REVIEW album William Ben Brooks a broken beast

'A Broken Beast' By William Ben Brooks

a broken beast

William Ben Brooks

William Ben Brooks is known for his evocative vocals, imagery filled lyrics and distinct Americana vibe. His new album 'a broken beast' is a unique blend of raw, confessional ballads and soaring folk-rock tracks. It features a powerful line-up of Grammy and Emmy winning players: Catherine Russell (David Bowie and Steely Dan), Ms. Nicki Richards (currently backing Madonna) and Janie Burnett (Linda Ronstadt, Rickie Lee Jones), multi-Emmy winner, Robbie Kondor (Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel) and Grammy nominee Kelvin Wooten (Al Green, Macy Gray) on keyboards and Jon Gordon (Suzanne Vega and Madonna) on guitars, and bass.

The sweet guitar rocker “Remedy" is thick with a Muscle Shoals accent and a clavinet hook that you could hang both your hat and coat. “And I Heard” is a driving guitar rocker conjuring mystical images of a dangerous new love. Brooks’ and Russell’s voices perfectly wed in an almost call-and-response-cadence in the pulse-racing “Too Soon” that features fiery guitar chops of Jon Gordon on electric and bass. “The Beauty of It All” is a timeless, piano driven ballad about the strength found in choosing to remember all parts of a breaking relationship. Of special note is "in this room" co-written with multi-talented artist and best-selling author Julia Cameron of "The Artist's Way" fame.

The strength of this album is its intimacy. “Blindside” is a cello accented march through a tunnel terse with stirring lyric.

William Ben Brooks is a child of the sixties, a storyteller, a gardener of tales. Born and raised in southern Oklahoma, he cites influences from The Beatles, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens and speaks through their shared voice in lyric, harmony and the occasional accent of humor or mysticism. Dating back to 1995, his discography is as deep as it is rich. His debut release, 'Karma Dogs' was followed by seven full-length albums including 'a broken beast'.

Brooks’ music has been heard on CBS's prime time comedy How I Met Your Mother, The Late Show with David Letterman, the international re-release of Adam Carolla's The Hammer, Good Day New York and VH1. His film music credits include The Dinner Party, Out of the Garden and Underground New York. Brooks has been honored as a New Folk Finalist at America's most respected folk music festival, The Kerrville Folk Festival. He is also a recipient of the Meet the Composer Grant from New York State Council on the Arts, The Songwriter's Hall of Fame, Songwriter's Guild of America Pro Shop and the prestigious New York Songwriter's Circle.

An album in the fullest sense of the word, 'a broken beast' was built on the collaborative efforts of many gifted players from the USA's musical hotbeds and whose influences make the album resolutely beautiful, soulful and rare.