‘Closer to the absolute truth’: Jon Brooks powers the people at Taffy’s, Dayton City Paper  

By Joey Ferber 

photo: Jon Brooks shares stories and collects some new ones at Taffy’s Sept. 21; photo: Jay Morrison 

Don’t call him a singer-songwriter. Don’t call him a folk artist. Just go listen to the stories he sings. The songs of Toronto-based Jon Brooks strike the depths of human emotion, from anger and resentment to hope and redemption. 

Brooks spoke with the Dayton City Paper about his Sept. 21 show at Taffy’s, writing and performing, and the hearts of small towns. 

Jon Brooks: This is the…

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Moth Nor Rust – review – Back Road Bound  

Moth Nor Rust, released in 2009 on Borealis Records, finally found its way into my home only yesterday. The first few listens already made me realise just how exceedingly fine an album it is. Yes, it’s Folk music, but somehow the musical style (as much as I am fond of it) is irrelevant, as the songs on here are quite simply that. Songs, and stories. Brooks could arguably be classified as a songwriter in the tradition of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger or early Bob Dylan. No romanticising for the times of the…

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Back Road Bound  

Easy listening this is not. There’s meat on the bones on this record. Jon Brooks hails from Ontario, Canada and The Smiling And Beautiful Countryside is his 5th album to date. It is the first record of his I have heard, so I can’t really compare it with his previous output. He’s playing all of the few instruments heard on the album, actually it’s pretty much only guitars, a banjitar, plus some rudimentary percussion, which apparently is mainly his feet tapping and banging on his guitar. As you would expect…Read more

Music News Nashville  

“I’ve already done four albums that inspire: it’s now time to offend,” says Canadian singer/songwriter Jon Brooks about his latest project — “The Smiling & Beautiful Countryside.” Produced and recorded live in the studio by David Travers-Smith, this Borealis Records release is a 10-track acoustic collection of mostly violent, rural crime stories. The long tradition of the murder ballad continues, with Brooks’ keen ear for disturbing lyrical detail. 

“God made all men, Sam Colt made ‘em equal,” sings Brooks…

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The StarPhoenix – A walk on the dark side with Jon Brooks  

“The smiling and beautiful countryside,” Sherlock Holmes once told Watson, presents as easily a “dreadful record of sin” as do “the lowest and vilest alleys in London.” Just check out those quaint British mysteries on PBS for confirmation. 

In this brilliant and unsettling album, Ontario songwriter Jon Brooks often takes the voice of the killer, the predator, the lonely, alienated loser in spare songs of one guitar and a bit of percussion. Gun Dealer is the man who provides us with what we want – our fear…

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Delicate Cages review from folking.com  

There’ll be no banner waving or singing of “Nearer My God To Thee” if the lyrics of Jon Brooks opening track “Because We’re Free” is anything to go by. This Toronto based singer-songwriter certainly knows how to put across his message in a self-assured style that will send a shiver down the spine of any ‘thinking’ man (that rules out any guests on the Jeremy Kyle show then) bringing back nostalgic memories of early Dylan and Paxton. If you’re going to get your point across then do it with the minimum of…

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The Red Dirt Report Oklahoma City, OK  

CD REVIEW: Jon Brooks – Delicate Cages (independent) 2011 

http://www.reddirtreport.com/Story.aspx/21529 

For those of living south of the Canadian border, the name Jon Brooks probably doesn’t ring any bells. 

And that’s too bad. Until recently I counted myself among those many millions. But now, having had time to devote to listen and absorb the 11 beautiful songs on Delicate Cages, I have come away … I don’t know … changed, perhaps? 

These heartfelt tracks – which included “Because We’re Free” and a…

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Blues Matters!  

Jon Brooks is a Canadian singer/songwriter with a firm view of his role in the world “I want my songs to be three and half-minute pills which, if digested, induce upon the listener empathy toward others.” The music here suggests that he is very good at doing exactly that. The opening song ‘War Resister’ tells the story of Jeremy Hinzman, a notorious Iraq war resister who refused to go with his unit to Iraq and paid the price. The song carries a sense of the split in his mind in the vocals bust also in the…

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Jon Brooks’ “Delicate Cages” is an incredible piece of conceptual art set to music  

By ‘Rebel’ Rod Ames, From Under the Basement 

This past late spring, just prior to the 40th Annual Kerrville Folk Festival, I had the distinct pleasure of not only hearing the winner of the 2010 Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk contest, but actually had the privilege to meet him at my friend’s place, Lazy Days Canteen in Ingram, Texas. He turned out to be just as genuine a human being as is his music. 

His latest album, “Delicate Cages” is just about as good as it gets. Mr. Brooks has one of the most…

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