Danny Brooks 'Texassippi Soul Man', now settled in Llano Texas has mixed the best of both Texas and Mississippi and calls it 'Texassippi'. He grew up on Hank Williams, Solomon Burke, Taj Mahal, John Lee Hooker and the Allman Brothers, Blind Boys of Alabama, and Rev. Jumpin' Jim Jericho. Older brother Greg's recordings of Solomon Burke, Joe Tex, Bobby Blue Bland and Sam Cooke added to the blend.
Years ago I had the privilege of singing one night with Brownie McGhee (story on my website) and he told me "Son 'fo a white boy, you sho' 'nuff have a suntan on the inside". Several years back after my 7th cd, Mitch Lopate introduced me to Johnny Sandlin, legendary Capricorn Records producer, who brought me down to Decatur Alabama to record 'No Easy Way Out' with the Muscle Shoals musicians...David Hood, Spooner Oldham, Scott Boyer, Kelvin Holly, Bill Stewart, Bonnie Bramlett, Kevin McKendree, James Pennebaker, The Muscle Shoals Horns and rounding it out with Carla Russell and Tina Swindell. It was a thrilling experience and a highlight in my career. It is especially sweet as I have been given a new lease on life and my music reflects the conflict/resolution of live liven hard and fast and been given another chance to make something of it.
Life is precious and we need to make the best of what we have left of it!
'Listening to Danny Brooks is like driving out of Memphis, TN on a sunny Saturday morning into the Mississippi Delta listening to WDIA. It's one of those things where time stands still. A dash of Eddie Hinton, Solomon Burke, Rev. James Cleveland and Howlin' Wolf are all ingredients in Danny's soulful musical stew'. states Greg Martin of the Kentucky Headhunters. Maybe Greg Quill, noted musician and arts writer for the Toronto Star, sums it up the best: 'This is Roots music of great distinction.'
A good mix of rockin' Soul Blues and Pop R&B/Soul Ballads, Brooks live shows rock and he pours everything into each gig; gig after gig! His motto is 'Bring it or go home'.
New recording 'Danny Brooks, 'Texassippi Soul Man' is very well received by reviewers and radio.
#10 on Texas Roots Music Chart (5 months on chart/curently #27
#28 Top 50 Blues Charts
#7 on DawgFM Top 20
Hit #1 Top 50 Blues RMR Charts/Internet
#25 KNON Living Blues Chart
#1 Top 50 Antiquarian Librarian Breakthrough Chart
BB Kings Bluesville: http://blues411.com/b-b-kings-bluesville-picks-to-click/
Lynn Daniel - Bass
Brannan Lane - Drums
Lewis Stephens - B3/Piano
Jimi Calhoun - Bass
Eddie Flores - Drums
Kenny Grimes - Guitar
Joe Forlini - Guitar
1990 After The Storm (Duke St./MCA)
1993 Rough Raw & Simple (Duke St./MCA)
1998 It's A Southern Thing (HIS House Rcd's.)
2000 Righteous, Live at The Southside Shuffle (HHR)
2002 Saved! Northern Blues Gospel Allstars (Northern Blues)
2004 Soulsville, Souled Out 'n Sanctified (HHR)
2005 Soulsville, Rock This House (HHR)
2007 No Easy Way Out (Rockin' Camel Records)
2008/Book 'Miracles For Breakfast'/John Wiley & Sons
2009 Live At The Palais Royale/Soulsville III (HHR)
2012 Danny Brooks/Texassippi Soul Man (HHR) Oct. 24th
Danny Brooks 'Texassippi Soul Man'
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Danny Brooks is one of those cats who transcend idioms, genres, and stylistic cages, blending rock a...Danny Brooks is one of those cats who transcend idioms, genres, and stylistic cages, blending rock and roll, soul, blues, and Americana (even as quintessentially Canadian as he is) in a brew that's heady as hell and impossible to resist. When he calls himself a soul man, it's neither boast nor PR strategy but just the plain truth. He in fact has a lot in common with Johnny Winter, prime period Lee Michaels, and by all rights would likely have gotten righteously together with Mike Bloomfield, had that unfortunate lived long enough. I can only imagine, and drool, at what might have occurred had such a miracle transpired: an Electric Flag with Danny Brooks? Hoooo-eeee! Texassippi Soul Man is the guy's latest, and I've reviewed him twice in these pages (here and here) but was really riveted by the live Palais Royale release a little while ago. Texassippi, then, emerges at the end of 2012 to find his perfect mid-point between studio and stage incarnations.
Brooks hides his Christian viewpoint not a whit, never has since he was salvaged. Winging firmly back from a hurtling fall saved the gent from the place where the crimson guy with the horns and pointy trident does his work, and that only jumped up Brooks' own efforts work to the next level 'cause he ain't one of these door-knocking zombies we're all too familiar with but rather a cat on fire to lend a helping hand to the down and out…and what better embodies the essence of the blues, personal or social, than that? Nor is he a slickered-up preacher type, what with all that hair down past his shoulders, leathers, cowboy hat, and shades. No, you can't pigeon-hole Mama Brooks' boy and feel safe about it.
In Texassippi, the emphasis is on all the above plus a strong sense of congregation, of an earthy meeting of the spirit with swing, slide, harmonica, and allsorts along with not a little country tossed in for good measure (catch the infectious Mama Prayed, a prime cut). Brooks knows how to play that spangly axe he wields and recruits several other fretbenders to assist, providing all kinds of licks within a stompin' bootscootin' milieu. Not a whole lot of balladry here, y'all, but when things do mellow down, as in I Wanna be with You, it's jes' a mite eerie and wistful. Otherwise, get yer dancing shoes or cowpoke boots on 'cause you're in for over 70 minutes of boogie, after which you'll need a lil' sit-me-down to catch yer breath…before jumping back up to do it all over again.
Can't Stop Riding This Train
Let It Rain
Trouble Me No More
Shakin' My Burdens Free
Hard Workin' Man
Better Man Than Me
Running With the Best of Them
I Want to Be With You
Something Gotta Hold On Me
Middle of a Miracle
You're the Best Thing About Me
The Night Hank Williams Let Me Down
Caught a Fire
All songs written by Danny Brooks except Can't Stop Riding this Train (Brooks / McTaggart).
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Danny Brooks 'Texassippi Soul Man' / HIS House Records
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I guess you can officially say that Danny Brooks is 100% Blewzz Approved. Since this is his fourth c...I guess you can officially say that Danny Brooks is 100% Blewzz Approved. Since this is his fourth consecutive CD that I've had the pleasure of working with, it's safe to say that "The Blewzzman likes the Soul Man".
On "Texassippi Soul Man" Danny Brooks, writer of all 16 tracks, sings all the lead vocals and plays harmonica, piano, stomp board, slide, rhythm and acoustic guitars and the kitchen sink (not really but I'm betting he'd even make that sound good). His fellow musicians - who number enough to to be considered a diocese - include: Lynn Daniel on bass; Eddie Flores on drums; Brannan Lane on drums & Percussion; Kenny Grimes and Joe Forlini on guitar; Louis Stephens on piano and B3 organ; Courtney Reed, Tammy Elskes, Eddie Flores, Mickie Lynn, Brannan Lane, Debi Middlebrook and Alec Fraser on Background vocals; and Brannan Lane, Sandy Lane, Patrick Russell, Joseph Holguin and Debi Middlebrook on hand claps.
On the opening track Danny Brooks sings about being a "Soul Man". However, that statement should not be confused with the thought you might have from hearing Sam & Dave or James Brown saying it. Oh yeah, they had soul and were some of the best soul men around but the soul Danny's proud of having is much deeper. Danny Brooks is a man from, of and about the soul.
The story behind this song is as compelling as the song. While driving home from a late night gig, Danny became overwhelmed with thoughts of pressing family matters. This, and the fact that just days earlier he had a hard time finishing a gig due to symptoms common to a heart attack, led him to ask the Lord for help. Right then, right there, the words started coming to him and before he knew it, Danny was "Shakin' His Burdens Free". The lyrics and vocals are equally soulful and the song is done with a very cool reggae beat rich in rhythm and percussion and full of harmonica highlights. This is signature Danny Brooks.
"A Better Man Than Me" is slow ballad with more powerful lyrics and emotional vocals. Giving her diamonds, expensive clothes and lavish trips may make her feel like she's got a better man, but as Danny sees it, if she wants something real - that her heart can see, then there is no better man than me. Danny and Lewis hook up nicely with the tandem keyboards.
Wanna liven up your next party? Simply put this song on as loud as you can and I promise you it will turn into a "Jubilee". Remember all those background singers and hand clappers I mentioned in the credits? Well, they're all here and they're singin' and clappin' and causin' a whole big ruckus and I'm lovin' it all. The lyrics are screaming spirituality, the music is screaming gospel and it's all got me screaming wild. Best track of the disc and possibly the best track Danny's ever done. This is one of those 32 minute long 4 minute songs, if ya know what I mean.
Danny has no problem admitting to a dark past and the reason he believes that the key word in that sentence is "past" is because his "Mama Prayed". This song is a tribute to her and all the other loving, praying mothers in the world. Tight rhythm from Lynn and Brannan fuels this country/Gospel/folk hybrid that features strong harp and guitar leads by Danny and Kenny.
This song is about an actual event that took place in Danny's life. He was at that frail age of thirteen and, as long ago as that was, he just can't forget "The Night Hank Williams Let Him Down". Doing what he thought would be cool, he called this girl he had a crush on and over the phone he played her his favorite Hank Williams song - and doing a heck of a job at it as he did indeed claim. Once he picked the phone back up the dial tone told him she didn't think he nailed it as much as he did. Welcome to the insecure feelings common with the puberty years, Danny. Just for the record, Danny did nail this song about that song.
Other tracks on "Texassippi Soul Man", which totals over seventy minutes of great stuff, include: "Can't Stop Riding This Train" "Let it Rain", "Trouble Me No More", "Hard Workin' Man", "Runnin' With The Best Of Them", "I Wanna Be With You", "Something Gotta Hold On Me", "Middle Of A Miracle", "You're The Best Thing About Me" and "Caught A Fire".
As with most of Danny Brooks' music, "Texassippi Soul Man" is one of those discs that - regardless of the type of music you're into - anyone will like it. Great songs, great musicians and great feelings from, of and about the soul.
Please check Danny out at www.dannybrooksmusic.com and when you do, tell him brother Blewzzman sent ya.
Danny Brooks 'Texassippi Soul Man' / HIS House Records
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Danny Brooks is an amazing man, he is a survivor, re-born thru his faith and thru that faith he brin...Danny Brooks is an amazing man, he is a survivor, re-born thru his faith and thru that faith he brings us some very fine blues music. His life story reads like a blues novel with ties to the past that bind him and the music together forever, I urge ya’s to check him out.
With this, his tenth release, we get a soul-drenched collection of sixteen original songs that work the genre in and out much like a professional boxer works the jab, punch and uppercut. It is a knockout!
‘Soul Man’ is his biography, from the age of fifteen when he first saw Muddy Waters and decided to devote his life to the blues, covering his travels – all done with a tasty beat and country blues feel that contains a steady back beat. Verbally toasting his influences and flatly stating that he, “…God Almighty is a soul man”.
‘Let It Rain’ is a gospel like slow testimony to watching his child self destruct, knowing that there is nothing one can do – and also acknowledging that this is what he had done to his parents in his youth. The good news is that his daughter is doing fine.
Mr. Brooks treats us to his version of what could be called a Howlin’ Wolf song. ‘I Wanna Be With You‘ . Spot on with it’s Wolf groove as he growls lyrics that speak of the thin disguise that we hold over our real emotions and the old familiar needing to laugh from crying. As we listen to the quite spooky guitar work from Lou Erlanger we are driven to the dark delta and hear ‘the Wolf’ howlin’ “ahhh oooh”.
A Nawlins second line feel is what ‘Middle Of A Miracle’ has to it. It is Mr. Brooks song to us all reminding us to take notice of the miracles that happen around us everyday, to step back from the daily grind that we are caught up in recognize the joy each day brings. It finishes up with Mr. Brooks taking us to church with a chorus of yells exhorting us to stand up and realize what we have around us.
This release is a celebration of life, and yes life is not always an easy road, but that road gives us strength and with the bad comes good and from failure we learn to succeed The alternatives are not pretty, so take heart share the love with one another and by all means listen to this Texassippi Soul Man. This is one release that certainly brings the true spirit of Christmas home to the listener, one of thankfulness, of joy and a celebration of life.
Mr. Brooks firmly resides inside the house of the Lord, but on the web he can be found at: http://texassippisoulman.com/ and http://www.dannybrooksmusic.com/
John's Blues Picks
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Danny Brooks - Texassippi Soul Man (HIS House) Danny Brooks is also now a US resident, of Ll...
Danny Brooks - Texassippi Soul Man (HIS House)
Danny Brooks is also now a US resident, of Llano, Texas, hence the album title. He continues to evoke the music of the American South, coming up with gorgeous melodies song after song. His high energy, occasionally raspy vocals can scarcely contain his enthusiasm and enjoyment. “Soul Man” and “Can’t Stop Riding This Train” are sometimes simply lists, the former of great singers in the past and the latter of places he’s travelled through, but he carries you along with his crack band keeping the groove, setting the context for what follows: “Trouble Me No More” is a well-done, straight-ahead blues with plenty of Danny’s harp. “Hard Workin’ Man” is a rocking manifesto: life the way Danny Brooks lives it. As you probably know, he attributes his new career to finding religion and he has no trouble combining this message with his chosen music and making it into something for all to enjoy: “Jubilee” and “Mama Prayed” being just a couple of examples. Another highlight is “Running With The Best Of Them”, set to a tune Springsteen would be proud of, about a boy growing up in Regent Park. “I Wanna Be With You” has a bit of a Hill Country sound to it, a slide-driven blues that takes its time. More soul closes out the program with “Caught A Fire”, which chronicles anew his life in music. This is homegrown soul and blues at its best, he may live in the States now but you can still catch him live: Danny’s current tour includes Angola & Parchman Farm and takes in the Gladstone on Nov. 1 to celebrate this release. Www.dannybrooksmusic.com shows a series of Southern Ontario dates before he heads back to Texas.
Maple Blues: Danny Brooks Live at The Palais Royale/Soulsville III
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Danny Brooks Live At The Palais Royale/Soulsville III HisHouse On May 27th, Danny Brooks &...
Danny Brooks Live At The Palais Royale/Soulsville III HisHouse
On May 27th, Danny Brooks & The Rockin' Revelators recorded the 3rd installment for the Soulsville Trilogy that was started with Soulsville Souled Out 'n Sanctified and Rock This House. With Alec Fraser producing this time, the full Rockin' Revelators line-up was: Bucky Berger on drums, Dennis Pinhorn, bass, Papa John King, guitar, Lance Anderson, piano & B3, Ed Zankowski, sax, Rocky Verweel, trumpet and Award winning soul shouters Amoy Levy & Hiram Joseph on background vocals behind Danny Brooks on guitar/harp/vocals. These are not live versions of those songs, only one of those is here, but excellent new ones and recording them live was a stroke of genius. The song that has been released to radio, “Carolina”, shows Danny re-discovering slide guitar and it rocks. It’s about hearing a band in the wrong part of Fayetteville, North Carolina. “Still Got This Thing For You” tells his story beginning with his older brother buying soul 45s in Buffalo and leading to his continuing fascination with the sound of Solomon Burke, Joe Tex and all the other masters of that 60’s Memphis & Muscle Schoals soul. As in the first two in the series, Danny’s ability to write in this style of music is uncanny. His voice, too, has only improved with age. From the bluesy “The Other Side of the Clouds” to the solid blues of “Righteous Highway” to the gospel fervor of “Somebody On Your Bond”, Danny & the band will transport you to different place. The blues “Carry Me Home” and “Holy Ghost Highway” are just voice & guitar and add a nice touch of variety. As you might tell from the song titles, Danny continues to find his salvation in the Lord and his book on his experiences, “Miracles For Breakfast”, is also doing very well. This should not interfere with your enjoyment of the album or the earlier two, after all it all comes from gospel music anyway. If you grew up with this music, as a lot of us did, you’ll be going back to this disc repeatedly. Find out more at www.dannybrooksmusic.com.
Black Gospel Blog/Chicago
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Danny Brooks & the Rockin’ Revelators Live at the Palais Royale – Soulsville III HIS House Records...Danny Brooks & the Rockin’ Revelators
Live at the Palais Royale – Soulsville III
HIS House Records 2009
“When the trouble of the day gets in your way, hold on to yesterday” is a line from Danny Brooks’ “Hold On.” It could be his motto.
Brooks, the blue-eyed soulster from Canada, is back with the third installment of his Soulsville series. It is a recording of a May 2009 performance at Toronto’s Palais Royale. Part blues, part soul, part gospel, part swamp-pop, Live at the Palais Royale is all heart. In fact, it is hard to think of a current singer who demonstrates more admiration for ‘60s and ‘70s soul classics, especially those made in Memphis and Muscle Shoals, than Brooks.
The mainstay of Brooks music is a rootsy southern gumbo of boogie woogie piano, chugging blues harmonica, slide and electric guitar, punctuating horn section, B3, bass and drums. Brooks’ gritty vocals are supported by the dazzling harmonies of Amoy and Ceceal Levy. It’s the kind of music you hear emanating from the half-open door of a club on Beale or in the French Quarter. Upon closer inspection, however, you hear in the lyrics messages of encouragement from a man who has clearly traveled a rough road and credits personal salvation for where he is today. On songs like “Righteous Highway,” for example, Brooks delivers his testimony straight-between-the-eyes, no chaser.
Brooks’ clever way with a lyric is apparent on tracks such as the teeth-gritting “Down on my Knees,” on which he likens the devil to a “mathematician” who “likes to subtract and divide.” He concludes, “I’ve never stood half as tall as when I’m down on my knees.” “Other Side of the Cloud,” ranked #1 Song of the Year by the Rhythm and Blues DJ Association, sounds based on an old folk saying: “The sun is always shining on the other side of the cloud.”
On “Still Got This Thing for You” and “Hold On”, Brooks waxes autobiographical about growing up with the soul and gospel records his brother would bring home from Buffalo, or listening to the transistor radio tuned to Buffalo radio stations. These songs serve as the soundtrack for Brooks’ life, and on “Still Got This Thing for You,” he even interpolates titles of soul classics in the lyrics (and did I hear the yeah-yeah-yeah riffs from the Falcons’ “I Found a Love”?).
Brooks’ energetic cover of Blind Willie Johnson’s “Somebody on Your Bond” features the Levy ladies on superb background vocals. Amoy and Ceceal Levy deserve their own CD project, if they don’t already have one.
Imagine walking into a small club in the mid-south and finding a saved Bruce Springsteen jamming with a few of the E Street Band for an intimate group, and you have the feeling of Live at the Palais Royale.
Four of Five Stars
Posted by Bob Marovich at 12:08 PM
Mary4Music/Peter Blezzman Lauro
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To those of you who over the years have followed my reviews, this artists name should be quite famil...To those of you who over the years have followed my reviews, this artists name should be quite familiar. During the past half a dozen years, this is the fourth release from Danny Brooks that I've had the pleasure of working on, and listening to as well. "Soulsville III" was recorded on May 27, 2009, "Live At the Palais Royale" in Toronto, Canada". The disc is distinctive Danny Brooks - a classic mix of smokin' blues, old school R&B, soul and Gospel music that consists of spiritual and uplifting lyrics based on true life experiences.
Saying that the majority of the music on "Soulsville III" is 'original' just doesn't cut it - the word 'original' just isn't descriptive enough. Writing music about your life growing up in a poor neighborhood, about how you lived on the streets, about your addictions, incarcerations, rehabilitation and ultimately your redemption, needs to be called 'real original' music. As the saying goes, Danny Brooks has been there, done that.
On this project, The Rockin' Revelators consist of Lance Anderson on the B3 organ & piano, Bucky Berger on drums, Jerome Godboo on harmonica, "Papa" John King on guitar & slide guitar, Amoy and Ceceal Levy on vocals, Dennis Pinhorn on bass, John "Rocky" Verweel on trumpet, Ed Zankowski on saxophone and, of course, their leader - Danny Brooks on vocals, harmonica, acoustic & slide guitar.
The opening track is a story about a trip that Danny took to ' "Carolina", some 40 years ago. Danny sheds a whole new light on why "Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina". For him, it was the smell of the sweet magnolias that filled the air and the sound of the sweet soul music that could be heard everywhere. Danny's vocals, the tandem slide guitar work between him and "Papa" John, the hot rhythm & piano and very melodic background vocals all highlight this one.
With it's sermon worthy lyrics and the enthusiastically soulful way in which it was sung, this track had me felling as if I should be listening from "Down On My Knees". Danny, Amoy and Ceceal are inspiring on the vocals, while Danny and John add a heavenly feel on guitar and trumpet.
With the way he tells it, Danny makes it sound so easy to understand. Sometimes when there are dark clouds all around, just remember... the sun is always shining on the "Other Side of the Clouds". The smokin' harp, sax, piano and guitar highlights will have you shakin', and this rocker may very well move you in more ways than one.
"Hold On", is a song about the many things that Danny, of course, wants to hold on to. In addition to the very obvious, such as the love his life, Danny puts an emphasis on memories of the past. Using old songs as a reference, he pays tribute to some of his apparent musical inspirations... Sam Cooke, Bobby Blue Bland, Joe Tex, Gladys Knight and several others. John, Ed and Vance, on the horns and organ, highlight this foot tappin' sing along.
"Soulsville III" closes out with a bonus acoustic track titled "The Holy Ghost Highway". It's a duet between Danny - who sings the moving vocals and plays the harp & acoustic guitar - and his Lord - who provides the inspiration and wisdom.
Other tracks on this wonderful disc include: "Hold Your Head Up", "Somebody On Your Bond", "Righteous Highway", "Carry Me", "Still Got This Thing For You", "No Turnin Back" and "Homestead Boogie".
Although so called "Spiritual" or "Gospel" music are generally limited to a niche following, Danny Brooks should be considered the crossover. By no stretch of the imagination do I consider myself to be self righteous and/or spiritual, yet I find his music moving. I truly believe that fans of Blues, Soul, Gospel, R&B, and even Country Music, will love this disc. Check it out for yourself by going to - www.dannybrooksmusic.com, and when you're there, please tell Danny the Blewzzman sent ya.
Fame Reviews/Mark S Tucker
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First of all, if you haven't yet caught Danny's killer No Easy Way Out (here7)…well, ya gotta. I...
First of all, if you haven't yet caught Danny's killer No Easy Way Out (here7)…well, ya gotta. It's a barnstormer, a soulfully riveting CD that comes on like a blistering blues hurricane sweeping all before its path. The disc easily made my Top 10 of the year for ALL genres, and I've been impatiently waiting like a kid in a candy store for this, a boogie-ing blues rave-up carrying forward everything contained in No Easy Way. Live, Brooks doesn't lose an ounce of the studio magic, as joyfully gritty and effervescent as one would most fervently hope.
The Rockin' Revelators back him solidly, especially the horn section -- just trumpet and sax but, man, do they make themselves felt!—even in the melancholy ballads ("Down on my Knees", etc.), where the New Orleans element is most naked. In this disc, Brooks makes no effort to hide his Christian conversion or the saving graces it has endowed him with. I'm always asked if, as an atheist and anarchist, that doesn't make me uncomfortable, and my reply is simple: "Jesus was one of history's greatest anarchists, admired by Erasmus, Paine, Jefferson, and others equally Humanist, and his example has been a constant reference in my personal anarchy." This sends the interrogater away thoughtful…and that's precisely the effect of Live at the Palais Royale. You have to consider what it means, despite innumerable ills, when religion can save people's minds and souls, especially as it restores an incredible musician like Danny Brooks to a height he might never have achieved without it. Makes one pause, doesn't it?
Live is a rollicking, boogie-ing, sweating, burning, hip-shaking display of pure unbridled energy with tons of grinning-like-a-cat sincerity. Brooks means each and every syllable he sings, earnest down to the soles of his feet, but that doesn't say that he can't have a damn good time, and, boy howdy!, doesn't the audience know it! They're floored between every cut. I've said it before and I'll say it again, though I know the utterance is sheerest blasphemy: this guy's work is as important as Aretha's drop-dead brilliant Amazing Grace, a back-to-Jesus 2-LP live masterpiece now ignored but a milestone nonetheless. For a full hour, Brooks sings and plays his heart out, never flagging, always pinning the needle at 10. Dig into the hardtack count-em-by-the-fours of Righteous Highway and rediscover what sent Savoy Brown, Chicken Shack, T.S. McPhee, and the Brit blues innovators to the woodshed in a John Lee Hooker delirium, emerging with the tastiest rebirth of the genre since Elmore.
The gospel element is undeniable in the backing vocals of Amoy and Ceceal Levy, as hip as the Staples, the Waters, and the great choruses in rock. More than once, Brooks unpins his cowcatcher slide, as does Papa John King, and Jerome Godboo's harmonica plays second fiddle to Danny's own, assuring that there's no lack of that beloved instrument either. In fact, there's not a second of this generous release that isn't full to the brim with everything a blueshound craves. Place it next to Bernie Pearl's Somebody Got to do It, and count yourself lucky that we got two such searing in-concert blues discs in a single decade.
* Hold Your Head Up
* Down on my Knees
* Somebody on your Bond
* Other Side of the Cloud
* Righteous Highway
* Carry Me
* Still got this Thing for You
* No Turnin' Back
* Hold On
* Homestead Boogie
* Holy Ghost Highway
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Danny Brooks & The Rockin' Revelators 'Live At The Palais Royale/Soulsville III
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DANNY BROOKS and the ROCKIN' REVELATORS LIVE AT THE PALAIS ROYALE SOULSVILLE III HIS HO... DANNY BROOKS
and the ROCKIN' REVELATORS
LIVE AT THE PALAIS ROYALE
HIS HOUSE RECORDS HHRDB 004
CAROLINA--HOLD YOUR HEAD UP--DOWN ON MY KNEES--SOMEBODY ON YOUR BOND--OTHER SIDE OF THE CLOUD--RIGHTEOUS HIGHWAY--CARRY ME--STILL GOT THIS THING FOR YOU--NO TURNIN' BACK--HOLD ON--HOMESTEAD BOOGIE--HOLY GHOST HIGHWAY (BONUS STUDIO TRACK)
As Danny Brooks sings in "Righteous Highway," "I used to mess around, but I don't mess around any more," and it's the gospel truth. Danny has seen his share of life's hard times and miseries, but all those bad days are long behind him now, and his life is full of nothing but positive energy. Plus, Danny has the unique gift to bring that energy to life thru his music. He and his band, The Rockin' Revelators, have just released "Live At The Palais Royale--Soulsville III," twelve cuts that are one part rockin' good blues and one part old-time homecoming and camp meetin'. Produced by Alec Fraser (of Jeff Healey fame) and dedicated to the late Richard Bell, a stone keyboard wizard who produced the prior "Soulsville" sets, (and described by long-time friend Colin Linden in his "From The Water" CD as "tough like Chuvalo"), Danny brings his deep-rooted, soulful vocals and passionate slide playing to a packed house at this famed Toronto venue. With a horn section and the Rockin' Revelators behind him, this set has the feel of of an old-school STAX revue.
The whole thing blasts off with Danny's "Carolina," an ode to his youth when he got his first taste of the R-&-B-inflected "beach music," and the effect it had on him, with the lyric, "if I ever felt better, Lord, I don't remember when or where." His slide playing gives this one an Elmore James vibe, and the shaggers are definitely gonna love it! "Hold Your Head Up" uses the analogy of a street-corner bluesman (on 2nd and Broadway right here in town, to be exact) as one who just might be your guardian angel when you feel like giving up. "Still Got THis Thing For You" is Danny's nod to the classic soul of Solomon Burke and James Carr, while "No Turnin' Back" and the down-home testifyin' of "Down On My Knees" show that Danny's redemption is complete, honest, and sincere.
We had two favorites, too. The bonus studio track, "Holy Ghost Highway," is an acoustic number that reminds us we always have someone to turn to when life's goings get tough. And, all the band mates get a solo behind Danny's uplifting vocal on "the sun is always shining on the Other Side Of The Cloud."
There are probably millions of folks just like us, in the days before the Ipod, who went to sleep with that little pocket transistor radio under the pillow, tuned into WLAC. If you close your eyes, you can almost hear, right after a baby chick commercial, "the ole Hossman, from deep in the heart of Dixie, bringing you a record from a young man who hails from way up north where the cold wind blows. Have a listen to Danny Brooks with "Live At The Palais Royale--Soulsville III, and.....ENJOY" Until next time---Sheryl and Don Crow.
Posted by Don on October 9, 2009 - Friday - 12:11 PM
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- Cashbox Magazine: Music Editor Mike Peace on 'Ain't That The Truth': This is what blues music ha... - Cashbox Magazine: Music Editor Mike Peace on 'Ain't That The Truth': This is what blues music has always been and is as good as it gets. This single represents and tributes other great artists of the blues genre such as: Muddy Waters, Ry Cooder and John Lee Hooker. Danny is a consummate professional who truly believes the least he can do for his audience is to give his best. And it shows! This song could have been played in the Blues Brothers and felt totally at home in the presence of Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin. The song has such an infectious sense of rhythm that there is no way to not tap your foot clap your hands and jump up and testify, screamin’ “Hallelujah, I've been healed”.
U.K. Shades of Blue Review
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UK Shades of Blue Review - Inspired by the likes of Hank Williams, Solomon Burke, Otis, the Blind B...UK Shades of Blue Review - Inspired by the likes of Hank Williams, Solomon Burke, Otis, the Blind Boys of Alabama and the singular sound of Stax Records, Danny Brooks' Soulsville couldn't be anything less than a very fine mix of gospel, blues, soul and country - very much in the tradition of the country soul pioneered by the likes of Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham, Donnie Fritts and others. You've got to have high hopes when you see a set of influences like that in the sleeve notes. And this album is a wonderful homage to the blues and its capacity to tell the truth about the human condition; and in Danny's case the power of faith to provide redemption and a clearer path to walk. The gospel tradition runs through this CD, but with more than a little R&B, soul and blues thrown into the mix. If you want a pigeon-hole, this is essentially a country soul album. If you liked the recent release "Testifying" from the Country Soul Revue (Donnie Fritts, Dan Penn, George Soule, Larry John Wilson, Tony Joe White etc.) or the "Country Got Soul" compilations chances are you'll love this. Make no mistake, this is a worthy addition to the canon. Danny writes a very fine song, the kind of three chord country soul that you feel you've been familiar with all your life but which comes up fresh and vibrant in the hands of a true believer. 'Soulsville', for example, is a great tribute to Memphis, which is I guess as close as it gets to the place where Brooks' musical soul would call home. The album takes in any number of country, soul, blues and gospel styles, but you always feel they're stamped with Danny's authentic voice (literally) and constant beliefs. Lyrically, most of the songs major on Brooks' unswerving faith and conviction. A lot of these songs feel to the outsider like tales of redemption for a life lived too hard and too fast, a reconciliation with the hurt and damage that may have been caused in more difficult times. Conflict and resolution are both to be found, but it's the latter that wins out. And the music is almost uniformly uplifting, whether it's the upbeat gospel styled 'Lift Me Up' or the driving beat of 'Soul Satisfied'. Interestingly however, for Shades of Blue, the songs that work best are those with more secular but no less personal themes. The less overtly spiritual songs (in the narrow sense of the term) strike a more personal core for the Primer and provide a very strong connection with the listener. 'Soul Satisfied' is a powerful testament to the power of love and 'You Won't Show' a particularly poignant reflection on Danny's bust up with his son - we've all been to places like this, and we can easily relate to the themes of the songs. Hopefully the first of a trilogy of releases, the second is expected to feature a horn section to broaden the scope and depth of the recording, which should be well worth investigating. Until then, this CD is a "must have" for lovers of country soul and that Muscle Shoals sound - 'souled out 'n' sanctified' indeed! -Shades of Blue/R&B Primer
Danny Brooks Returns Home
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.....“He’s that special musical jewel that we’ve never really had in Canada ... he’s our Solomon Bur........“He’s that special musical jewel that we’ve never really had in Canada ... he’s our Solomon Burke, Otis Redding, Taj Mahal and Ralph Stanley rolled into one performer”.......Christopher Darton/Maple Blues Magazine
Apart from originals, I can cover Dan Penn, Paul Rogers, Tom Waits, John Lee Hooker, Sam Cooke, Taj Mahal, Solomon Burke, Hank Williams, Jimmie Rogers, Allman Brothers, Blind Boys of Alabama...
Sets can be 45 min to 75 minutes