Brooks' approach is sparse and brave- mostly just his voice and acoustic guitar, punctuated by some Dylanesque harmonica work. Of course Brooks can afford to take artistic risks- he has a strong tenor voice and a rock-solid rhythmic sense on the guitar. The overall impression is, well, impressive. His music and lyrics sound like the product of a person with more mileage and burnish than 25 years usually affords.
The 12 cuts on "I Have Tried to Run" range from an acoustic slide boogie-woogie ("I Took My Love to Town") to a poignant lament about the decline of dairy farms ("Ballad of Abraham") to country-honk talking blues ("Ten Black Crows"). I love it that you can't finger any of Brooks' material in the 'sounds like' game- the genres are clear, but the music is comfortably unique. In this day and age it's rare to be able to compliment original acoustic music in these terms.
"I Have Tried to Run" is a whole album of winners, a carefully constructed set of memorable songs in many styles that Josh Brooks can be justifiably proud of."
-Robert Reznik, host of "All the Traditions" on
Vermont Public Radio and folk reviewer for "Seven
Days" weekly newspaper
"Josh Brooks is one of the rising stars in the new generation of Vermont singer/songwriters. At only 25 years of age, Josh has remarkable range both as a songwriter and a performer. Humor, romance, social commentary, reflections on the meaning of life, kindergarten stories, rock and roll, rockabilly, country, folk, Elvis, Dylan, Shindell, guitar, harmonica, and a voice that rocks, croons, snarls, pleads and soothes are all part of the Josh Brooks experience. Don't miss it!"
-Tom Arner, Goddard College radio
Check out the artist's website:
1. I Have Tried to Run
2. Opposites Attract
3. Ballad of Abraham
4. I Took My Love to Town
6. Independence Day
7. Love Ain't for Me
8. Never Go to Sleep
9. Lordy Lordy
11. Ten Black Crows
12. Pleasant Valley