karen brooks
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karen brooks

Band Folk Acoustic


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Lost Silence-- Solo LP released in 1972
Follow the Dream-- CD/Cassette released 2000
Believe-- 2004
Under the Covers-- (2005)
Karen Brooks Unreleased (2006)



I was born in Tokyo, daughter of a blues singer mother and Broadway actor/singer father. Growing up, I remember music parties that kept me awake at night with conga and jazz piano and lots of singing. My grandfather was a great singer, an evangelist who travelled around the south during the Depression pulling together the early African-American church choirs, a sheriff who played the saw and fiddle and called squaredances. He was also a carpenter and inventor. I like to think I'm cut from the same cloth. I'm not the typical girly-girl, never much use for make-up. Hammers are definitely good. Worked a bunch of years with autistic kids and music, then a bunch more teaching little kids music, having a great time getting them all singing and playing, some now jam with me as 20-year-olds. Done a lot of travelling, both this country and Europe, playing music everyhere I go, getting folks going on the train or in the airport. My mentor nowadays is my kids' adopted grandfather, Pete Seeger, friend and fellow-musician and activist. He's still going strong and holds a good-sized group of us in his capable hands, leading us to carry on. It's because of him that I am convinced music is our last hope, and the proof has been in the doing. I make friends everywhere, always have a common bond even when there isn't a common language. That's the belief that comes through, I hope, in my music, and if I'm not drawing in the crowd, then I'm not doing my job. I raised four kids, ran a sheep farm with about 100 ewes (do you know how many lambs are born each year to 100 ewes?) built a few houses and alot more barns (good at hammering) and in the last couple years spent a load of energy re-building after a housefire so I feel like I can pretty much understand my good friends in Nicaragua and now in the South of this poor country. Wherever I go, I talk to people about what they want, what they believe, what they hope for, what songs they sing-- "teach me a lullaby from your country"-- because these are the songs that everybody knows. It's not about getting rich or famous, it's about passing along the music, the hope, the connection we all share. That's why I do it, the singing and the playing, it's what makes me the happiest, makes me feel alive.