The National Association of Rhythm & Blues D.J.'s in the U.S. picked Danny Brooks 'Other Side Of The Cloud' as the # 1 Song Of 2005. Brooks' is thrilled with this honor and being in the company of Percy Sledge, Wilson Pickett, Don Covay, Roy Roberts, Queen Latifah and other great R&B/Soul and Blues Artists.
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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 once had the privilege to perform with Brownie McGhee, who told him 'son fo' a white boy, you sho' nuff gotta suntan on the inside'. The distinctive Danny Brooks' sound embodies a hybrid blend of original music based in the roots of Blues, Country and Gospel. Maybe Greg Quill/musician and arts writer sums it up the best: 'This is Roots music of great distinction.'
UNITED JERSEY BLUES NETWORK - This fascinating CD has been a pleasant surprise and a breath of fresh air! Perfect blending of Christian Blues, Memphis R&B, Country and Gospel features an impressive band with plenty of heart and soul. Danny Brooks adds his mighty fine harp and guitar talents to some top-notch lyrics and arrangements. All the songs are originals, written by Danny Brooks himself. According to the liner notes Danny was standing on the banks of the Mississippi River....read more
UCB Radio Canada 2005: 'Behind the Blues' with Danny Brooks. A new radio program, with Danny Brooks, is being produced by Gary Hooglivet/ UCBCanada. 'Behind the Blues' is to begin airing in 2005 on UCB's worldwide network, featuring the award winning Christian Blues Artist. Danny Brooks will share his life stories, and his songs of faith and hope.
I will be making a rare appearance at the Big Kahuna Cafe in Bridgton Maine, Aug 24&25 www.thebigkahuna cafe.com and will be performing new songs from 'No Easy Way Out'
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