Rachel Brooke – The Loneliness In Me – MAL Records
While some writers describe Michigan’s Rachel Brooke as having a unique voice, what Rachel has is a style of vintage classic country singing that hasn’t been in the mainstream for many years. This is why they say “unique” while it’s really a standard.
I find her interpretations classy & authentic. If you’re familiar with some of the 50s-60s pop country female artists who penetrated the charts with this kind of music you’d understand. I’m not talking about Loretta Lynn or Tammy Wynette – that would be too easy.
What Rachel has is a rich attractive tone that made hits for some female country-pop singers who are still performing today — Sandy Posey (“I Take It Back,” “Single Girl” – Elvis Presley backup singer), Diane Renay (“Navy Blue”), the late legendary Skeeter Davis (“End of the World” – who influenced Tammy Wynette & Dolly Parton), Jody Miller (“Silver Threads & Golden Needles”), & while singer-songwriter Jackie De Shannon wasn’t a country singer per se the Kentucky native had songs that are reminiscent of what Ms. Brooke creates. Jackie’s “A Lifetime of Loneliness,” “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” “I Remember the Boy,” “Don’t Turn Your Back on Me,” “Put a Little Love In Your Heart,” & “Bette Davis Eyes” come to mind. That’s a compliment.
So, with this Nashville golden era slice of nostalgia & modern-day flavors Rachel Brooke – The Loneliness In Me (drops Oct 23 – MAL Records) provide a listener with classic country with no corn-pone, no Hee-Haw, no gosh-by-golly, just genuine inspiration, a little shuffle, some bluegrass, lots of wow factors. Ms. Brooke’s songwriting’s sharp & original, with no stuck in the mud clichés. She steps in & out of the musical past & present with territorial rights.
Songs like “The Loneliness In Me,” have a Johnny Cash artery that runs through it wonderfully. “Lucky & Alone,” “It Won’t Be Long,” “The Awful Parts of Me,” (beautiful – think Brenda Lee for tonality but this has a marvelous & powerful Timi Yuro tint). “I Miss It Like It’s Gone,” “Ghost of You,” (“…the ghost of you comes back to me, but only when I drink” & “…every time I take a drink, I get closer to you.”) – superb country poetry.
Musicians: Rachel (acoustic guitar/banjo), Aaron Graham (drums), Dave Feeny (pedal steel), TJ Rankin (bass), Louis Osborn (Rhodes keys/electric guitar/bkg vocals), Michael Cullen, Nick Carnes, & Jeremy West (electric guitars), Shawn Densteadt (electric guitar/banjo), Liz Sloan (fiddle), Jarrod Champion (piano), with breezy backing vocals by James Hunnicutt, Brooke Robbins & Melissa Lakies.
Rachel’s natural voice has a special quality that needs little embellishment or effects. Overall, little to criticize. Each song possesses character, personality, an abundance of creativity & tight arrangements. Great enthusiastic musicianship. The atmosphere created is glorious.
For country aficionados – it’s enjoyable to the 10th power.
The 37-minute, 12-cut CD: produced by Andy Van Guilder. Available at https://www.rachelbrookemusic.com/