Viper At The Virgin's Feet
“Viper At The Virgin’s Feet” Independently Released May 15th, 2010 Produced By David Essig and Allison Brown Folk ~ Roots ~ Songwriter ~ Country
Tempted to tread the dusty highway between light and darkness, joy and sorrow, faith and doubt, sunshine and rain; Allison’s second release “Viper At The Virgin’s Feet” reveals deep explorations of gospel and roots music surrounding originals forged from the fires of folk tradition. The anticipated follow-up to 2005’s “Everything That Shined”, Allison narrowly escapes the devil’s teeth as “Viper At The Virgin’s Feet” snakes though twelve tales of heartbreak, stormy skies, fearless faith and a detour to cactus country. Like a serpent in the garden, ominous undercurrents simmer beneath the surface of “Viper At The Virgin’s Feet”. The album’s title track “Something Holy” sings through the eyes of a brave believer in an Appalachian rattlesnake handling church meeting, while “If I Was A Weathergirl” is a winsome languish inspired by real life TV News personalities. Allison captures her inner outlaw translating Townes Van Zandt’s “Poncho & Lefty” and pays tribute to favourite songwriters Iris Dement and Patty Griffin on her way out of the desert. “Uncloudy Day/Evenin’ Train” testifies Allison’s joyful devotion to revival, and “All The Birds” flies Allison out of the deep dark forest only to realize the journey is still at its beginning.
Allison reunited with her musical mentor and producer of her 2005 release “Everything That Shined”, David Essig at his home studio on Protection Island, British Columbia for recording sessions that would bring Allison’s newest songs to life on record. Followed by a month long solo Greyhound Bus tour, with guitar, ukulele and suitcase in hand, she returned to London with eight pearls from the ocean-side sessions. Four more songs were added this winter from live off the floor sessions at Andy Magoffin’s House Of Miracles.
The west coast band features Rick Scott (Pied Pumkin) on dulcimer, Tamara Little on high lonesome harmonies, Shelley Brown on upright bass, Trish Clair-Peck on violins, and David Essig’s artistry on a number of electric and acoustic guitars. Recorded completely live from the studio floor, the Miracles sessions feature Jedd House on upright bass, Aaron Lozynsky on harmonica and acoustic guitar, Blair Heddle on mandolin, banjo and dobro, and Blair Whatmore on accordion. Misguided angels Anna Atkinson and Erin Gignac flew in to provide viola, violin and choir-loft harmonies. London photographer Mike Bourgeault captured the images for the album sleeve and John James Audubon’s “Common Mockingbird” was used with permission from the New York Historical Society for the album cover.
“’Viper At The Virgin’s Feet’ fulfills the promise of her fantastic debut; it’s the Allison originals that are my favourites” ~ David Clarke, Scene Magazine
“a gorgeous voice that seemed too big for one person” ~ Barbara Bruderlin, B.C. Musician
“rather obvious that she’s listened to a lot of great music and has let the timelessness of traditional music and generations of great artists inform her own songwriting and her wise choice to balance her repertoire with well-chosen traditional and contemporary folksongs” ~ Mike Regenstreif, Folk Roots/Folk Branches
“’All The Birds’ was the complete elixir I needed to feel many troubles melt away”~ Scott Vernon, Roots Music Canada
“’Viper At The Virgin’s Feet’ offers an authentic rural flavour throughout and Brown particularly conveys a mature, confident delivery” ~ Andreas Gripp, CHRW 94.9fm credits released May 15, 2010
Allison Brown ~ Vocals, Guitar, Baritone Ukulele & Tambourine David Essig ~ Guitars, Ukulele, Bass Shelley Brown ~ Bass Tamara Little ~ Vocals Rick Scott ~ Dulcimer & Vocals Trish Clair Peck ~ Violin Anna Atkinson ~ Violin, Viola and Vocals Erin Gignac ~ Piano and Harmony Vocals Aaron Lozynsky ~ Harmonica and Guitar Blair Heddle ~ Banjo, Dobro & Mandolin Jedd House ~ Upright Bass Blair Whatmore ~ Accordion