Americana singer-songwriter Abby Brown released her second EP, Heart on Fire, in the fall of last year, which was produced by John Heithaus and Peter Young. The EP was recorded in Nashville at Zac Brown’s studio, Southern Grind, and features a cover of Marren Morris’ single, “Sugar,” along with four originals.
Overcoming a congenital medical issue, Brown found healing through music and discovered her identity. Along with two of her sisters, they formed the trio Flatiron Junction traveling and performing across the country, with highlights playing the National Anthem at Fenway Park and at the Coors Field for the Colorado Rockies.
Brown fills us in on her background and Heart on Fire.
… my identity has always been based on my music.
Tell us about Abby Brown and your musical background.
That’s a big question! I am 26 years old, a Libra, and I love yoga, music, and dogs. Haha, but all jokes aside, I have been in love with music since before I could talk. When I was 6 and had just been diagnosed with congenital hearing loss, I still envisioned myself singing to thousands of people one day. My two younger sisters and I started playing music around town and festivals by the time I was 9, and today, my dreams of making music a full-time career are still very much alive. I started playing piano at 6, and by the time I was 10, I began guitar lessons, and it changed my life. I soon started writing songs with my sister Sarah, and that’s truly when things started to happen for us musically. Being able to accompany ourselves to play the songs we had written was such a satisfying thing for us. And, for most of my youth and into my young adult life, across the many states I’ve lived in, my identity has always been based on my music. It’s a key driver for what has made me, me.
Your EP Heart On Fire was released late last year. Share with us the backstory.
Yes, I am super excited about all the music I’ve been able to release so far. The latest EP was recorded in Nashville, TN at Zac Brown Studios, and produced by John Heithaus and Peter Young. Recording there and with such talented musicians was amazing! I wrote four of the five songs, and they highlight a lot of different times of my life over the last few years. My favorite songs on the EP are probably “Every Day of My Life” because it perfectly sums up how I feel about my boyfriend and fellow bandmate, Trevor Krehel. “Love, Release Me” is also a favorite because I wrote it a few years ago but came back across it and was like, “Why the heck haven’t I done anything with this song yet?!” I think you’ll find that my sound is unique to what is on the Americana and Country charts, but it’s a uniqueness that is desperately needed right now. I couldn’t be more grateful for the support from my friends, family, and label for helping me be in this position, and right now I am just trying with everything I have to get my music in front of the people who want to hear it.
You covered Maren Morris’ “Sugar” on the EP. Why that song?
“Sugar” was one of the songs on her first album that should have gotten more airtime. It’s fun, uptempo, and sassy, and doing a fun Americana take on it was right up my alley. We slowed it down ever so slightly and made it a little softer than Maren’s original version, and I am really happy with the results!
Who are your musical influences?
My sisters and I started playing music together because we wanted to be The Dixie Chicks. Our first song we ever played was their version of “Landslide,” and it’s still to this day one of my favorite songs to play. Other big influences of mine are Alison Krauss, Kacey Musgraves, Colbie Callait, (early) Taylor Swift, Stevie Nicks, and Sheryl Crow.
What guitar(s) do you play and why?
My favorite guitar that I play is an R. Taylor. I had never heard of them until I was at Dusty Strings in Fremont, Seattle, and I was about to buy a different Taylor guitar when this one caught my eye. It had just been brought in on consignment, and I made an offer on the spot. It’s a 65′ radius Sitka Spruce top with a Koa body. And it’s a “Style 2” built in 2008. Every time I pick it up, I feel like it was made for me!
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