Jon Brooks Presented by The Victoria Folk Music Society
Sunday, March 24th, 2013
Though Jon’s music is filled with grey and morally ambiguous characters living on the outskirts of approval, his mandate is unequivocal: “I’m not interested in ‘happy songs’ – I’ve chosen to write healing songs and, for that reason, I’m obliged to reveal a wound or two now and then. I’m even less interested in writing unhappy songs: I want to write hopeful songs, inspiring songs and I expect I owe today’s listener some hopeful argument – some legitimate reason – as to why we should believe our present world could be improved, or healed. The highest aim of song is to invoke empathy – to offer that rare sight of ourselves in others. In this sense, the folk singer is simply trying to politicize love, hence, my contention that today’s songwriter should be a lobbyist for compassion to be our principle representative in government office.”
In 2006 he released NO MEAN CITY , a portrait of Toronto homelessness vis a vis Toronto history and architecture. Inspired by Eric Arthur’s book, ‘No Mean City’, these 13 songs are a weighty and conceptual exposition of the modern urban soul’s homelessness and moral fatigue. 2007 afforded Jon further acclaim with the release of OURS AND THE SHEPHERDS , a CD of Canadian war stories inspired by James Loney, Senator Romeo Dallaire, Sgt. Tommy Prince, and John McRae among others. The collection earned Brooks Songwriter of the Year nomination at the 2007 Canadian Folk Music Awards. Penguin Eggs deemed it “a thoroughly wonderful and truly important addition to the canon of Canadian folk music.” OURS AND THE SHEPHERDS is now among the collections of The Canadian War Museum and The John McRae Society.
Jon is also a published essayist with Guernica Editions’ BARRY CALLAGHAN: ESSAYS ON HIS WORKS (2007) with contributions by Margaret Atwood, William Kennedy, Joyce Carol Oates, and others.
His latest CD, MOTH NOR RUST , looks inward to all that neither moth nor rust can touch: love, hope, trust, memory, inspiration, justice, and faith. MOTH NOR RUST earned Jon his second Canadian Folk Music Award nomination for Songwriter of the Year and its lyrics were published by Canada’s esteemed literary quarterly, Exile Editions.
Whether about the times we live in, its past or its future promise, Brooks’ songs are underscored throughout by his gently weather-beaten voice, the singular beautiful sound of hand on guitar, and his uncanny ability to press his ear against the heartbeat and the soul of the times we live in – transforming, inspiring and uplifting us as we bear witness.
The Victoria Folk Music Society (VFMS)
Every Sunday at 7:30 PM at “Norway House”, 1110 Hillside Ave. Victoria, BC (between Quadra St. and Cook St. on the #4 bus route)
$5.00 on Feature Nights,
$3.00 on our occasional
All Open Stage Nights;
16 yrs. & under, Free;
VFMS members, volunteers, and performers: No Charge
Memberships and Monthly Newsletter (N/L):
$17.00 N/L only