Cerro Verde (btv073)
Buy Online | one-sided LP
|Mara Miller’s grandparents have lived for more than 50 years in their house on Cerro Verde in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, near Biloxi. During Hurricane Katrina, her 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.
Bosque Brown’s 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 her grandfather made against a backdrop of wallpaper from her grandparent’s house. Mara 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.
Though both Cerro Verde and Bosque Brown Plays Mara Lee Miller are basically solo 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.