MP3 The Brakemen - 14 Songs by Milan & Pinkerton
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15 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Americana, ROCK: Folk Rock
The term eclectic is too often used in describing musicians with a varied output, but in the case of The Brakemen, it fits better than any other. The Brakemen, a Detroit-based, singer/songwriter band, features a large body of the powerful and often socially charged songs of longtime Detroit writers Jon Milan and Richard Pinkerton.
The band's new CD, 14 Songs by Milan & Pinkerton, has been graced by the presence of many guest artists who have long been friends and supporters of their songwriting efforts.
14 Songs features performances by blues greats, Johnnie Bassett, Thornetta Davis and Nikki James, as well as rock artists Vinnie Dombrowski of Sponge and Liz Larin. The whole package is rounded out by the addition of world renowned poet and activist John Sinclair, who wrote and recorded a poem especially for the album
The Brakemen, led by pianist Jon Milan, includes Scott Clauser and Lou Simon on guitar, John Dunn on Bass, Todd Glass on drums and Phillip J. Hale on keyboards. The vocals are rendered primarily by Milan with the assistance of Pinkerton and Clauser rounding out the mix.
"The project began in October 2002," states Milan, "and we had the extra added advantage of many outstanding Detroit-area instrumentalists including jazz cellist and bass player Mike Karoub, jazz trumpeter Ingrid Racine and folk-rock violinist Mike Smith."
The collaboration of Milan and Pinkerton goes back to the seventies when the two joined up to put together their first band, The Crowd. Over the years the two have assembled various groups such as Imaginary Friend and Mabel's Dream as instruments to convey the songs that serve as the centerpiece to each performance.
In assembling The Brakemen, they chose veterans of projects past and mixed them with new members. Together, the musicianship that these members bring to the table, especially with the addition of a second guitar, often translates the songs into a fiery frenzy.
"In Detroit, it's an unusual presentation," says Pinkerton, "the singer/songwriter group is not something you see every day here. This is a great town to see incredible bands playing blues, rock, jazz -- just about anything, but when people come to see what we're doing, it's not so easy to put a handle on it."
"You really have to call it eclectic," added bandleader Milan, "and that can confuse people accustomed to seeing one particular genre at a time. With the general mix presented by the band, it's not unusual to jump from driving rock to a subdued blues, or to step from something funky into a ragtime tune. And I think it's this unexpected collection that has appealed to many of the musicians and music aficionados in the region. They have always been our first level of support, and we can't appreciate it enough."
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