Album Review: Pieta Brown – Paradise Outlaw

by BUST Magazine

Iowa City’s Pieta Brown doesn’t just play rooms. She fills each space with stories and makes it her own. The singer-songwriter and musician proved her ability to take over a studio in a short period of time and turn out extraordinary music in her Daytrotter session in 2008, a remarkable collection of songs. Brown’s new record, Paradise Outlaw, similarly showcases her skill as a performer, and it’s exciting to hear such quiet mastery of a genre.

Recorded over just four days in Justin Vernon (Bon Iver)’s April Base studio, Paradise Outlaw feels anything but rushed.  Indeed, these quiet tales of dusty canyons and road-weary ramblers would be perfectly paired with a long drive or a rainy day, when they can truly be savored.


Brown and her husband/frequent collaborator Bo Ramsey produced the record themselves, and their light touch leaves room for individual elements to shine. A standout track is “Do You Know?” in which additional vocals from Amos Lee add a rougher counterpart to Brown’s ethereal voice. Another highlight is “All My Rain,” in which strings from David Mansfield add the perfect bit of atmosphere.

Paradise Outlaw is Pieta Brown’s sixth full-length album, and it’s an album well-served by her years of experience as a musician and songwriter. For fans of folk, this record is a must-listen.

Paradise Outlaw comes out Tuesday, Sept. 30 on Red House Records. It’s available to pre-order on iTunes here.


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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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