Brown Doesn't Mind Joni Mitchell Comparisons

Emerging artist Colleen Brown performed for her first time at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival this year. Since her second album released in 2008 she has been growing more popular with the help of many radio personnel including Rich Terfry (a.k.a. Buck 65). I first heard Colleen play at the Winspear opening for Hawksley Workman at his Edmonton concert. She was amazing, and I was very excited to hear that she would be at the FolkFest! 

Performing at the Winspear, she spoke about how she used to work in the box office there. She was ecstatic about playing there herself and one could see that she was genuinely happy. “That was really amazing for me,” she told me in an interview earlier on today, “and I have to say, I don’t think that I’ll ever experience that again.” 

Brown has grown enormously in popularity over the past couple of years, and now is being compared to the likes of Joni Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot. “I really like both Joni and Gordon,” Colleen explained, “but I do make my own music and I want to be recognized as an artist in my own right. But when somebody says you sound like Joni Mitchell you say ‘thank you, very much.’”  

This was Colleen Brown’s first time performing at the Edmonton Folk Festival, but she had gone to the FolkFest before as an audience member. I just can’t imagine how it would be to be a part of the music at the FolkFest after watching the music for so long! However even though she was performing she still was listening to music she informed me. Sarah Harmer, Brandi Carlile, Colin Hay and Levon Helm were her picks for this year’s festival. 

Playing music since she was six years old and writing songs since she was twelve, Colleen always thought that she was going to be a musician. “I think I always knew that I was going to be a professional singer, but I just didn’t have any expectations.” And she’s always writing music, sometimes even on the high level bridge! “I find that when I go out walking, that’s the time that I’m most creative.” 

“The album sounds like some of the best music you heard on pop radio back in the ‘70s... I love this album,” spoke Rich Terfry, host of CBC Radio 2 Drive, of Colleen Brown’s latest album. This advertising by Rich really does work, Colleen told me. At a concert that she was playing in Toronto there was a considerably larger crowd than other at other concerts all because Terfry had encouraged people to go to it. 

Colleen Brown plays the guitar and the piano, just like I do, so at the end of the interview she gave me some pieces of advice. “Do great work and everthing else will fall into place,” some advice that her friend had first given her. She next gave me some colourful advice from her former mentor. Colleen explained how he would get in her face and point his finger at his nose, and then finally he’d tell her, “don’t f*** up!”

more in Music Feature     |     posted Aug 8th, 2010 at 8:48pm     

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