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Jonatha Brooke


Jonatha Brooke – Live

(Bad Dog)

Having wowed the open mic scene as half of Jennifer and Jonatha and having shared in the tales of love and loss that made up The Story, Jonatha Brooke has gone on her own in a major way, not just recording under her own name but, on her latest and first live album, on her own label. Dreading forecasts of consolidation and consternation, Brooke suavely made her own way by creating Bad Dog as a completely independent means of sharing her elegant stories with her growing legions of fans.
As Paul Harvey would say “Now here’s the rest of the story….”
Taken from a series of recent concerts, Live captures “the intensity and raw sound of a live show” with very little tailoring. Despite a veritable hurricane nearly canceling a show in Boston, aside from a few odd comments (e.g., “I gotta try to get this strap on”) and inter-mezzo showers of applause, the recording is amazingly clean, allowing the depth and nuance of Brooke’s vocals and the talents of her backing band to shine as much as on any studio album. And what a set of backers she has! From the steady percussion of Tom Hambridge to the Raitt-y rattlesnake fretwork of Duke Levine and Gary Leonard’s “strange, brilliant, ambient guitar rainbow,” Brooke takes from the best to make one of the best live albums around; a satisfying combination of concert energy and studio clarity and of traditional favorites and new explorations.
Of special note are the yearning, diving and soaring plea of “Is This All?,” the sassy blues of “Where Were You?” and the legendary “Always” – a contemporary combination of Arhturian sense and Virginia Woolfe sensibility. The recording is impressively clear and glitch-free and the performances are likewise. In a phrase, Live is a keeper!
Paul would be proud!

- Matthew S. Robinson
© 1999 M. S. Robinson, ARR


©2003-2005 Boston Beats





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