Celebrating 32 years of music, ideas, & community on the radio
eTown Time Capsule: Ron Pope / Pieta Brown

We travel back in time yet again to revisit a show from 2019 featuring musical guests Ron Pope and Pieta Brown. Nick also has an amazing chat with Martin Tyner and his Golden Eagle buddy Scout!


Ron Pope

Platinum recording independent artist, Ron Pope, made a name for himself in the early days of music streaming with the viral success of his song, “A Drop in the Ocean” – which has now been streamed over 1 billion times going platinum in the US and double platinum in Sweden. Once a die-hard New Yorker, Pope ultimately landed in Nashville where his songwriting is a natural fit for the Americana, roots, and country communities. His last full album, Bone Structure (March 2020), received praise from Rolling Stone, Billboard, CMT, Relix, The Tennessean, and more. In early 2022 he landed in Nashville Scene as 12 artists you need to watch. His latesr full length album, Inside Voices, was released in June 2023.

Pieta Brown

The daughter of two preacher’s kids, Pieta Brown’s early upbringing in Iowa was in a rural outpost with no furnace, running water, or TV.  There, she was exposed to traditional and rural folk music through her father, Greg Brown, the now beloved Midwestern folk singer.  Later, while living with her mother in Birmingham, Alabama during her formative years, Pieta drew on and expanded these influences and began writing poems and composing instrumental songs on piano.  By the time she left home at 18 she had lived in at least 19 different houses and apartments between Iowa and Alabama.

In her early 20’s, after experiencing what she describes as “the songs calling,” Pieta started experimenting with the banjo and eventually picked up a 1930’s Maybell arch-top guitar during a visit to her father’s place and never looked back.  Emerging from a disjointed and distinctly ‘bohemian’ upbringing, Pieta began performing live and making independent recordings soon after teaching herself how to play guitar. “I grew up around a lot of musicians and artists living on the fringe, and have always felt most at home among them,” Pieta says.

Continually revealing new layers as both a songwriter and performer, Pieta is being recognized as one of modern Americana’s true gems.  In recent years Pieta has released multiple highly critically acclaimed albums, with much attention being paid not only to her distinct sound and style, but also the power of her singing and songwriting, including fan favorite, Paradise Outlaw (2014 Red House, which Bon Iver master mind, Justin Vernon, called his “favorite recording made at our studio.”) Pieta has toured North America with Mark Knopfler, and toured various regions of the U.S., Australia and Canada with John Prine, Amos Lee, Brandi Carlisle, JJ CaleAni Difranco, Mavis Staples, and Calexico among others.  She has co-written songs with and made recent guest appearances on albums by Calexico, Amos Lee, and Iris Dement. In the last few years Pieta’s songs and music have been heard in various TV Shows and indie films including Everything Will Be Fine (Wim Wenders).  With the release of her  most recent album Freeway (September 2019, Righteous Babe) co-produced by Bon Iver drummer, S. Carey, followed by multiple experimental collaborations since with various artists including JT Bates, S.Carey, and Howe Gelb & The Colorist Orchestra, Pieta’s music and artistry continue to rise.

Martin Tyner

At age twelve, Martin Tyner started caring for the sick, injured and orphaned creatures in his home town of Simi Valley, CA. At age nineteen, Tyner was hired as curator of birds of prey at Busch Gardens, CA. He worked in the movie and television industry training big cats, elephants, primates, sea mammals and raptors.

Martin Tyner is a federally licensed falconer, eagle falconer, wildlife rehabilitator, wildlife propagator, and wildlife and environmental educator. He has been providing wildlife and environmental programs throughout the western United States, to schools, scouts and community groups for over forty years.

Martin Tyner provides Birds of Prey and Excursions through Road Scholar. He is included on three of their Utah Adventures: Hiking Bryce and Zion National Parks, National Parks With Your Grandchild: Zion, Bryce & Grand Canyon and Canyons, Cliffs & Rivers: The Geological Wonders of Zion. Since these adventures change on occasion, they recommend calling before scheduling in order to make sure the itinerary is still as listed on their site.

He has also taught summer classes at Southern Utah University called The Ancient Art of Falconry and Shakespeare, and performed in the Green Show with his raptors for the Utah Shakespeare Festival.

Martin Tyner is the founder of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation of Utah, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit wildlife rescue, wildlife and environmental education organization. With the help of his golden eagle, Bud, they received a donation of 22.6 acres of beautiful, canyon property from Utah Power/Scottish Power for the development of a permanent wildlife rescue facility and a nature park for the children of Utah.

In 2005 Martin and Bud were honored by the Utah State Legislature for over a quarter-century of wildlife rescue and wildlife and environmental education in Utah. Martin Tyner is one of America’s foremost wildlife rehabilitators, a master falconer, eagle falconer, and wildlife and environmental educator.

In 1976, Martin met the love of his life, Susan, who is an animal lover in her own right. Susan Heaton Tyner began her career working with animals in 1977, as a bather-brusher at the Canine Castle, a local dog grooming shop, in Simi Valley and finished her training at the Pet Oasis, in Lancaster, CA, where she graduated to the position of professional dog groomer.

Susan and Martin moved to Cedar City, UT, in the winter of 1979 where they raised two children. In 1982, they opened Tyner’s Pets and Dog Grooming where Martin ran the pet shop and Susan groomed dogs.

Susan volunteered as a leader in 4-H, developing the Guide Dog for the Blind puppy program in Southern Utah. She has been grooming dogs professionally for over thirty years and is an award-winning, international, creative groomer.

Martin continues to travel throughout the west providing wildlife programs accompanied by his devoted companion, Scout, a wild golden eagle. Between events, Martin and his birds have plenty of experience on both sides of the camera. Since high school, Martin has polished his skills as a wildlife photographer. He makes his own prints and sells them at events and online to raise funds for his foundation. He is also long experienced handling his birds for movie and television crews.

In 2015 Martin was named Cedar City Man of the year.

2018 marked Martin’s 50th year of caring of critters and educating the public. His efforts were acknowledged by the City Council of Cedar City and Senator Vickers honored Martin on the Utah State Senate floor.