To purchase: Texassippi Soul Man
Down Home mix of Soul, Blues, Americana, and Gospel, surrounding a man with his slide, harp and stomp board.
Genre: Blues: Slide Guitar Blues
Release Date: 2012
This CD mixes all my major influences from blues, soul, country, rock and gospel, with a new twist due to constant performing in Texas and Mississippi. There is a 'Hill Country' influence unlike any other record I've made. There is a unique blend of old school pairings of 'Elmore James meets Hank Williams'......'Solomon Burke meets RL Burnside'......Taj Mahal meets The Black Keys'.
Says Louis Erlanger of the sessions: The songs are all gems, the musicians all hot and soulful players...'Danny's powerful voice and unique personal vision focus a virtual melting pot of influences into a sound that is unmistakably his own".
"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 all sorts 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." A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange by Mark S. Tucker
"Torches your soul! I have never been moved enough to write a review like this...I have my favorites like anyone else...Delbert McClinton, Alvin Lee & Ten Years After, Bob Segar, Clapton, Winwood, Leon Russell, Chris Rea to name a few...But after seeing Danny Brooks perform twice recently, I am a huge fan...Purchased all four CD's that he offers at his gigs and I have to say they are all exceptional with Texassippi Soul Man being my personal favorite...The gravel and soul in Danny's voice and the searing licks and gutsy slide play on guitar truly reflect a musician who has paid his dues but wants to do more... I've watched Danny's YouTube videos from Canada for years, but have only become a serious fan since his move to Texas a fews years ago...This is truly Canada's loss and a gift to the USA! Glenn Miller - Amazon Review
"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; Lewis 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' My 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." By Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro © November 2012 Mary4Mary Music
TEXASSIPPI SOUL MAN
Track Listing / To Purchase Click Here
- Soul Man
- Can't Stop Riding This Train
- Let It Rain
- Trouble Me No More
- Shakin' My Burdens Free
- Hard Workin' Man
- Better Man Than Me
- Mama Prayed
- 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
- The Night Hank Williams Let Me Down
- I Caught A Fire