Rebecca Pronsky is a born and raised Brooklynite who plays twangy folk that is as “urban as it is rural, not afraid to be sophisticated” (Maverick). She’s a “poetic lyricist” (All Music Guide), who sounds “more retro than redneck” (Creative Loafing), “like The Smiths relocated to Nashville” (Northern Sky). On stage her performances are “passionate and wry” (Time Out NY) and “near electric” (Birmingham Mail).
Only Daughter (out March 19, 2013) is Rebecca’s 3rd release on Austin, TX label Nine Mile Records. The album was produced by Rebecca’s husband and guitarist Rich Bennett and recorded and mixed by friend and collaborator Scott Solter. Together, Bennett and Solter help create a record that is gritty and dark, layered and dreamy, bravely disobeying the usual conventions of the Americana genre.
However it is still Pronsky that anchors the sound. In praise of her last record (2011′s Viewfinder) NPR said “her voice conveys the wisdom of experience” and “she addresses the struggles of a generation attempting to get by.” This couldn’t be more true than on Only Daughter, which delves deeper into the territories of self-judgment, forgiveness and personal change amidst a conflicting and strange time in the life of a nation.
A native of New York City, Rebecca has been singing since she was in elementary school and added songwriting to her repertoire around age 16 when she picked up the guitar for the first time. She went on to study Ethnomusicology and jazz at Brown University and came home to Brooklyn with a diploma and a demo CD. She soon met guitarist and composer Rich Bennett, who has been her musical partner and co-producer ever since. The two finally married in 2012.
Rebecca and Rich are a touring team who have graced the stage internationally at clubs and festivals. Rich “puts the trimmings on the music with a battery of echo drenched, twangy leads” (Blurt) and Rebecca “sings with both warmth and steely conviction” (Herald Scotland). In their years of touring, they’ve shared stages with a group of varied artists including Shawn Colvin, Freedy Johnston, Patty Larkin, Peter Case, Josh Ritter, Erin McKeown, Loudon Wainwright III, Caroline Herring, Blame Sally, Sarah Bettens of K’s Choice, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, The Everybodyfields, Shannon McNally, Catie Curtis, The Bowerbirds, Eilen Jewell, Tracy Grammer, Carrie Rodriguez, Wayne Hancock, Amy Rigby & Wreckless Eric, Steve Forbert, and many others.
In case you were wondering, Rebecca’s top albums are:
1.) Hejira (Joni Mitchell)
2.) Hissing of Summer Lawns (Joni Mitchell)
3.) Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (PJ Harvey)
4.) Glow (Innocence Mission)
5.) Club de Esquina (Milton Nascimento)
6.) Aja (Steely Dan)
7.) Flaming Red (Patty Griffin)
8.) Nine Objects of Desire (Suzanne Vega)
9.) Carney (Leon Russell)
10.) Heaven or Las Vegas (Cocteau Twins)
11.) Geogaddi (Boards of Canada)
12.) Little Steps (Merrie Amsterburg)
13.) A Bird Flies Out (Deb Talan)
14.) Sea Change (Beck)
15.) Regrooving the Dream (Patty Larkin)
REBECCA PERFORMS AND RECORDS WITH:
(band bios by Dan Shuman)
Rich “Tasty Licks” Bennett (Guitars)
Richard Bennett, a native of Staten Island, began playng guitar after a convincing viewing of La Bamba. He is a veteran of NYU’s Jazz Department. While attending school there, Bennett became especially fond of the chicken salad in the cafeteria. He enjoys watching serial dramas like Twin Peaks and teaching children guitar. Rich has made his mark musically performing with many groups, most notably he co-founded seminal prog/math rock outfit Friendly Bears, after which he began his long tenure as chief frontman and songwriter for NYC’s Monocle. He has also released solo work under his own name via Hidden Shoal Recordings and has a new solo guitar EP out now.
Dan “Nuchim” Shuman (Upright and Electric Bass)
Daniel Shuman is a native of Sharon, Massachusetts. A while back he graduated with a degree in Jazz Studies and Performance from William Paterson College in Wayne, New Jersey. Since then, he has been a movie theater usher, a legal proofreader, a recorder of adverse drugreactions and, for all intents and purposes, a babysitter. In his spare time he reads about neoconservative politics and Swedish swear words. He’s also a great songwriter in his own right.
Russ “Fuss” Meissner (Drums)
30-something “Fuss” Meissner hails from Toronto where as a youth he exhibited contemporaneous passions for both secular judaism and banging on things for fun. Hearing Canadian drum luminary Neal Peart solidified his interest in drums, but he found the allure of New York City potato latkes and kasha varnishkes too alluring to remain in the cold north. He packed a small satchel and headed to the States where he succumbed to the swing eighth note and even the occasional pulled pork sandwich. Today Fuss offers an open-ended culinary approach coupled with an intense yet transparent method of monotheistic percussion. Read more about him at his website.
Basil (Moog/ Electric organ)
Basil got his start doing voice-overs for pet food ads. Although he enjoyed the spotlight, he yearned to explore his more creative side, and thus became interested in keyboard instruments. Basil has developed a special playing technique which he calls “free paw;” it involves running at lightning speed across the keys and flipping switches at random. Basil is currently director of the Feline Moog Project, a small Brooklyn experimental music collective.