You are probably expecting to see our résumé of musical accomplishments, along with a statement about what we hope to accomplish in the near future. After all, it’s what a band’s biography should contain, right?
Except that this is not our biography. It’s our mission statement. And our mission is very simply stated:
To Help People!
We are The Eben Brooks Band. Musicians, activists, concerned citizens, inveterate geeks, Working Class Superheroes. We believe that music has the power to change the world for the better. Not only because of the message it may contain, but because it brings people together. Music speaks to common experiences and gives people a refuge from an uncaring world. And so we make music to inspire people, to give them hope, to make them think, and maybe—just maybe—get them to be better to one another.
We make ‘Music to save the world by.’
And we know that this may sound corny as hell, but we take it very seriously. Saving the world isn’t a job for just one person, or one band, or even one country. It’s a job for everyone.
We’re just trying to make it easier for people. And hopefully more fun, too. So if our music helps you feel better, helps you understand yourself more, gives you something to think about, or just makes you want to get up and dance . . . then we’ve done our job. But overall, we want you to remember one thing:
You know what’s wrong! Do something about it!
Eben Brooks - Rhythm Guitar, Singer/Songwriter
Don Parrish-Bell - Vocals, Lead Guitar
Randy Parrish-Bell - Vocals, Violin
Wolf Klauschie - Bass
Craig Kozeluh - Vocals, Drums
Just Me and My Guitar (2005); Mirrors (2006); O R'lyeh? Iä, R'lyeh! (2009), Geek Mythology (2010)
More to Fear
Waiting For the Countdown
Princes, Friends and Lovers
At Night She Comes Home
Stay With Me Tonight
Hippie Jack's Unsmokeable Hash
God Help Us All
Number On a Page
What Music Pros are Saying About The Eben Brooks Band
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“Eben creates the kind of ... tunes that are designed to be both lesson-oriented for the listener an...“Eben creates the kind of ... tunes that are designed to be both lesson-oriented for the listener and also cathartic for the performer.... [H]e’s got a message and he’s carrying it with bright acoustic tunes sung with clear and earnest devotion.”
—Lexi Khan and Brian Westbye, Low Budget Superhero
“Brooks’ lyrics contain the spirit of growth and realization, not so much about changing America or achieving world peace but rather about changing oneself, being loving and tolerant, and the journey from delusion to fulfillment.”
—Derek E. Shaw, reviewer for San Diego Troubadour
“Eben Brooks combines a fine voice, thoughtful lyrics and lively rhythms.”
—Ronald Eng and Emily Yanagi, owners of Infusions of Tea (venue), San Diego
“Eben brings a unique style and positive energy to our open mic stage. His dedication and love for his music show through every performance.”
—Laura Kuebel, Open Mic Host at Blind Melons (venue), San Diego
“Eben Brooks captures the true spirit of music. His effortless vocals and harmonies magically transform you to a time and space not of this world but of a place you would rather like to be. His is a truly unique and timeless talent.”
—Steve Langdon, recording engineer and owner of Langdon Productions, El Cajon, CA
“‘Princes, Friends and Lovers’ provides [a] satisfying and complete effort with its playfully catchy melody, heartfelt lyrics, and some highly effective layered harmony vocals.”
—Craig Yerkes, reviewer for San Diego Troubadour
“[I] enjoyed his performance immensely…. [H]e has a Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Carribean [sic] appearance and attitude on stage.”
—Jan Hedlun, reviewer for blogsandiego.com
“‘Mirror’…reminds me of a couple of Clandestine songs…but WOW! I was ready to break into tears. Very passionate and beautiful. I think this song alone has made me a fan.”
—Marc Gunn, editor of The Bard’s Crier and The Celtic Muse
From a review of The Wild Oats’ A Few Oats Shy of a Haggis
“Another delightful ballad, this one an original by Eben Brooks, is ‘Princes, Friends and Lovers.’ Along with his ‘Amadea,’ it shows him to be a talented writer.”
—Murrday Fisher, reviewer for AllMusic.com
From a review of The Wild Oats’ “…weed ‘em and reap.”
What Fans are Saying About the Eben Brooks Band
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I enjoyed your singing so much that I chose your CD, Just Me and My Guitar, over the two Wild Oats C...I enjoyed your singing so much that I chose your CD, Just Me and My Guitar, over the two Wild Oats CDs you dangled before me. I made a wise choice. Thank you for a wonderful time.
--Jan H., Potrero, CA
The music has a "familiar" sound.... The words and music click home like the final piece of a puzzle that makes the whole thing complete.
--Richard M., from a CDBaby review
You have similarities to Nickel Creek, but with more energy and not as mellow. Your energy and message remind me of both Cat Stevens and Jethro Tull. But honestly, I like your stuff better than any of theirs.
--Teri, Ramona, CA
--Alan K., San Diego, CA
Allison Lonsdale w/ Eben Brooks
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(Note: This article is excerpted from a longer article on the blogsandiego.com website, which can be...(Note: This article is excerpted from a longer article on the blogsandiego.com website, which can be read at http://www.blogsandiego.com/brooks_lonsdale.html)
Saturday evening (June 18th) seemed like a good day to listen to live music so a friend and I journeyed to LeStat’s [sic] coffee house on Adam’s [sic] Avenue to hear Eben Brooks and Allison Lonsdale. I had seen Eben during the Society for Creative Anachronism’s Potrero Wars in a Bard’s concert and had enjoyed his performance immensely. I’d already purchased his CD Just Me and My Guitar v2.0, and wanted to hear more of his songs. I was also interested in seeing his stage presence in an up-close-and-personal venue.
The stage is in a lounge area next door to the coffee house proper, and when we came in Eben had just begun…. I will tell you—my friend and I agreed that he has a Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Carribean [sic] appearance and attitude on stage….
Eben Brooks: Mirrors
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A self-proclaimed acoustic philosopher, Eben Brooks' charm is as much in his naivetŽ as in his exper...A self-proclaimed acoustic philosopher, Eben Brooks' charm is as much in his naivetŽ as in his experience. Featuring 12 songs representing nearly a decade of material, much of his personal life and strife are evident in his new release, Mirrors, a highly emotional, heartfelt record. 'For me, acoustic philosophy is about making good music and doing good things, thereby becoming better human beings,' Brooks said.
A worldly yet very introspective record, Mirrors is sentimental, nostalgic, and philosophical. Brooks comes across like a former brazen hippie who has found a more secure and spiritual place. The music isn't incredibly original, but it's very well arranged and accompanied.
Producer Steve Langdon does a fine job of complementing the quirky, sometimes spastic songwriting. The orchestration serves to color an ambitious album that required added texture. Mandolin, stand-up bass, violin, and even an alto recorder contribute subtle touches that make a huge difference. This collection of acoustic anthems are utterly playful and catchy. The socio-political jabs are balanced by a self-deprecating awareness that makes the listener comfortable laughing and singing along.
Brooks' lyrics contain the spirit of growth and realization, not so much about changing America or achieving world peace but rather about changing oneself, being loving and tolerant, and the journey from delusion to fulfillment.
'Lightbringer's Fall' deals with the frustration of having lofty dreams but ending up working at a dead-end job. Ultimately empowering and existentialist, its message deals with demons in a harsh but brave manner in taking control of our lives, relationships, and destinies. 'Too often,' Brooks says, 'People blame their problems on anything but themselves. It's their bosses' fault, or their spouses' fault, or the government's or the media's. They never take time to figure out how they are responsible for their situations.'
A few tunes demonstrate Brooks' first stabs at alt country. The result is poppy and refined, delivering raw Americana in a satirical, almost cheesy fashion. But his nasal, borderline whiny voice is endearing in its unadulterated authenticity.
Some songs are silly and lighthearted, but most are emotional and reverent. 'Black Train' is dedicated to his mother who died of breast cancer Ñ a symphonic, harmony-packed requiem of epic proportions. The title track plays off a Stephen Donaldson novel, a beautifully melancholy song about coping with loss and depression. You can feel the loneliness in the orchestral arrangements and dreamy ambiance.
Another song inspired by a book is based on Roger Zelazny's The Courts of Chaos. It contains striking imagery, inducing visions of city lights, leafless trees, and lovers on a Parisian sidewalk. It was cowritten by Allison Lonsdale, a local singer-songwriter and Brooks' frequent collaborator.
Eben Brooks: Just Me and My Guitar
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Eben Brooks alternates between a seriously folked-out, Gordon Lightfoot-esque vibe and an old Englis...Eben Brooks alternates between a seriously folked-out, Gordon Lightfoot-esque vibe and an old English, renaissance faire type sound, sometimes blending the two. Fans of either of these genres will find some things to like here but may also wish that the producers had gone further to provide some of the typical ear candy associated with these types of music. In the liner notes for Just Me and My Guitar there is a disclaimer: “No non-guitar instruments were used in making this album.” Many times I found myself wishing that a tambourine, violin, mandolin, Irish whistle, flute, or some other instrument had been added to provide more depth and texture to some of these tracks. Also, the harmony vocals are such a welcome addition on certain tracks that I wish there had been more of them.
“Princes, Friends and Lovers” provides the most satisfying and complete effort with its playfully catchy melody, heartfelt lyrics, and some highly effective layered harmony vocals. “Pawns in the Game,” “Magician,” and “Number On a Page” all offer cerebral and critical commentaries on modern life and the state of the world. “Deified Hebraic Carpenterial Blues” offers a very clever and funny first person take on what it would be like for Jesus to come back to earth now in the body of a garden-variety pagan (“I haven’t had a day off since AD 33”). If “Dancer” and “Dancer #2” are autobiographical, then the woman who is the subject of the songs should either be flattered or horrified to find that it took two (not just one) melodramatic love-lost songs to cover the emotions she inspired.
“Amadea” is a nice folk tale set to music and is the best example of Brooks’ “old school” (we’re talking medieval school) musical prowess. The bonus track is a cover and I will not reveal the name of the song, except to say that when I first realized what song it was, I rolled my eyes and braced for the worst….but then was surprised and impressed at how good it sounded.
Throughout most of CD, I go back to my initial observation that more instrumentation would have elevated the material. Here’s to hoping that the next album is called Just Me and My Guitar and Some Other Cool Sounding Instruments Too.
Originals: Amadea, At Night She Comes Home, Black Train, Champs Élysées, Dancer, Dancer #2, Deified Hebraic Carpenterial Blues, First Cup, God Help Us All, Hippie Jack's Unsmokable Hash, I Think I'm In Love, Lightbringer's Fall, Magician, Maybe Next Year, Mirror, Monday Mornin' Blues, More to Fear, Nightlife In Santa Clara, Number On a Page, Pawns In the Game, Princes Friends and Lovers, Resolutions, The Rhythm Inside, Stay With Me Tonight, Storms, Terminally Seventeen, Waiting For the Countdown, Water and Fire, The Weather Up Here
Typical Covers: All Along the Watchtowers, Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing, Behind Blue Eyes, Bohemian Like You, Fire and Rain, 'Fore You 'Cuse Me, In Liverpool, Locomotive Breath, The Old Dun Cow, Space Oddity, Stranger Than You, Superman
Typical set is 3/4 original, 1/4 cover.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.