by Brit Charek
|Photo courtesy of Rutabaga Photography|
Akron-based Cleveland native Alan Brooks started playing guitar at the age of twelve when he found a dusty old guitar in the basement of his parents' house. He took that love for songwriting off to college with him in the Windy City, where he started playing gigs and developing his unique songwriting style: a combination of folk, 50s bebop with R&B influenced vocals.
It was there in Chicago he wrote songs for his first EP Getting From A to B. He recorded the record with a full band, following traditional folk-rock formulas with a handful of rhymes thrown in to lighten the mood. Anyone who has been to Chicago can hear the city's influence in Brooks' lyrics while he tells us simple stories of being young in the big city: waiting for the train, following the city lights by foot, and a missed connection story worthy of Craigslist.
"Probably Never," off Brooks' first EP Getting From A to B
Now that Brooks is back in Ohio, he has stripped down his sound to just his voice and guitar, making it instantly more soulful. He was been performing in art galleries and wine bars as well as sharing the stage with national touring acts and local bands.
Brooks' next album, Alibi, which will be released on April 19th, is a lot different than Getting From A to B. "I've been playing more solo these days," explains Brooks, "And with the whole Bill Evans type philosophy I wanted to leave room to improvise and change things on the spot. As far as the listener, I think it will give a more intimate and honest sounding experience."
To hear more of Alan Brooks' music, check out his website. Or, you can catch him performing his new songs for the first time at Uncorked Wine Bar downtown Akron April 19th at 9pm. He will be joined by musicians Dave Hammer and Morgan Mecaskey. There is a $5 suggested donation. To learn more or RSVP, click here.
|Photo by Rutabaga Photography|