Brown Bird of Rhode Island: new to me & gave me chills


Do you ever hear a song while you’re in that ethereal phase between awake and sleep and it just bores right into your soul? That’s what happened when I heard the song, “The Reins” by Rhode Island folk-blues duo Brown Bird, MorganEve Swain and Dave Lamb. I sat up in bed and went straight to the internet to look them up. When I got to their webpage, it tells me that Brown Bird is on a hiatus while Dave Lamb receives treatment for leukemia. As a two-time cancer survivor myself – I’m blown away and felt compelled to share their music and story.

They toured most of 2012 with Trampled By Turtles, The Devil Makes Three, Yonder Mountain String Band and Horse Feathers until Dave was diagnosed with leukemia. Feeling a bit behind the times, Brown Bird has been releasing albums since 2010, and I’m definitely adding all of them to my library of top-notch tunes. It’s just simply stunning music – stripped down and raw while subtly sophisticated – informed by the roots traditions of blues & folk, rhythmic & melodic, and poetic lyrical content with a nod to literature and history.

And to find out that Dave Lamb is a fellow cancer fighter/survivor hits me in the heart that much more. As musicians, this is their livelihood, touring. So while he recovers from a bone marrow transplant and receives chemo, they do not make an income. Please consider helping out this duo who truly lay bare their souls in their music by visiting this page.

This is the song that woke me from my half-slumber:

Here is a live in studio performance of “Thunder and Lighting”:

A 25-minute show broadcast on the “Live from Dirt Floor” concert series:

The Boston Globe: Leukemia grounds Brown Bird

fits of reason



  1. Speaking as a guitar player, I’m digging the P90 pickups on his axe. There’s something about those “pups” that create some kind of music magic. Just snoop around for pictures of Bob Marley and his Gibson Les Paul Jr. Look at the pups. They’re P90s. It’s enough to give me a case of GAS (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome).


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