Brooke Fox
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Brooke Fox

New York City, New York, United States

New York City, New York, United States
Band Pop Acoustic

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Mar
31
Brooke Fox @ PLOWSHARES SINGER/SONGWRITER CONTEST - FINAL ROUND

PHOENIXVILLE, Pennsylvania, USA

PHOENIXVILLE, Pennsylvania, USA

Mar
26
Brooke Fox @ AMERICAN UNIVERSITY

WASHINGTON DC, District of Columbia, USA

WASHINGTON DC, District of Columbia, USA

Feb
22
Brooke Fox @ BLETTERFEST AT NOCA LOUNGE

New York, New York, USA

New York, New York, USA

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Music

Press


By Amy Maginnis-Honey
VACAVILLE - Brooke Fox loves her hometown crowd.

"My Vacaville shows are always packed or close to packed," Fox said, during a phone interview from Los Angeles. "My mom's family is still in Vacaville so they're always shouting out requests. They request things I did in high school because they know the history. And they're always cracking jokes."

Fox, 28, left town after graduating from Vacaville High School in 1994. She then went on to earn her bachelor's degree in songwriting at Boston's Berklee College of Music and settled in Nashville after graduation, releasing her first album, "NightLight" in 1999.

She's out on tour promoting her new self-released CD, "Breathe the Same Air," a 10-track recording done in her New York apartment basement and fine-tuned in Nashville.

Many residents likely remember the girl who made her debut at the Vacaville Fiesta Days competition when she was 5.

Her grandmother Carol Radznick was a professional musician who enjoyed writing melodramas with fellow Vacaville resident, Alice McDonald. (Both are deceased.)

"She (Radznick) would take me to talent shows and play the piano while I sang. She would write novelty lyrics to a pre-existing song so a 6-year-old could sing them," Fox recalled.

Fox and her husband, Kurt Gellersted, share the songwriting duties on a few of the new album's songs.

She often begins the songwriting process with a title. "Then I think of all the possibilities the title could mean," she said. "From there I decide the rest of the song."

"Change Me," from the newest release, is about the ghost of Christina Olsen featured in Andrew Wyeth's painting "Christina's World."

"It was tough," Fox admitted. "I was writing about a woman with degenerative disorder. It was tricky to spin in a positive way. You don't want the sympathy vote. You want people to feel her strength."

It was the first time Fox broached the topic of disability in her music. She has albinism, a rare genetic trait that causes legal blindness and very fair skin.

She was often stared at and teased in elementary and high school. "When I went away to college and got out in the real world, I saw how things worked. It tempered me in terms of understanding," she said.

"People are curious and they stop and ask me all kinds of questions. I simply answer them just because they are curious. But it kind of gives me an opportunity to educate them. They might not have heard about it (albinism) otherwise."

Music, she said, has been her saving grace all the years. "I knew I could go out in front of hundreds of people and they would clap for me and give me instant approval," she said.

Fox's CD will be available at her performances and on CDBaby.com, a Web site for which she has nothing but praise.

"The guy who runs it has a great attitude and he's artist friendly," Fox explained. People can get the physical copy of the recording or just download it.

"This reaches people from all over the world, people I can't reach," she said, adding that copies of her first CD went as far as China and Italy.

As for the money, Fox said her father, Jay Fox, is basically the executive producer of "Breathe the Same Air."

"This is something that takes a village," she said. "We managed to save up a little money and my family is really helpful."

Fox and Gellersted wed July 10, 2004, at the Green Valley Country Club. He is a musician who plays electric guitar on her current tour.

They met through a mutual friend. Personally and professionally they are in synch.

"Kurt is a very instinctual player and writer. I like to overthink things a lot. He taught me to go to the gut on a lot of things," she said. "He's definitely grounded me in songwriting and playing. He amazes me with the stuff he can come up with."

Gellersted received his master's in music competition from New York University. But he's also played in punk bands.

Fox would love to share the stage with Sheryl Crow. "She's an amazing singer. I like what she does," she said.

And, she would also like to play with Jeffrey Gaines, a singer-songwriter out of Philadelphia. "I've been a fan of his for a long time," Fox said. - Daily Republic, Fairfield, CA


Vol. 2 No. 8, August 15th - September 14th Issue
Vacaville, California. Unsigned, Pop/Acoustic
View the original review here:
http://www.northeastintune.com/index.php?bd=reg&sb=land&article=08064

By: Angie Mowery
Brooke Fox is a multi-talented, highly accomplished singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist. She performs on her own, with her husband (Kurt Gellersted, electric guitar and background vocals), or in the company of an entire band (Kurt Gellersted; Jeremy Bletterman, bass; Andrew Potenza, drums). At 28 years old with two self-released albums under her belt, over 200 performances, and many awards to her credit, Brooke Fox has gained quite a following.

Fox graduated from Vacaville High School in 1994, and attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in songwriting. Over the next six years Fox moved to Nashville, got an assistant job in a record studio, came out with her first album (Nightlight, 1999), decided Nashville wasn’t the place for her, moved to New York, and produced her second album (Breathe the Same Air, 2005) from the basement of her Brooklyn apartment building. And she did it all while playing multitudes of shows on the side. It was emotionally exhausting, but she did it. Let’s just say that gave her six years of songwriting fuel to work with.

Both of Fox’s albums have the same main themes coursing through them (love and falling in love), but they are quite different in the way they are written. While Nightlight was a solo release, Breathe the Same Air was a collaboration. And while all the songs on both albums stem from personal experiences or feelings, Breathe the Same Air incorporates the feelings and emotions of the newly married Fox and her husband, Gellersted. The result is dynamic. The lyrics are wholeheartedly beautiful, the instrumentation is simple and compliments the way the songs are written, eliminating the need for overpowering guitar solos. The lyrics leave you wanting more! Fox’s voice is the glue that holds everything together. Her music has a gorgeous, mystifying quality that makes you say “Wow! That’s an amazing way to describe how love feels.”

Brooke Fox is one of those rare talents that you come across every so often. She makes the music you can’t stop listening to because you like it so much. She finds the words to make you wish you were the lucky one in her song. Brooke Fox is a marvelous musician. - NORTHEAST IN-TUNE


May 19, 2006

Catholics and movie critics aren't the only ones denouncing "The Da Vinci Code."

Add albinos to the list of those less than thrilled about the church-based Tom Hanks thriller, which hits theaters today.

The villain of all villains in the big-budget instant-blockbuster film? Silas, the albino monk-executioner.

Well, it figures.

"Yet another evil albino in a big Hollywood movie," Michael McGowan, president of the National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation, sighed yesterday. "By our count, it's the 68th film since 1960 to feature an evil albino."

And not one real albino hero out of Hollywood in all those years.

So this is how some Italians feel every time a new Mafia movie comes out?

"At least the Italians have 'Everybody Loves Raymond,'" McGowan said. "The albino character never gets to be the normal next-door neighbor or the guy sitting two stools down the bar."

Albino activists aren't calling for "Da Vinci Code" boycotts the way some Vatican officials are. They aren't signing the Catholic League's demand for an on-screen disclaimer. They certainly aren't joining forces with the outraged members of Opus Dei, the devout Catholic group depicted in "The Da Vinci Code" as a secretive and creepy cult.

They just want the world to know that pale-white skin and colorless hair don't add up to automatic villainy - whatever hackish book and movie writers might think.

"Albinism is such a rare condition," said Brooklyn singer-songwriter Brooke Fox, who has the condition. "We're talking about just 1 in 18,000 people in the United States. Most people don't know anyone with albinism. What people know comes from the movies and TV."

And what a scary crew of characters that adds up to.

There was the sadistic albino killer in "Cold Mountain" and the white-haired hit man in "Foul Play" with Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn. There were the vicious dreadlocked albino twins in "The Matrix: Reloaded." Even "The Princess Bride" made room for a wicked albino executioner.

The stereotype has no basis in medical fact.

"Albinism has absolutely no association with increased violence or anything like that," said Dr. Vail Reese, a San Francisco dermatologist and one of the nation's leading experts on the pigment-suppressing genetic condition.

In fact, Reese added, many albinos suffer from poor eyesight, which makes them especially unsuited for the role of sharpshooting assassin.

And yet here we go again.

The Silas character in "Da Vinci" is played by British actor (and non-albino Brooklyn resident) Paul Bettany. In the Ron Howard film, as in Dan Brown's novel, the monk-assassin carries out a series of murders in an attempt to hide a secret trove of lost Christian documents that could prove Jesus was a husband and father.

Actor Bettany, who got his white skin for the film with heavy makeup, said he intended no offense to the world's albinos. His evil Silas character, he said, should be seen as a victim of his own youthful mistreatment.

"I thought, 'This man's a psychopath, and he's not a psychopath because he's an albino,'" the actor told The Daily Telegraph in London. "He's an amalgamation of everything that happened to him in his life. It's no more a comment on albinos than it is on monks, and no more a comment on monks than it is on people who wear sandals."

Which would be easy enough to believe if the monk-assassin Silas were Hollywood's first albino bad guy.

Easy enough to believe if for every frightful Silas, there was an albino who saved the day.

But it's 68 and counting. How do the 67 albino characters explain themselves? - AM NEW YORK NEWSDAY NY


February 2006
www.unsignedmusicmag.com
New Style Music Reviews
Artist: Brooke Fox
Album: Breathe the Same Air
Avg: 3.4 out of 5.

Brooke's voice has a certain childish innocence to it, and when you hear it up close and personal as in the track Breathe The Same Air, you feel the maturity and intimacy in her delivery. This track is Brooke and guitars and it works. The lyrics are, well very nice, well written yet simple. The opening string section on track one Cinematic will draw you in and have you asking yourself, "What's next?" The track that shows off her vocals the least is probably The You in Me. I think the pace of this song is too fast for Brooke's soft, intimate vocal style. Her voice is made for being close to the mic, not screaming at it from a far. Musically all of the tracks are good and produced well, but my favorite is the Rhodes piano tinged Bend. Again, this track doesn't show off her vocals as well as some of her other material, but it has a classic 80s Richard Marx sound to it and we all love Richard Marx!

Production: 3.4
Lyrics: 3.3
Music: 3.5
Vocals: 2.8
Musicianship: 4.0 - UNSIGNED MUSIC MAGAZINE


March, 2005
The Berkeley Carroll School, Brooklyn, NY

THE MUSIC PAGE by FRANCESCA PERLOV

****** (five stars) "Nightlight" by Brooke Fox

Okay, this album is amazing. I can't talk now, it's that good. Seriously, every song contributes a different emotion and feel to this album. I love every moment of it. I can't even describe it. After a week of listening to this album, I knew all the words and now, I still listen to it every day. The chorus of each song is full of melody and Brooke's range is insane. If I could give this album six stars, I would. In my opinion, this album is ten times greater than Alicia Keys' Diary of Alicia Keys. This is literally the best album I have ever heard in my life. I'm not kidding. I can't wait until her next album. Whew.

Key tracks: 1. "TimeFool"; 4. "Switch It Off"; 7. "Seamless"; 10. "Kiss of Me" - BERKELEY CARROLL SCHOOL


"Her crystal clear voice soars and plummets with uncanny ease, rendered with a poetic grace and skill that commands the listener's attention and provokes a curiosity to know where all this talent comes from"
- ACOUSTIC LIVE


As a Singer/Songwriter, I have always felt the need to make a connection with others through my life and the lives around me. My experiences with legal blindness and albinism have undoubtedly shaped the way I make music and in turn, making music has shaped the way I live with albinism. I wanted to share some of my life in this article and open the door to more artists of all kinds from the NOAH community to come forward and tell their own story as a creative being when albinism and the art collide.

Here’s my take:

I have to say, I love my paleness! It's decidedly different. It turns heads. As an up-and-coming Singer/Songwriter currently living in New York City, it’s good to get noticed.

Music became a life support for me early on. I started performing young (age 5) around my Northern California hometown with the help of my grandmother, a professional musician and songwriter. I won a few talent show trophies and gained confidence in singing as something I could do well. As a child with albinism, music helped to keep me going when the kids at school got me down.

In the student band, I played clarinet through middle school and somehow learned to memorize my sheet music. It was just easier that way, rather than squinting at the notes. I’d just listen to the person next to me and copy them. My teacher at the time printed the music on large paper for me, but I think the difficulty with reading actually helped my musical ear develop.

Somewhere around age 10, I began to work out my own songs on the piano. Songwriting gave me a way to further develop my own voice and deal with life through journaling. My earliest songs were fictional tales about animals, people and eventually love. However, one of those first songs, called “Hold Your Head High”, became a favorite among those who heard it for it’s positive lyrics. My theory now is that it was my attempt at giving back the encouraging words people had given to me: “Your life can be decided by only you / Listen close here’s what you must do / Hold your head high / Reach for the sky”.

After High School, I went on to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. Berklee is the only place to get an actual degree in the craft of songwriting. I thrived there, sharpening my vocal and acoustic guitar skills, finding my own sound and strengthening my lyric writing. I graduated with honors and was awarded a Songwriting Achievement Award.

Upon graduation, I relocated to Nashville, TN to be a part of the songwriting movement there. Arriving in Nashville, where they drive to get their mail, was the first real test of my resolve. I walked everywhere there. A stranger at the grocery once stopped and proclaimed, “I know you! You’re that girl that walks everywhere!” When I tried to hail a cab downtown, the driver picked me up and snickered, “Where are you from? New York? No one hails a cab in Nashville”

Meanwhile, my music career began to take shape. I recorded my first CD, got a band together, had some solid mentions in the press and played a ton of shows. I worked in a recording studio for a year as an assistant where I met all kinds of great people. I was making strides professionally, but I was struggling to get around in Nashville. Once, I caught a ride home from one of my shows with a complete stranger when my ride fell through. I had a meltdown one morning when the cab that usually took me to the studio was a no show. It felt like life was out of my control and I was having trouble staying “up” about it. I asked myself: ”Why Nashville?”

Then a friend of mine called. He had a room for rent in his Brooklyn apartment. I was determined not to make a “life decision” based on my albinism, but it was my pride versus my quality of life. So, I made the move to New York. It was nothing but freedom for me. Finally, I could get myself to shows and meetings without hassle.

Now, after a few years here, I am enjoying some professional success. I tour regionally with my band, I’ve secured a booking agent, and I am currently working on my second record, which will include “Change Me”, a song inspired by the life of Christina Olsen (subject of painter Andrew Wyeth’s “Christina’s World”). She lived an amazing life as a disabled woman in Maine around the turn of the century. Through her, I was finally able to communicate my feelings about albinism in song: “Hey if you want to hold my hand / You’ve got to take me as I am / Because you can’t change me”

Albinism continues to shape my world and surprise me every day. When I get stopped on the street these days, my years as an entertainer kick in and help make it possible for me to be a positive force for albinism. I love dissolving the albinism myth for people out there, on the street or on stage, one person at a time. - THE BRAILLE MONITOR: NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND


"This young woman is a poet on fire. She writes intricate, soaring melodies that rise and fall over grooves both deep and wide. From an intimate whisper to a full-on wail, she sings with thoughtful purpose. The end of each song leaves you with a craving of what you'll hear next..." - SENSORED MAGAZINE


"NightLight is an empowering adventure into songs of this artist's life. Her vocals go from wispy soft accents to sultry soft enchantments in her arrangements. This is an album that should be in your collection." - NASHVILLE MUSIC GUIDE


"A striking vocalist whose features are set off by long strands of pale-blonde hair, Fox demonstrates a smoky, slightly slurred phrasing that calls Ricky Lee Jones to mind." - THE NASHVILLE SCENE


Discography

"BREATHE THE SAME AIR", 10-song CD. Released July 2005. Available at www.CDBaby.com/BrookeFox2 and itunes.

'NIGHTLIGHT", 11-song CD, Releaed June 1999. Second pressing 2002. Available at www.CDBaby.com/brookefox and itunes.

Photos

Bio

With a “strong yet vulnerable” set of songs drawing mentions to The Sundays, Patty Griffin and Ricky Lee Jones, Brooklyn songwriter Brooke Fox’s effortless vocals and direct lyrics draw a decidedly optimistic reality of relationships and human response. Her second self-produced record, “BREATHE THE SAME AIR” released July 2005, was a best seller on CDBaby and recently took home third place for Female Singer/Songwriter Album at the 2006 Just Plain Folks Music Awards.

On first glance, the strikingly pale Fox, glowing under the stage lights, is simply fair-skinned but her lilywhite features are actually albinism, a rare genetic trait that also causes legal blindness and sensitivity to light. Brooke has spoken to schools and community groups about albinism and made major press appearances (Fox News, CNN, KROQ) on behalf of NOAH (The National Organization of Albinism and Hypopigmentation) to raise awareness in the face of the motion picture release of The Da Vinci Code which marks the 68th “Evil Albino” character to appear in cinema since 1960.

Remarkably, little 5-year-old Brooke seemed to thrive in the bright flood of the spotlight, performing through her childhood years in Northern California. Fox’s obsession with song craft was founded early. She began creating her own music in front of the Fox family piano at the age of eight and went on to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Songwriting at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. She then relocated to Nashville after graduation and recorded her first album “NightLight” in 1999 before heading to New York in 2000.

NYC VENUES PLAYED:
Knitting Factory, Cutting Room, Living Room, Bitter End, BMI Acoustic Roundup, NY Songwriters Circle ASCAP Pop Song workshop

“A bell-like voice and powerful arrangements. Contemporary Folk at its best!” – Tom May, River City Folk (NPR)

MAJOR CITIES PLAYED:
NY, LA, Boston, San Francisco, Nashville, Chicago, Sacramento, Atlanta, Seattle, Toronto, Philadelphia, Madison.
24 States & 4 Countries so far.

COLLEGE SHOWS:
UConn, Boston University, Franklin & Marshall, Goucher, Simon’s Rock, St. Cloud State, College of NJ, Stevens Inst. of Technology.

CONFERENCES / FESTIVALS:
2NMC, MMC, ROCKRGRL, MECA, NXNE, Dewey Beach Fest.

“A Crystal clear voice, poetic grace and a maturity that runs deep in talent”.
-Richard Cuccaro, Acoustic Live

RADIO / TV APPEARANCES:
FoxNews, CNN, Fox5-NY, Entertainment Tonight: The Insider, NY1, NPR, XM, KROQ, River City Folk with Tom May, RadioCrystalBlue, WRPS, Buzz/102.9: Nashville, WMTS, The Medium

AWARDS:
06' Just Plain Folks Award: #3 "Female Singer / Songwriter Album", CDBABY #53 Best Seller: 8/05, ‘04-‘05-'06 ASCAPlus Award, ‘04 Great American Song Contest: Honor Award, ‘04 Just Plain Folks Award: “Best Vocal Jazz Song”, ‘03 Billboard Song Contest: Honorable Mention (two songs), Lilith Fair Acoustic Talent Search: Nashville Finalist, Berklee Songwriting Achievement Award.

"This young woman is a poet on fire" - Laurel Boland of Sensored Magazine.

SHARED THE STAGE WITH:
Vienna Teng, Mindy Smith, Richard Julian, Regina Spektor.

DISABILITY ADVOCACY:
UN Disability Convention at NYC City Hall, US Dept. of the Treasury: Disability Day, Enable America: Community Meeting, Nat’l Fed of the Blind: Nat'l Convention, Nat’l Org of Albinism (NOAH), CA Youth Leadership Forum, ADA: 10th, 15th Anniversary.