Singular sounds from the migrating Brown Bird
Brown Bird has flown so much lately its wings are the size of an upright bass.
The duo played a festival in Sao Paulo, Brazil, flew home to Rhode Island to do laundry, then caught a 6 a.m. flight to Oregon to catch up with the Devil Makes Three for a West Coast tour which includes its Lake Tahoe debut.
“We’re exhausted,” said bass, cello and fiddle player MorganEve Swain, who nevertheless took time to speak with Lake Tahoe Action.
Brown Bird has unique instrumentation, with David Lamb playing guitar or banjo while using kick drum. Swain’s brother, Spencer, will accompany the duo for the Wednesday show in the Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room.
“We always tend to describe our influences when people ask us (about our style) because we don’t know how to classify ourselves either,” Swain said. “But a lot of it draws from the blues, from Americana and a lot of Eastern European music and, of course, a lot of rock.”
Lamb, a son of a preacher, began singing in church and is influenced by gospel music. Drums were his first instrument, and he picked up guitar when he was in high school.
Swain is a classically trained violinist, an instrument she’s played 23 years. She later learned Celtic fiddling and bluegrass.
Brown Bird has a new four-track EP, “The Sound of Ghosts.” A full-length album will be released in the fall.
“Brown Bird is a really cool group,” Pete Bernhard of Devil Makes Three said. “What they do fits in really well with what we do. We’re playing with them the whole leg of this tour, then back in Rhode Island and then the Newport Folk Festival.”
Members of the two bands met at a show in Boston, and out of “mutual respect,” wanted to tour together.
“I loved Pete’s lyrics and they had this hot girl playing bass (Lucia Turino), so she was an inspiration for me,” Swain said.