"I was a tender reed, bent in the wind..."
-- Plumb, "Sink 'n Swim"
A few hours before playing what she thought would be her last gig, Plumb was handed a note that changed her life.
She was making an afternoon appearance at a local record store. Fans were lining up for autographs, or to shove urgent notes at the young singer with curly jet-black hair, riveting stage presence, and spellbinding ways with a song.
Her first two albums each sold more than 100,000 copies with minimal promotion -- in fact, the second was released only days before she broke her ties with the label.
Despite all that, despite the pens and CDs waving in her face and the familiar mantra that "you rock!" shouted in her direction, Plumb stood at a crossroads. Even as she smiled and signed, she was thinking that maybe she couldn't do this anymore. Hassles with her label, the grind of the artist's life, thoughts of hanging it up as a performer and concentrating purely on songwriting and production... doubts had been nagging at her for some time, and that day in Fresno she was thinking that maybe this was the end of that road.
As her mind drifed to these thoughts, Breanna stepped up and introduced herself.
"She said to me, 'I know you're really busy, but I wanted to give you this note. A song you wrote has meant a lot to me," Plumb recalls. "I didn't read it until later, in the car ride back to soundcheck for the show. It shook my world. I was drenched in humility."
The letter was about "Damaged," a song Plumb had written and recorded about a girl coping with being molested as a child. The message from Breanna was simple: "Whatever you do, I just want you to never forget that you have helped change someone's life."
"Sitting in the back seat, I felt a knot in my throat," Plumb continues. "Here I am, contemplating not even doing this anymore because of the bitter taste in my mouth regarding the business. But it hit me that this wasn't about me. I'd been given a gift to communicate, to encourage and inspire. It wasn't up to me to say, 'I don't want to do this anymore.'"
With that moment tucked safely in her mind, a rejuvenated Plumb presents her Curb debut, Beautiful Lumps of Coal. Produced by Plumb and Jay Joyce (Patti Griffin, Atticus Fault, Rubyhorse, Lisa Germano), it's a vivid, vibrant explosion of music. The sound embraces raw, gutsy rock, exuberant pop, sweeping string-blown ballads -- a rainbow of styles, unified by Plumb's triple-barreled gifts as a singer,songwriter and now producer. Read more…