July 8, 2010

Making Noise: Hanging out in the nest with David Lamb of Brown Bird


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The current incarnation of Brown Bird is Morgan Eve Swain, David Lamb and Mike Samos.

Courtesy photo


1. "The Moon Is High" - Roger Miller

2. "100 Days, 100 Nights" - Sharon Jones

3. "Mahalageasca," - Mahala Rai Banda

4. "I Got Mine" - The Black Keys

5. "I Can't Be Satisfied" - Muddy Waters

6. "Black Jack David" - The Carter Family

7. "Stay All Night" - Willie Nelson

8. "Come On Up to the House" - Tom Waits

9. "You Speak My Language" - Morphine

10. "Ratsekr Grec" - Black Ox Orkestar


When you're using old-fashioned instruments and styles, is there a tension between developing your own sound and perfecting an older one?

I don't think there's any tension. Our sound comes from a lot of different influences, a lot of which happen to be older styles, but we're not attempting to carry on the traditions of those styles. What we write ends up combining all those influences, old and new, instead of trying to preserve any particular one.

What are the tours like? Is the band talkative, jokey, tired or tense?

Before we got our van, we used to tour in MorganEve's PT Cruiser. That was tense. Tours can be all of those things at different times, but overall, we share a similar attitude about things, as well as living habits. We all need the same amount of food, beer and sleep, so it seems to work out OK.

Who would you love to see someday sharing the stage with Brown Bird?

We recently opened for the Devil Makes Three in Boston, who are a band we really love. It'd be great to keep opening for bands that we're all into: the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, the Black Keys, Tom Waits, Them Crooked Vultures know how to make any of those happen?

Mike Olcott is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.


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