Rebecca Pronsky is a native of New York City, but for the first time since she started making music, she chose not to stay in the city to record. For her new project "viewfinder," she ventured far away to an 18th century farmhouse in rural Maine and lived there with her band and engineer Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter, Langhorne Slim, Erin McKeown). The result is a wealth of textures and tones that can only come from this open-ended recording framework and it brings Rebecca's twangy country gems to the next level. (There's even a cricket that made it onto one of the tracks.) The album was mixed by Scott Solter (John Vanderslice, Superchunk, The Mountain Goats) and mastered by Yes Master Studios (Steve Forbert, Jill Sobule, Nanci Griffith) and includes a cover of a tune by Rebecca's long time friend Lucy Wainwright Roche, whom she toured the UK with in 2010. Rebecca is joined for her 2011 UK tour this time by guitarist and collaborator Rich Bennett. The duo has shared stages with Josh Ritter, Shawn Colvin, Steve Forbert, Carrie Rodriguez, Patty Larkin, Erin McKeown, and Loudon Wainwright III, among others. Time Out NY says "Pronsky's tunes are literate, passionate, and wry" and Americana UK says "Classy stuff. The voice is crystal clear as the lyrics are delivered with power and dexterity over the shifting retro guitar lines. There are flavours of swamps and dark drives in hot places... and of the blue bayou. A huge voice with songs to match: file under talent yet to be discovered."
Hear more at http://www.rebeccapronsky.com
FSR Review of the album here http://flyinshoes.ning.com/profiles/blogs/rebecca-pronsky-viewfinder
Brooklyn, NY. Brooklyn, NY.1. WHERE WERE YOU BORN, WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
Probably playing my dad's disco records on the turntable in our living room.2. WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY?
I bought the LP Bon Jovi "New Jersey," and the 45 of Guns & Roses "Paradise City," and the 45 of Poison "Your Mama Don't Dance" when I was 9. I didn't really have a consciousness about any of these bands being cool or irreverant or stylish or anything. I just liked the songs.3. WHAT WAS THE FIRST RECORD YOU OWNED?
I sang "The Locomotion" in a musical instrument recital when I was 8. I was the only singer and the only kid wearing sunglasses for the performance.4. WHEN AND WHERE WAS YOUR FIRST PERFORMANCE?
Definitely Joni Mitchell. Although I haven't listened to her with much regularity since college, she was the first artist that made me smarter musically. I followed her from folksie flower child to experimental jazz artist, devouring album after album, and expanding my ears. Her discography is a poetic coming of age story and musically contains education.5. WHO IS THE SINGLE BIGGEST MUSICAL INFLUENCE ON YOUR WORK?
I went to see Loudon Wainwright III when I was 16 with his daughter Lucy, my close friend at the time (and still today). I'd never really been to see a one-person show before and I was blown away with how entertaining he was all by himself and I saw that one individual can fill up a room. It really changed my perspective.6. WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE CONCERT YOU'VE ATTENDED?
Some of the most memorable shows I've played have been the bad ones. I really appreciate all the wonderful experiences I've had on tour and all the generous folks I've met on the road. But good shows are generally good for the same reasons: the audience is really attentive, the venue has excellent sound, we really enjoying exploring the local culture. For the bad shows, they each have their own uniquely awful, funny or bizarre circumstance. Once an extremely loud 5-piece jam band opened up for me playing solo. At the last show ever of the music series I hosted for 5 years, a guy tried to bribe me to get on stage and play. Another time I spent weeks getting us special permission to cross the border into Canada for one show, spent hours in the car, got held at the border for hours (which involved a drug sniffing dog, paperwork, and a waiting room) only to be released, sent across the border and when we got to the show, there were more of us on stage than in the audience. There was also this time did a gig at a university in the student center -- on one end of the giant space we played to a bunch of empty chairs and on the other end there was a "stuff your own teddy bear" activity going on and it was mobbed.7. WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE CONCERT YOU'VE PLAYED?
I did filing at a doctors office for a while. I was really terrible at it and important information got lost all the time. I lasted 7 weeks.8. WHAT IS THE WORST JOB YOU'VE EVER HAD?
Wow, this is a really hard question. I've written, re-written, and then erased my response several times. Artistry is something you feel and its very personal. I'm finding it near impossible to define. I certainly identify as an artist, but I believe the term should be used more broadly. One of the positive things about the internet age and the fragmentation of the music industry is that more people are creating and showing their art. Creativity is no longer something a few individuals are rewarded for. We are undergoing a major shift in how we share what we make, and that will change art as we know it.9. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS MEANT BY THE WORD ARTIST?
Haha, actually I'm reading the Let's Go Guide to Great Britain! I'm really excited about my UK tour! Can you tell?
Oh the music industry is never good! In a way, things are better, because there's even more opportunity for everyone to participate and share what they do. In another way, things are really over-saturated and it's extremely difficult to be heard. I try to just keep doing what I do and not worry about where I fit in.11. IS THE MUSIC INDUSTRY BETTER NOW OR WHEN YOU STARTED?
My favorite song is the final track "Good Life." The song is over 5 minutes long and has only 12 words in the lyrics... and I think it's my best work! The song has a lot of space and an ambient texture. It feels complete and yet is so open ended. The record has this vibe throughout but that song is the culmination of it and of what I am going for these days.12. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SONG ON THE ALBUM, AND WHAT THE BEST THING FOR YOU ABOUT THIS NEW ALBUM?
"Song About Traveling" by the Innocence Mission. I was obsessed with this song many years ago and I've been listening to it a lot again. They are probably my favorite band ever. Their sound is so delicate and beautiful. This song, especially, is heartbreaking and deals with time passing and loss. It's SO good.13. WHAT IS THE FAVOURITE SONG SOMEONE ELSE HAS WRITTEN (AT THE MOMENT) ?
HBO14. WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT MODERN LIFE?
MTV15. WHAT'S THE WORST?
The internet: allows me to self-book tours, promote my music, and connect to artists and promoters worldwide.16. WHAT SINGLE THING HAS HELPED YOU MOST IN YOUR CAREER?
The internet: sucked me in and kept me from being creative all too often.17. WHAT SINGLE THING HAS HINDERED YOUR CAREER?
Water. New York City has the best water around. I miss it when I'm on tour. It's part of why our bagels are so good; they are boiled in it.18. WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE DRINK?
Not the most original response, but I was particularly active in the Obama campaign. I'm still behind him and I hope he gets another term. The US is so full of anger and extremism right now. Intelligence and sanity are rarer and rarer these days in our country.19. WHO'S YOUR FAVOURITE POLITICIAN?
20. WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN IN 2011?.
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