FAMILY ALBUM, Dusty Stray's third full-length release, is a transatlantic co-production with legendary American producer KRAMER (Low, Ween, Urge Overkill, Galaxie 500). FAMILY ALBUM is an intimate musical journey from cradle to grave and beyond.
It’s all delightfully dark and the trick of allying beautiful and tapalong music to dark words has rarely been performed as well
Astonishingly beautiful songs that everyone in the world should hear
Makes the eyes cry not because of sorrow but joy
...he performed a miracle....Brown’s songs about murder and misery sound intimate, almost cozy. The arrangements are ingenious and controlled...beautiful harmony vocals...
Prima de luxe: Tales of Misfortune and Woe is home to a dozen delicate, high quality murder ballads…
Fragile voices, dreamy songs and freaky instruments...strong lyrics and a crystal clear production with chilling effects
A singer-songwriter with a good eye for the musical heritage of his country, along with a pleasant twist of the mind
Family Album, the third release by Dusty Stray on Dutch indie label BASTA is a transatlantic co-production with the legendary American producer KRAMER (Low, Ween, Urge Overkill, Galaxie 500). KRAMER expressed interest in working with Dusty Stray when he happened to hear debut album Tales Of Misfortune And Woe. He and Jonathan Brown, the man behind Dusty Stray, decided to not let an ocean come between them and started working together on a new album. For Family Album, Brown wrote and recorded songs in his Amsterdam studio, then sent them to KRAMER for additional accompaniment, mixing and mastering. The end result is unlike any Dusty Stray release to date. While the songs are grounded in an intimate folky-acoustic feel, they tend to branch out into other less-charted realms complemented by KRAMER’s sparse instrumentation and bold production style. In addition to his usual guitar and banjo, Brown played a variety of lesser-known instruments such as the sheng, bulbul tarang and a small metal WWII ration box filled with broken cufflinks.
The title track is an homage to American artist Morton Bartlett, a Harvard-educated bachelor who sculpted his own secret fantasy “family”: large, life-like plaster children who inhabited his Boston apartment and were only discovered after his death. "He made clothes for them and he would put them on their anatomically correct little bodies. He’d take pictures and then he would put them in what he referred to as his family album…"
The new album also features more typical Dusty Stray fare such as songs about love-gone-bad, drowning horses being swept out to sea, a “lullaby” in which a baby screams its head off, and of course no Dusty Stray album would be complete without a murder ballad. In this case a depiction of the religious cult Heaven’s Gate and its mass suicide awaiting the Comet Hale-Bopp. As an added bonus, Family Album’s decorative 20-page booklet is made up of photographs from Brown’s found family photo collection.
The man behind the band Dusty Stray is Jonathan Brown. Born in Taiwan. Grew up in Texas as son of a preacher man. Raised on songs about death and resurrection. Went to college. Discovered vast archive of early American folk music from the 20s and 30s. Began writing his own songs. Moved to Austin where he first performed his music. Travelled with guitar through Central America where he met a Belgian woman and followed her to Europe. Met a Spanish woman. Moved to Barcelona. Formed a bluegrass band, a psychedelic rock band and a freak folk band. Met a Dutch woman.
Moved to the Netherlands where he remains today (with the same Dutch woman). Wrote, produced and performed in Amsterdam and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival “LHO: LEE HARVEY OSWALD The Musical” in 2005. Wrote, recorded and co-produced Dusty Stray's debut album “Tales Of Misfortune And Woe” released on Basta Records in 2009 and billed by main Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant as one of the Top Ten Albums Of 2009. He went on to write and record Dusty Stray's "Light Years Away" (Basta 2011, produced by Ken Stringfellow and JB Meijers) and "Family Album" (Basa 2013, produced by Kramer), both receiving critical praise in Europe and abroad.
Brown’s many influences include Harry Smith (Anthology Of American Folk Music), writer/illustrator Edward Gorey, The Handsome Family, Bill Callahan, Bonnie Prince Billy, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Gillian Welch, The Velvet Underground, Pavement and The Flaming Lips.
When not on stage, he can be found in junk shops and flea markets searching for discarded photographs, 8mm home movies and diverse materials for his artwork which in turn serves as inspiration for Dusty Stray.
|20.12.2014||20:00||Xmas Show Theater Branoul||The Hague|
|30.12.2014||20:30||De Nieuwe Anita||Amsterdam|
|16.01.2015||21:00||Cafe Peter Pan||Groningen|
|29.01.2015||21:00||The Taphouse||Wimborne, UK|
|31.01.2015||13:00||SHHH Festival||London, UK|