

These are among the first bold words on "Distance and Miles," a debut album of startling honesty. The same words could be said about the album's singer-songwriter, Mikki Brisk. She's a secret she's largely kept to herself. The words match the direct and forthright stance she displays on the CD cover, both declaring herself to the world. She seduces with a voice as sweet as the sourwood honey of her native Georgia, equal parts crystalline pure and golden huskiness. A voice pollinated with heartfelt emotion and sweetened with experience. In that voice, you can soar to the heights of hopefulness and freedom, and plumb the depths of heartache and longing.

With a stunning breadth in her writing style, with story songs and breakup songs, drinking songs and road songs, Mikki crafts lyrics that put one wholly in the mind of a heartbroken -- but not broken -- woman. Smothered with standout melodies and layered atmosphere like a healthy dose of southern gravy, many of the songs hew closely to the confessional and female empowerment messages of Shawn Colvin or Melissa Etheridge. As an artist, Mikki could most closely be compared to Mary Chapin Carpenter or Rosanne Cash. But instead of being the offspring of Johnny Cash, Mikki could be the bastard love child of Merle Haggard and Emmylou Harris. (To which she replies, "I wish!") Produced by Los Angeles-based honky-tonk hero Chad Watson, and featuring some of the city's finest session musicians, "Distance and Miles" makes good use of the typical instruments of folk and country music -- acoustic guitar and bass, harmonica and accordion, mandolin, fiddle and pedal steel -- but often in unexpected ways.

Mikki's recent biography can be summed up in a few words, a typical but profound story: Life's too short -- if you've got this much creative energy, it would be a sin to not let it out. So she tested the waters by singing with others, learning to play acoustic guitar (at L.A.'s legendary McCabe's Guitar Shop), and performing at open mics, coffee houses, bars and honky-tonks. Since then, she's spent her time honing her craft as a songwriter, to tell the stories she has in her head and in her heart. Recently, she's shared these songs at various shows with a full band and alone in showcases at the International Folk Alliance and South by Southwest conferences. Mikki has surpassed 1,000 spins on national, international and internet radio and has been selected as a finalist in the 2006 & 2007 KRCL Performing Songwriter Showcases at the Founders Title Folk & Bluegrass Festival in Salt Lake City, Utah. She reached #15 on the Roots Music Report Folk Chart in 2007 and is oh-so-close to finishing her sophomore CD. (As far as the new CD goes, Mikki says, "Get ready to rock!") She continues ambitiously down her career path through live performances, attending Planet Bluegrass "Song School" in Colorado (2008 marks her third year) and studio sessions preparing for her next record.

For the last seven years, Mikki has volunteered at a local Los Angeles hospital, giving her music, a kind ear and a big heart in a Recreational Therapy program for bed-ridden patients. Almost every week, she has carried her guitar from room to room, literally playing thousands of "concerts for one" to people recovering from medical problems, living with chronic conditions or with terminal illnesses. This has led to some powerful personal moments. Like the person lying in a previously unresponsive state, the victim of a brain injury, who began to pump her fist in rhythm with Mikki's song. The patients who break into tears, a catharsis of emotion brought on by Mikki's music combined with their own struggles with mortality. Once, Mikki's was the last earthly music heard by a gentleman who died later that day. His wife was so moved that she asked Mikki to play the same song at his funeral. Rather than feeling like something she does for others, she says often that she feels privileged and humbled by the experience. "While I'm singing, I'm also praying... Because I don't know what they really need. And every time I leave the hospital, I think to myself, 'I can't believe I get to do this.' The power of music is universal. There's no language barrier, there's no age barrier. Music has not only helped me, but I get to see how it helps others, up close and personal."

Mikki's music cooks. Start with a base stock of country and simmer with a dollop of folk for flavor. Chop up some off-Nashville alt-country and driving roots-rock. Spice with a dash of bayou, Southwest, and horns-tinged bluesy soul. Set oven to "confessional female empowerment" and roast. Serve hot.

"Distance and Miles" is more than simply the name of Mikki Brisk's debut CD, more than the literal lines on the map she's drawn as she moved around the country. It's a description of the creative and emotional journ