Incendiary young country singer and songwriter Rachel Brooke channels the bleakest nights of dark Southern music, pulling forth influences from raw, early country singing to Chicago blues greats, vintage New Orleans “jass” bands to old animated cartoons, all tied together in the framework of her old-fashioned melodies.
It takes a peculiar vision to be able to unite these many different sounds, but Rachel Brooke has pulled off the most difficult task: she’s created a new sound from a pastiche of old music without sounding derivative. Instead her music sounds incredibly fresh, sepia-toned perhaps with the vision of our distant past, but as rough-edged and hand-honed as the best of today’s roots music. She’s quite the paradox: a young songwriter who perfectly embodies the music of the American South, but who lives in the wilds of Northern Michigan. An artist who grew up with parents in a bluegrass band, but who spent her teen years raging away in an all-girl punk band. A shy, soft-spoken introvert whose wall- shaking voice has earned her a place at cutting- edge roots music festivals like Muddy Roots, and the Rochester International Jazz festival. An icon of underground country music who covers jazz greats like Fats Domino on her new record. But when you sing this well and play like hell, who do you have to answer to anyways?