'Delicate Cages' from Jon Brooks(April 20, 2012)
There’ll be no banner waving or singing of ‘Nearer My God To Thee’ if the lyrics of Jon Brooks opening track ‘Because We’re Free’ on 'Delicate Cages' is anything to go by. This Toronto-based singer-songwriter certainly knows how to put across his message in a self-assured style that will send a shiver down the spine of any ‘thinking’ man (that rules out any guests on the Jeremy Kyle show then) bringing back nostalgic memories of early Dylan and Paxton.
If you’re going to get your point across then do it with the minimum of fuss and leave the reader to fill in the gaps using their own imagination as to what it is you’re trying to convey. On this recording it is an image alluded to yet never quite dangled like a guillotine suspended over a victim from an Edgar Allen Poe tale that entertains and enthrals in equal measure.
Like a work of art Brooks way with words make you delve more deeply than you’re possibly accustomed to but let’s face it, in this day and age when we’re dictated by the likes of Tesco and Walmart as to what we should be reading then Heaven help us all. With sterling work provided by fellow musicians Joe Phillips (bass), John Showman (violin), Scott Dibble (guitars) and Carrie Elkin/Lynn Miles on vocals this album really is something special. By the way, (and this is aimed squarely on the shoulders of ‘folk’ artists and designers who try to be too clever) straight forward black text on a white background is far better for a majority of your audience as the accompanying booklet to the CD testifies. Delicate Cages’ is available on Borealis Records BCD220
Reviewer: Pete Fyfe