Not even congenital hearing loss was going to stop Abby Brown from becoming an all-around singer, musician and stage performer. Born prematurely and surviving numerous spinal surgeries before the age of 11, Abby persisted and found her true calling in music - and never wavered from pursuing her dream even at an age when she could barely fit her fingers around a six-string. Based on the critically-acclaimed success of her debut EP “Gypsy Soul”, which has achieved very strong Spotify plays and numerous pick-ups across the social media landscape, Brown just put the finishing touches on her second EP coming in November. Both records are on the Pure Music Nashville label, which signed Abby in 2016 without hesitation when an A&R rep for the label first heard her perform. As the eldest of seven in a close-knit, blended family, Abby pulls from her diverse background living in half a dozen cities around the U.S. and her time on the road as a musician. Her first live gigs started at the age of seven in her then hometown of Boston, where she soon rose to prominence at the local level both as a solo performer and with two of her sisters in a band that would eventually become known as Flatiron Junction. The sister trio has since performed around the country, and most notably, the National Anthem at Boston's legendary Fenway Park and at Coors Field for the Colorado Rockies.
HEART ON FIRE features 3 songs written by Abby, complemented by an artful cover of Maren Morris’ “Sugar” all performed by an A-List studio crew of Nashville-based musicians and engineers.
Review: Abby Brown started young, at the tender age of seven. She and her two young sisters even harmonized together in the band Flatiorn Junction. While she idolizes country heroes, like Emmylou Harris and Alison Krauss, her second EP opens with “Everyday Of My Life,” an upbeat soul-rock song. However, the project’s title song, “Heart on Fire,” is hot-stepping and acoustic guitar-driven, with a rollicking handclap chorus. This “heart of fire,” speaks of one under the strange power of a man.
The song “Love, Release Me,” appears twice. Once “plugged,” the second time “unplugged.” No matter the style, though, it’s is an odd musical plea. Humans are seemingly constantly searching for true and lasting romantic love. Therefore, why this wish for freedom? If it is truly love, why does it feel like slavery? If it seems like incarceration, then maybe it’s not actually love. Nevertheless, Brown sounds to be sincerely crying out for release.
Brown covers Maren Morris’ “Sugar,” which is so much better when put alongside Morris’ overly produced reggae-pop original. Brown’s take utilizes plenty of acoustic guitar and just a touch of organ. Without studio bells and whistles, one is better able to appreciate this song’s smart lyrics. Hopefully, Morris will hear Brown’s version and be inspired to make music just as country-sounding as Brown’s.
It’s tough enough for women to get played on today’s mainstream country radio, even if – as with Morris --- it’s more pop than country. Still, let’s hope airwaves make a little room for the lovely Abby Brown.
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