We first had the pleasure of hearing Danny Brooks and his wife Debi at a Blues Stages Concert last year. From the first licks we were hooked. We have been able to see them perform three more times since then: twice at the Shelby County Arts Center (thanks, Bruce!) and once at the newly-opened Coal Yard in Helena.
Danny sings main vocals and plays guitar/slide and harmonica, while Debi adds harmonies and plays cajon/percussion. The two are consummate entertainers engaging the audience and good-naturedly ribbing each other as only long married couples can. By the time you read this they will have finished a four month tour which started in Katy, Texas on January 31st. then headed through Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Washington (DC), New York, Pennsylvania, Ontario, British Columbia, ending June 5th. in La Grange, Texas.
Danny is billed as the "Texassippi Soul Man" and that is an apt appellation. The music is a hard-driving mix of Americana, Southern Soul and Hill Country Blues and Gospel with a bit of Reggae thrown in. Danny is a prolific song-writer. Each song is a perfectly contained tune, yet each builds on musical greats while telling a story we want to hear.
Their new album "This World Is Not Your Friend" showcases Danny's strong vocals, gifted guitar, harp playing and talented song writing along with Debi's harmonies and percussion. The 18 songs on this CD will take you on a musical journey you want to take again and again.
The title track is a piercing indictment of modern life. "Blue Highway" is a toe-tapping tour of Danny's musical influences: "I might not know much but one thing that I know, you can't get away from Macon, Motown or Muscle Shoals" with a halleluiah refrain which is hauntingly beautiful. "All God's Children" is another track which will make you catch your breath. "All God's children, cry a little before they get back home" along with the harmonica showcases the couples' many talents and combines multiple genres. The rollicking "Ride Around Texas" celebrates the couples delight in living in their adopted home of Llano, Texas and love for each other. The raw "Halfway to Heaven" lays bare Danny's life journey. The refrain captures the angst and hope of a life which has seen highs and lows.
We are sure Danny Brooks and Lil Miss Debi will be back in the Magic City soon. Until they do, enjoy their music on CD: http:/dannybrooksmusic.com
Written by TyAnn Lindell