The indie folk ensemble Brown Bird initially formed as a vehicle for lead vocalist and songwriter David Lamb.
In 2003, having lived briefly in Seattle, Lamb moved east to Portland, Maine, where he started working on a handful of folk tunes that compared favorably to the spare, rough-hewn work of artists like Bonnie "Prince" Billy
and Iron & Wine
. Lamb's friends, Jerusha and Jeremy Robinson, were soon brought on board to round out Brown Bird's sound, and the trio self-released their debut full-length, Tautolougy, in 2006. The band self-released one more disc, Such Unrest, the following year before they were picked up by Portland, Maine's Peapod Recordings
. Their first album on that label, The Bottom of the Sea, came out in 2008; Lamb undertook a solo tour of the U.S. in support of that release soon after. While he was on the road, Lamb made the acquaintance of the Rhode Island-based multi-instrumentalists MorganEve Swain and Mike Samos, who ended up playing in support of Lamb for a couple of his solo shows. Swain and Samos were brought on board as full-fledged members of Brown Bird before the year came to an close. Brown Bird's fourth studio album, The Devil Dancing, was released in November of the following year. Inspired by the writings of Omar Khayyam, Christopher Hitchens, and Plato, among others, the newly minted duo's fifth outing, the self-produced Fits of Reasons, dropped in early 2013. While on the road in support of the album, Lamb, who had been in poor health for several months, was diagnosed with leukemia. Sadly, he succumbed to the disease on April 5, 2014. The following year, Swain, with the help of her brother Spencer Swain and engineer Seth Manchester, applied the finishing touches to Axis Mundi, the duo's final album. ~ Margaret Reges, Rovi