Brooke Blackburn does not simply just put out songs, he creates photo albums for the soul. His latest collection of songs is genuinely heartfelt, wonderfully spiritual and has an honesty that you cannot argue with. It is the kind of CD that you could put on after a bad day at work, or you’re stuck in traffic, and need a little boost to get you through. With the help of his brothers, Duane Blackburn (vocals and keyboard) and Cory Blackburn (drums), Joe Bowden and Joaquin Nunez on percussion and drums, as well as Collin Barrett, Andrew Stewart, and Howard Ayee on bass, a collection of metaphysical entanglements are released in Brooke’s music.
The CD starts off easy with an acoustic piece about a man waiting for his woman to fall in love with him and treat him the way he wants to be treated. Then we move into a soft hypnotic rhythm that has the character rising spiritually to a new divine level.
We then travel to Africa, to immerse ourselves in the cry of a nation, reaching out with its humanity, while imploring us to shine as a society.
Let’s briefly explore Brooke’s gifts as a songwriter. Postman’s Opus is a wonderful tribute to Toronto’s first black postman. By the end of the song, Brooke paints a picture of you sitting on a porch, simply waiting for Mr. Albert Jackson to deliver the mail to you. It is such an everyday action and yet, the band makes it fun to imagine. The audience feels like they’re out on the mail route with Mr. Jackson.
“Hey, Mr. Man” is a beautiful composition with Brooke sounding like Louis Armstrong. “Hambone Blues” is a great vigorous tune sung by Brooke and the feral energy of Samantha Clayton. The energy of these two people simply trying to get together to have a meal is furious and fun. With songs like “A Gift”, and “Friends”, Brooke pulls out his heart and places it gently on his sleeve for everyone to hear and view. This is truly one of his endowments to his audience; an honesty that makes you feel that you are in a beautiful space.
Brooke goes for a little gospel music with songs like “A Good Woman”, and “I can’t go home”. These two songs are giving two very different lessons that you must know about if you are going to survive any future relationships with a significant other.
We finish off this CD with a complete departure. “Corey Blues Part 2” is a musical masterpiece of intense musicianship and prowess. It is one part gymnastics, one part solid groove, and one part outlandish passion. This is truly the crowning achievement on this CD. If you have not been convinced that this is a great CD, buy it just for this piece. You will thank me. Thank you Brooke for putting together a beautiful collection of music that will fill many happy homes.