“O River”, starts with a distinctly southern woman’s voice singing a slow acapella verse about slowly flowing aimlessly through life. A staccato drum beat calls forth a cacophony of piano, tom, bass guitar and organ. Bosque Brown’s music is a quiet storm of noise that sounds as if it were recorded in the 19th century. The piano reverberates in an empty room and the voices echo through the speakers.
Bosque Brown describe their music as “minimalist/soul/gospel”. As long as you recognize that country is the half-brother of soul, that describes them well.
Mara Lee Miller is the driving force behind Bosque Brown. The voice is hers, the sound is hers, the songs are hers. Miller’s husband got her demos in the hands of Damien Juardo who convinced David Bazan to help her record her first cd Bosque Brown Plays Mara Lee Miller.
“God doesn’t make voices like hers anymore,” Jurado says. “It reminded me of how I felt the first time I heard Robert Johnson or Kitty Wells. Here was and is the combo of both being channeled through the songs and voice of Mara Miller… she’s the real deal.”
The tone of Bosque Brown’s music is colored by Mara Lee Miller’s childhood in a small, isolated, rural West Texas town and her young life in a very conservative, fire and brimstone church. You can feel the hot wind and taste the dust in the air in Bosque Brown’s music.
Mara Lee Miller’s lyrics deal with her fears developed sitting in those pews listening to warnings about demons and hell. “It instilled a lot of fear in me,” she says, remembering the adults who always told her, “There are demons and angels watching you!”
But there is hope and faith in Bosque Brown’s music.
“I was raised Baptist, and growing up, it was all hellfire and brimstone teachings at church. So for a long time, I was a very fearful child. Satan, bad spirits, even angels scared me half to death - because I didn’t want to think that anything I couldn’t see might still be in the same room with me. Even Bible stories scared me. Now that I’m older, the underlying theme in my songs is about trying to get over that fear of the church. But I also cling to the peace and hope that believing in God gives me - “White Dove” is about that. So there are both sides: being tormented from within, but also realizing that some of that is okay.”
So we have another new, distinctive voice in American music and the sound is being created by Christian music artists. There really is nothing else like Bosque Brown on the music scene today. Take your time, drink a glass of ice tea, sit out on your porch in the summer, listen to them in a quiet place. You life will slow down but you will not be bored.
Listen to Bosque Brown Here
|Bosque Brown Plays Mara Lee Miller||2005||Burnt Toast Vinyl|
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