Penguin Eggs, Canada's Folk, Roots & World Music Magazine

Jon Brooks is a welcome voice in an age crying out for great protest songs. When a former prime minister is grilled for taking envelopes full of cash while millions have lost their savings and jobs, we need protest singers in the worst way. 

Armed with an acoustic guitar, a harmonica a gravelly voice and a pen, Brooks follows the tradition of poking holes in accepted truths, a path blazed by the likes of Woody Guthrie and John Lennon. You’re likely to hang on to his every word. 

In his third disc, Brooks has penned some truly impressive songs that will likely be sung for generations to come. “How can we hear the stories of people but we can’t hear the crying of the times,” Brooks asks. 

There’s a sadness, yet hope, in his lyrics. He sings of the man feeling trapped in a loveless marriage, wishing he were an astronaut so he could see how small we are. The seven-minute ‘What’s Within Us’ is full of the contradictions that could kill us, from the fisherman in the tar sands to the folksingers singing pop songs. 

In God Pt. IV he says: “Well, I don’t believe in Lennon, Beatles, Bono, or U2; I don’t believe in heroes ’cause they’d say the same thing, too.” But then again, “there’s always love.” 

-By Mike Sadava 

July, 2009