AMERICANA singer-songwriter Bronwynne Brent travels all the way from the Mississippi Delta to the howling winter winds of Yorkshire to play Selby Town Hall tonight (March 6).
“I absolutely love Bronwynne’s darkly brooding voice,” says Selby Town Council arts officer Chris Jones. “She creates songs that feel like you can live in them, and somehow she manages to sound like Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra rolled into one.”
Tonight’s 8pm show will be Brent’s Selby debut, performing with her trio. “Born and raised in the Mississippi Delta, she has the kind of stop-in-your-tracks voice that sounds like Southern sunshine,” says Chris.
“There’s a hint of Delta blues behind the ache in her songs, a glimpse of honky-tonk twang, an echo of riverboat can-cans, a whiff of Ennio Morricone and an atmosphere that conjures up of the darker side of country song-writing.”
Harking back to the glory days of Lee Hazlewood and Gram Parsons, Brent’s writing taps into the murky undercurrent of country that starts with old Appalachian murder ballads and continues through to today’s crop of psychedelic country songwriters. “Like a juke-joint Nancy Sinatra, Bronwynne unites all the best elements of Southern American roots music and ties these many different influences into a sound that’s both comforting and refreshing,” says Chris.
Brent has released two albums, 2011’s Deep Black Water and 2014’s Stardust, the second produced by Seattle’s Johnny Sangster with a “spaghetti northwestern” feel to it.
Playing with Calexico drummer John Convertino and Fiona Apple’s bassist, Keith Lowe, on Stardust, she sang songs with a heavy weight on their shoulders: her stories populated by battered women, defeated lovers, devilish characters, highway ghosts and lonesome wanderers.
Looking forward to tonight, Chris concludes: “Bronwynne Brent is incredible: one of the very finest contemporary voices you’re likely to hear. Her songs are so rich and brooding. They’re astonishingly well-crafted with a compelling dark underbelly mixing country, folk and glorious speakeasy jazz sounds. This show will be an absolute treat.”
Tickets cost £14 on 01757 708449 or at selbytownhall.co.uk or £16 on the door from 7.30pm.