MP3 Danny Brooks - Soulsville Rock This House
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13 MP3 Songs
BLUES: Rhythm & Blues, BLUES: Rockin' Blues
Shades of Blue Reviews - Danny Brooks/Rock This House - Oct/05
When the Shades site reviewed Danny's previous album (Soulsville), we commented on how much we were looking forward to the next release in the southern music trilogy.
Eagerly anticipating the addition of downhome horns to an already well rounded sound, we were hoping for a heady mix of classic R&B, soul, gospel, blues and country in a modern context. After all, we've recently seen successful releases for Solomon Burke and, latterly, Bobby Purify, both of which incorporated the traditional southern soul writing style of people like Dan Penn - recordings that were fresh as you like whilst acknowledging the debt to a glorious musical history. So, why not the same for Danny Brooks? "Soulsville" was a truly fine record, but "Rock This House" definitely moves the whole thing up a notch. Lyrically, the previous album focused extensively on the overtly spiritual, although Shades of Blue found the more secular but still intensely personal songs the strongest on the set. This album broadens the themes, mixing the personal with the spiritual, the serious with the fun. 'Hold On', for example, is a very direct joyous celebration of soul and R&B greats such as Joe Tex, Solomon Burke and Bobby Bland (of course, anyone who name checks Bobby is already ahead of the game!) driven along with a classic R&B lilt. You can still hear the influences (get the impression Brooks would be disappointed if you couldn't!) but this is Memphis soul, R&B and blues brought bang up to date. Songs might start with a John Lee Hooker vibe, a typical Joe Tex storyline, a bit of Solomon preaching or a Blind Boys gospel refrain, but what develops is a series of well crafted songs that matches anything on the aforementioned lauded releases from Solomon Burke and Bobby Purify. If I had to pigeon-hole Danny's vocal style, then the closest I could get is to the likes of Eddie Hinton when he was at his soul searching and testifying best; more than capable of rocking up a storm, at its very best on the the very fine soul blues ballads such as 'You'll Find A Way'. The addition of a horn section adds real colour to the material, and the band is truly exceptional. Special mention to Richard Bell (keyboards and production), Ed Zankowski (lead tenor) and Amoy Levy (vocal duet/backing vocals). If there were any justice, this should be a major seller. It's the equal of anything produced in the country soul vein this year. It's every bit as good as the Dan Penn produced Bobby Purify release "Better To Have It", and that album received universally great reviews in the British music press. -Shades of Blue/R&B Primer
BREAKOUT SINGLE 'HOLD ON'! -a tribute to the great Soul singers of the past and present!
Danny Brooks has definitely 'kicked it up a notch' with his new CD and first single 'Hold On.' Danny has brought the classic soul of Memphis into 2005. His vocals are spicy hot and the lyrics to 'Hold On' will take you to a soulful place not unlike Stax Records. Rock 'n' Soul at it's best!!
-John Donabie - CFRB Radio/Toronto
'Hold On' is a sizzling new tune with an old R&B beat that not only takes you back to the roots of 'Carolina Beach Music', the feel and lyrics allow you to drift back in time with memories of songs and artists that has created one of the most unique cultures in the music world. You do not want to drive under the influence of 'Hold On'. -Kyle Beam/Right Reverend of Beach Music
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