Viper At The Virgin's Feet

by Allison Brown

supported by
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

      $10 CAD  or more




“Viper At The Virgin’s Feet”
Independently Released May 15th, 2010
Produced By David Essig & Allison Brown
Folk ~ Roots ~ Songwriter ~ Country

Tempted to tread the dusty highway between light and darkness, joy and sorrow, faith and doubt, sunshine and rain; Allison’s second release “Viper At The Virgin’s Feet” reveals deep explorations of gospel and roots music surrounding originals forged from the fires of folk tradition. The anticipated follow-up to 2005’s “Everything That Shined”, Allison narrowly escapes the devil’s teeth as “Viper At The Virgin’s Feet” snakes though twelve tales of heartbreak, stormy skies, fearless faith and a detour to cactus country. Like a serpent in the garden, ominous undercurrents simmer beneath the surface of “Viper At The Virgin’s Feet”. The album’s title track “Something Holy” sings through the eyes of a brave believer in an Appalachian rattlesnake handling church meeting, while “If I Was A Weathergirl” is a winsome languish inspired by real life TV News personalities. Allison captures her inner outlaw translating Townes Van Zandt’s “Poncho & Lefty” and pays tribute to favourite songwriters Iris Dement and Patty Griffin on her way out of the desert. “Uncloudy Day/Evenin’ Train” testifies Allison’s joyful devotion to revival, and “All The Birds” flies Allison out of the deep dark forest only to realize the journey is still at its beginning.

Allison reunited with her musical mentor and producer of her 2005 release “Everything That Shined”, David Essig at his home studio on Protection Island, British Columbia for recording sessions that would bring Allison’s newest songs to life on record. Followed by a month long solo Greyhound Bus tour, with guitar, ukulele and suitcase in hand, she returned to London with eight pearls from the ocean-side sessions. Four more songs were added this winter from live off the floor sessions at Andy Magoffin’s House Of Miracles.

The west coast band features Rick Scott (Pied Pumkin) on dulcimer, Tamara Little on high lonesome harmonies, Shelley Brown on upright bass, Trish Clair-Peck on violins, and David Essig’s artistry on a number of electric and acoustic guitars. Recorded completely live from the studio floor, the Miracles sessions feature Jedd House on upright bass, Aaron Lozynsky on harmonica and acoustic guitar, Blair Heddle on mandolin, banjo and dobro, and Blair Whatmore on accordion. Misguided angels Anna Atkinson and Erin Gignac flew in to provide viola, violin and choir-loft harmonies. London photographer Mike Bourgeault captured the images for the album sleeve and John James Audubon’s “Common Mockingbird” was used with permission from the New York Historical Society for the album cover.

“’Viper At The Virgin’s Feet’ fulfills the promise of her fantastic debut; it’s the Allison originals that are my favourites” ~ David Clarke, Scene Magazine

“a gorgeous voice that seemed too big for one person” ~ Barbara Bruderlin, B.C. Musician

“rather obvious that she’s listened to a lot of great music and has let the timelessness of traditional music and generations of great artists inform her own songwriting and her wise choice to balance her repertoire with well-chosen traditional and contemporary folksongs” ~ Mike Regenstreif, Folk Roots/Folk Branches

“’All The Birds’ was the complete elixir I needed to feel many troubles melt away”~ Scott Vernon, Roots Music Canada

“’Viper At The Virgin’s Feet’ offers an authentic rural flavour throughout and Brown particularly conveys a mature, confident delivery” ~ Andreas Gripp, CHRW 94.9fm


released May 15, 2010

Allison Brown ~ Vocals, Guitar, Baritone Ukulele & Tambourine
David Essig ~ Guitars, Ukulele, Bass
Shelley Brown ~ Bass
Tamara Little ~ Vocals
Rick Scott ~ Dulcimer & Vocals
Trish Clair Peck ~ Violin
Anna Atkinson ~ Violin, Viola and Vocals
Erin Gignac ~ Piano and Harmony Vocals
Aaron Lozynsky ~ Harmonica and Guitar
Blair Heddle ~ Banjo, Dobro & Mandolin
Jedd House ~ Upright Bass
Blair Whatmore ~ Accordion

To purchase a physical copy CD with all 13 tracks including:
Pancho & Lefty
Mr. Valentine's Dead
Long Ride Home
and Our Town

email or visit

All Photography by Mike Borgeault

Art Design By Melissa Parrott

John James Audubon's 'Mockingbird' was used with permission from the New York Historical Society.



all rights reserved


Allison Brown Windsor, Ontario

Allison Brown’s sweet, powerful singing offers a captivating invitation to follow her down lonesome railroad lines, into abandoned buildings, back in time, to high above the stratosphere as she illustrates landscapes both strange and familiar with her newest collection of songs. “a gorgeous voice that seemed way too big for one person” ~ NoDepression.Com ... more

contact / help

Contact Allison Brown

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Track Name: All The Birds
When I get over the mountain
When I cross that river
When I get out of the deep dark forest
I will still be a beginner

When I look over my shoulder
At all I've left behind
I will forgive every sinner
And all of those who have treated me unkind
They will all go back to gold in good time

And All The Birds are Circling
All The Birds are Circling
All The Birds are Circling

My old hands don't look like they used to
After so much fruitless farming
Will I ever be contented
With a heart forever starving

And All The Birds are Circling
All The Birds are Circling
They're stealing every seed that I sow
All The Birds Are Circling
All The Birds Are Circling
One Day they're gonna fly me home
One old day they're gonna fly me home

Now I'm over the mountain
Crossed that river wide and swift
I got out of the deep dark forest
I never thought that it would look like this

I never thought it would look like this
And All The Birds are Circling
All The Birds are Circling
All The Birds are Circling
Track Name: If I Was A Weathergirl
If I was a weathergirl
I would marry a racecar driver
I'd work-out every morning if my teeth were straight and white
Every now and then I might smoke a cigarrette
While he's driving around in circles in his number five Corvette

If I was a weathergirl
I would make hair appointments
At the end of every month so my roots would never show
I'd wear contact lenses
As I looked into the cameras
I'd go right on smiling through the rain and through the snow

And in my wedding picture
Me and my racecar driver
My shining silver lining
Under partly cloudy skies
When it's below freezing
He would keep me warm
And be my bolt of lightning that would quiet all my storms

Sometimes at night I'd dream about
The day they read the news
About the smoke and fire and the twisted metal ruins
And I'd be helpless watching from the sky
Like a weather balloon

I'd be home cooking dinner
While he's out there winning races
and while the Budweiser girls
Douse him with champagne
My girlfriends might ask me if I ever get jealous I'd say
"It's a payment on the house and, I can't complain"

If I was a weathergirl I would see into the future
And I would know for certain that you would be coming home
I wouldn't doubt my forecast
That we would be alright
And we would be together when we cross the finish line
We would be together when we cross the finish line

If I was a weathergirl I would marry a racecar driver

Allison Brown SOCAN 2009
Track Name: Something Holy
I've got a ready and a made up mind
The Lord won't take me before my time
Makes no difference if you laugh and scorn
Mark the following signs
To my reward

There's Something Holy
On the edge of the mountain
Let your faith break your fall
There's Something Holy
On the teeth of the Devil
I see the light as the blood is drawn

Touch my lips to the jar of poison
Feel the fire in my throat
Shout out loud as I tremble
With the quickening power
Of the Holy Ghost

~ solo ~

So let me die a common sinner
If my soul remains unclean
When I hear that demon's whisper
I will know I've been redeemed


Copperhead and Diamondback
Lead me on that path divine
Steal the Viper from the feet of the Virgin
Hold it on the shoulders of your faithful child

Track Name: The Nice Guy
It could have been the geography
Some flaw in the technology
It could have been anything else but you trying to make a fool out of me
Stop shining lights in my direction
I get high on blind affection
It's a breeze that so seldom lifts my wings

They say there's no fury like a woman scored
So I'm telling you now so that you've been warned
There's more sorrow in a woman accidentally swooned
You picked the wrong girl to be so nice to

Intuition is hard not to trust
Imagination can be dangerous
With the night so dark we'd never know what's ahead of us
Thought I was easier to see through
I haven't got a lot to hold on to
With the light of my eyes you can read my cards
I can gamble with a chance of winning
Just wish you would have told me from the beginning
That the deck you were dealing
Was missing all the hearts

Bridge -
You were looking for a friend in me
And you'll get one eventually
Gold like yours ain't so easily found
Hey you were nice enough
To let me down

So while I'm sitting here deconstructing
Wondering if I should say something
But I'm too sunk down even to say goodbye
With your fire burning back at home
So many walking wounded out here on the road
Maybe you shouldn't be such
A Nice Guy

Allison Brown SOCAN 2009