It’s all delightfully dark and the trick of allying beautiful and tapalong music to dark words has rarely been performed as well
Astonishingly beautiful songs that everyone in the world should hear
Makes the eyes cry not because of sorrow but joy
...he performed a miracle....Brown’s songs about murder and misery sound intimate, almost cozy. The arrangements are ingenious and controlled...beautiful harmony vocals...
Prima de luxe: Tales of Misfortune and Woe is home to a dozen delicate, high quality murder ballads…
Fragile voices, dreamy songs and freaky instruments...strong lyrics and a crystal clear production with chilling effects
A singer-songwriter with a good eye for the musical heritage of his country, along with a pleasant twist of the mind
Dusty Stray (musical moniker of American singer-songwriter Jonathan Brown) recently returned to the Netherlands after living in the US for 18 months. And quite a tumultuous 18 months it was. It’s probably no surprise that the first Dusty Stray release after returning to Europe would be a collection of protest songs titled ‘USA’.
“For the first time in my life, I found myself writing political songs,” says Brown, “A lot of people have become politically activated this year whether they liked it or not. These songs are my way of dealing with it all.”
The songs were mostly recorded in the US with the help of Meredith Wilder on vocals and Landon Campbell on lap steel guitar. Ro Halfhide later added percussion and mixed the songs in Amsterdam.
The EP is out on November 8 2017, not coincidentally 365 days after the 2016 US elections.
The man behind the band Dusty Stray is Jonathan Brown. Born in Taiwan. Grew up in Texas as son of a preacher man. Raised on songs about death and resurrection. Went to college. Discovered vast archive of early American folk music from the 20s and 30s. Began writing his own songs. Moved to Austin where he first performed his music. Travelled with guitar through Central America where he met a Belgian woman and followed her to Europe. Met a Spanish woman. Moved to Barcelona. Formed a bluegrass band, a psychedelic rock band and a freak folk band. Met a Dutch woman.
Moved to the Netherlands. He now lives (with the same Dutch woman) in Amsterdam. Wrote, produced and performed in Amsterdam and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival “LHO: LEE HARVEY OSWALD The Musical” in 2005. Wrote, recorded and co-produced Dusty Stray's debut album “Tales Of Misfortune And Woe” released on Basta Records in 2009 and billed by top Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant as one of the Top Ten Albums Of 2009. He went on to write and record Dusty Stray's "Light Years Away" (Basta 2011, produced by Ken Stringfellow and JB Meijers) and "Family Album" (Basta 2013, produced by Kramer), both receiving critical praise in Europe and abroad. The fourth album "A TREE FELL And Other Songs" (also produced by Kramer) was released on Great Waters in November 2015.
Brown’s many influences include Harry Smith (Anthology Of American Folk Music), writer/illustrator Edward Gorey, The Handsome Family, Bill Callahan, Bonnie Prince Billy, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Gillian Welch, The Velvet Underground, Pavement and The Flaming Lips.
When not on stage, he can be found in junk shops and flea markets searching for discarded photographs, 8mm home movies and diverse materials for his artwork which in turn serves as inspiration for Dusty Stray.
|10.03.2018||20:00||House Concert||Tilburg, NL|
|18.03.2018||16:00||Cafe De Spuyt (The Serenades)||Amsterdam, NL|
|03.06.2018||20:00||The Bell (Bath Fringe Festival)||Bath, UK|
|07.06.2018||19:30||Coast Cafe||Worthing, UK|
|10.06.2018||TBA||The Taphouse (Wimborne Folk Festival Fringe)||Wimborne, UK|
|10.06.2018||TBA||The White Hart (Wimborne Folk Festival Fringe)||Wimborne, UK|
|17.06.2018||TBA||Roots In The Park Festival||Culford, UK|
|13/14/15.07.2018||TBA||Once Upon A Time In The West Festival||Wiltshire, UK|
|18/19.07.2018||TBA||Buddhafield Festival||Taunton, UK|