This is likely going to make me sound like the aging music writer that I try to deny that I am, but here goes: back in the days when I was a serious CD/cassette buyer, I used to love picking up CD singles of my favorite bands/artists because it guaranteed a few bonus tracks that gave me another facet of said band/artist that to grapple with. Usually, this meant a cover song or two, a remix of the title track, or - if I was really lucky - a stripped down version of a song from the band's most recent album or one that had yet to be released. It was a peek into the sanctum sanctorum of the creative process.
Well, that's at least what came to mind as I listened through the latest release by one of Portland's best singer/songwriters Rachel Taylor Brown. Recorded during the sessions for her last full-length World So Sweet, Brown says that "these are some old songs that my engineer and producer Jeff Stuart Saltzman suggested I get down during a little break in recording." So, with just a mic and a guitar (or a piano on some tracks), she laid the tracks down, one after the other, warts and all.