Another Saturday music article on Durham Cool, hurrah! Jonatha Brooke makes her way onto Durham Cool in due time. A Jonatha fan since this super talented singer/songwriter performed in The Story is now late into her solo career. If this is your first taste, you’re in for a treat. I include a few of my favorite tracks, starting with “New Dress.” You will be delighted with the lyrical subtlety and find yourself surprised she is not receiving more attention outside of the usual singer/songwriter fan groups. Most NYC musicians and fans are familiar with her, she is famous on the opposite coast. As you will find on the new dress harmony vocal obligato, Neil Finn approves.
In 1999 she started her independent label, Bad Dog, and released six more albums. Her 2008 release, The Works, combined previously unheard, unpublished Woody Guthrie lyrics with her music and arrangements. Recently, she’s co-written songs with Katy Perry and The Courtyard Hounds. Jonatha has written for three Disney films and several television shows and has composed the theme song for Joss Whedon’s, Dollhouse.
Here is the basic Jonatha Wiki:
Birth name Jonatha Brooke
Born January 23, 1964
Illinois, United States
Genres Folk rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano
Years active 1980s–present
Labels Bad Dog Records, MCA Records, Elektra, Green Linnet, Rykodisc
Associated acts The Story
Jonatha Brooke (born January 23, 1964) is an American folk rock singer-songwriter and guitarist from Massachusetts. Her music merges elements of folk, rock and pop, often with poignant lyrics and complex harmonies. She has been a performer, writer, and artist since the late 1980s, and her songs have been used in television shows and movies.
Stream Jonatha now!
Jonatha Brooke has released a number of albums over the three decades that she has been making music, but when it came to her latest batch of songs she decided to keep it short and sweet. Instead of a full -length record, she put out an EP called Imposter, in which she cherry-picked the five songs she loved most from what she had written since her last album in 2016.
Jonatha stopped by to give us a taste of the new music earlier this year. We will talk about the inspiration for the album’s title — it may not be what you think — as well as look back at some of what Jonatha has learned over her many years in the music business. Hear the complete session in the player above.
Jonatha Brooke – Walking – From the Steady Pull DVD
Jonatha Brooke – Walking – From the Steady Pull DVD – WALKING – “I’m walking in your shoes, for just a mile or two….” Originally, the song was about losing my own sense of faith. It was an ongoing conversation with my mother: “I’m running out of faith, I’m tired of losing face, and where the hell is Grace in this forsaken place?” Now it is about…everything.
I really am trying, but I sure am running out of faith. It is demoralizing, to say the least, that there are two wildly opposing versions of reality fueling the discourse. One version: A daily diet of absolute fantasy, conspiracy, and disinformation: (Drinking your own urine is now the cure for COVID if Viagra, or the debunked malaria drug, or horse de-wormer don’t work!?; The most proven, re-proven, and proven-again election results in history are still somehow suspect!?) “I can barely step around insanity and pain, and the things you will not name…” The other version, for better or worse, is based on the truth, science, facts: There was a violent attempt at a coup at the capitol a year ago. A dispiriting percentage of the population is in thrall to a petulant and delusional madman. Our voting rights are in peril. COVID is frustrating and evolving. We always knew the vaccine would not CURE it. But it sure is helping a lot of us not DIE. And, as importantly, it sure is helping a lot of us NOT cause other people to DIE. And, like it or not, masks DO help prevent the spread. Is it so much to ask? “Oh no, I’ve said too much. I haven’t said enough.” (thanks, Michael Stipe)
Back to “Walking:” There is Grace in Mitchell Froom’s swoops on the Moog. I love Val McCallums’s gorgeous chorus-y tremolo-y parts. There is beautiful order in Pete Thomas’s tight contained military drum rolls; Davey Farrager’s woofy Hofner bass. There is Grace in my spanky band that toured tirelessly behind “Steady Pull” and helped make this DVD out of colorful backdrops and thin air back in the day: Darren Embry on bass, Larry Aberman on drums, Goffrey Moore on guitar. There are a gazillion tons of gratitude to Lee Farber who directed these sweet, bare-bones videos. Grace, indeed. But I am running out of faith. Xo Jb
Jonatha Brooke – West Point (Kitchen Covid Single)
Taken from Kitchen Covid Concert #50 – Light at the end of the….LAKE: Requests, requests, I’ll do my best, let’s celebrate all 50 sets! – March 8, 2021
Provided to YouTube by Universal Music Group West Point · Jonatha Brooke & The Story Plumb ℗ 1995 UMG Recordings, Inc. Released on: 1995-01-01 Producer: Alain Mallet Composer Lyricist: Jonatha Brooke