Miller's grandparents have lived for more than 50 years in their
house on Cerro
Verde in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, near Biloxi. During Hurricane
grandparents attempted to weather the storm, but escaped when the
flood waters rose. A nearby neighbor with a second story let them
stay in their house after they fled theirs. Her grandparents and
the home survived, but the repairs are still ongoing.
Cerro Verde one-sided LP frames four songs about the home and family
memories and issues brought to the surface as the flood waters rose.
In the uncertainty
after the hurricane, the family lost contact with the grandparents
and led Mara and the
others to both worry and reminisce. As with any family that has
been tied to one location for so long, the house became associated
with many events and memories, both good and bad. The frenzy of
hurricane, missing grandparents, and the house introduce the story,
the door transitioning from physical house and opening to memory.
The record closes with the letting go of tragic memories held in
the house, symbolically washed away with the flooding: "flood
within flows out the pain, let it rain and rain."
The front and
back covers show Mara repairing furniture miniatures from a dollhouse
grandfather made against a backdrop of wallpaper from her grandparent's
and her sister Gina played with that dollhouse as children, just
like her mother and
mother's sisters did. Most of the furniture was ruined during the
flood and what remains
needs to be repaired. The images are carried through to the B side
etching and are
accompanied by a poem her grandmother wrote for Mara. Mara's grandmother
often wrote poems on special paper with some accompanied embellishments
and these framed poems were in the house on Cerro Verde.
The album was
recorded in Denton, Texas at the Echo Lab with Matt Pence
(Centro-Matic) without any digital intervention. The songs were
tracked to 1/2" tape and
transferred to the lacquer for LP manufacturing. The cd is included
for portability and is the digital "safety" copy in case
the analog master tape was damaged. The four songs feature only
Mara Miller's signature vocals and sparse acoustic guitar tracks.
Cerro Verde and Bosque Brown Plays Mara Lee Miller are basically
affairs, Bosque Brown has blossomed into a full band. Their live
show has become a local staple in the their hometown, taking the
Dallas/Ft. Worth/Denton, Texas area by storm. Bosque Brown Plays
Mara Lee Miller was chosen as the top local release of 2005 by the
Dallas Observer and the band has grown in popularity. They were
also nominated for four Dallas Observer Music Awards including best
song, best new act, best female singer, and best folk/acoustic performer.
They've headlined their own shows and have played with Two Gallants,
John Vanderslice, Will Johnson, Bobby Bare Junior, Damien Jurado,
and The National, and has most recently been asked to perform among
respected Texas songwriters Billy Joe Shaver and Ray Wylie Hubbard.