The Mill Restaurant is a long-standing center of the fertile live music scene in Iowa City. More than a few local artists got their start performing on the small stage in the intimate venue. Notably so are the family of artists that once existed on Dave Zollo’s now-defunct label Trailer Records: Greg Brown, Bo Ramsey, Pieta Brown, The Pines and others. All of these artists saw The Mill as a kind of home turf and would frequently come back to play small shows. Sometimes these shows were used as a way to work out new material, or to warm up for a tour.
Pieta Brown took the opportunity in 2009 and 2010 to bring a special series of shows with music and art to the Mill Restaurant as an artist-in-residence she called This Land Is Your Music. These were really special shows played mostly to a local crowd that was populated with family, friends and fans, old and new. Pieta graciously donated the proceeds of the admission to a couple of her favorite charities: Iowa Public Radio and Friends of Hickory Hills.
It is this palpable sense of place and local pride that pervades Pieta’s music and her art and we are lucky that even with her worldwide touring, she still wants to bring her music back home. Pieta is back home this weekend with a show at the Mill on Saturday night. At her side will be her constant companion Bo Ramsey who will be surrounding her homespun variety of folk, blues, rock and country with his harmony vocals and guitar atmospherics.
This show is one of the two shows that are currently on Pieta’s calendar for April, but in May she will be performing a few dates with Carrie Rodriguez.
Opening for Pieta will be local folky songbirds The Vagabonds. The Vagabonds opened for Pieta in December at the first This Land is Your Music II show and also joined Pieta and others on stage for an encore. Maybe we’ll get to see another collaboration this weekend?
In other Pieta-related news, she just recorded a version of Bob Dylan’s “Dirt Road Blues” for an upcoming Red House Records tribute to Bob Dylan for his 70th birthday called A Nod to Bob.
Daytrotter.com recently posted Pieta’s second session with them. Click Here to listen.
Pieta Brown and Bo Ramsey will be with special guests The Vagabonds at The Mill Restaurant on Saturday, April 9th at 8PM. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. You can buy tickets HERE.