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The Works

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Customer Reviews

"The Works" Works Wonderfully

Jonatha Brooke has created something that is different, yet very exciting. She was invited into the Woody Guthrie archives to peruse the extensive collection of lyrics and poems. Jonatha has emerged with an album of original music that she performs set to Guthrie's words, called "The Works", which works wonderfully. Some of the guest artists include Glen Phillips from Toad the Wet Sprocket, Eric Bazilian from The Hooters, Joe Sample, and Keb' Mo'. My first thought after hearing this CD was that long-time Jonatha fans will really enjoy "The Works", and it will provide new listeners with a great introduction to this true talent. This is an album that focuses on the important basics: poetic and inspiring lyrics (as well as historic), incredible melodies and soaring harmonies, musical instruments that at times seem to leap from your speakers into your soul, and Jonatha's beautiful voice. She's never sounded better. "The Works" is diverse, but not over the top: From the bluesy, swampiness of "You'd Ought to be Satisfied Now", to the Gospel-influenced "My Flowers Grow Green" and "My Battle", to the upbeat and catchy "There's More True Lovers Than One", and "Taste of Danger" (which is my favorite tune on the CD). "Sweetest Angel" and "New Star" are sweet, touching ballads. "All You Gotta Do is Touch Me" is a sexy duet with Keb' Mo', and features these relevant lyrics: "I fully aim to get my soul known again as the maniac, the saint, the sinner, the drinker, the thinker, the queer. I am the WORKS, the whole WORKS, and it's not 'till you have called me all of these things that I feel satisfied, I feel satisfied". The CD ends with the sweet and innocent waltzing "King of My Love". From Jonatha's website, she writes: "Such a Coney Island love song! I love the whole card metaphor, and the sweetness of tossing off the cardhouse costume and slipping on a cotton dress in the last verse. I imagined Woody writing this during an incredibly happy, in love time. There's an innocence and joy. And Gil Goldstein's accordion gives it such a nostalgic feel." Many of Woody Guthrie's lyrics are just as relevant today as the day they were written; Most of those lyrics were penned in the 1930s-1950s. "Madonna on the Curb" deals with something similar to the old adage that "The cobbler's kids have no shoes." We're taking care of the citizens of other countries, spending billions overseas, and we practically ignore the needs of our own: "So when you're giving millions to Belgian, Pole, and Serb, remember my beautiful lady, Madonna on the curb." There's also a different version of this song on the album "Songs for Tibet", which benefits the Art of Peace Foundation. Two things that caught my attention: 1) The swirly and complex organ that you hear throughout the album. It sounds absolutely amazing; very cool. Joe Sample and Mitchell Froom should be applauded. 2) This CD reminds me a bit of some of Jonatha's earlier works. It's reminiscent of "Plumb" and "Ten Cent Wings" while still being true to Woody Guthrie's Folk legacy. In these days of overproduced, overdubbed, and overly-marketed Pop underachievers, it sure is reassuring that truly talented songwriters are still around. Jonatha Brooke writes exceptionally beautiful music, and this album is continues with that tradition. "The Works" is a CD that has something for everyone.

Jonatha Brooke Incredible

Jonatha Brooke will always be one of the most underrated and regrettably lesser known musical geniuses/artists recording today...her albums always have songs that are instantly memorable, and other gems that unveil themselves after many listens...a new recording by JBro is always a much anticipated addition to my music collection...

A Perfect and Memorable "Collaboration" of Two Great Artists

"The Works" would make Woody Guthrie proud and only in the hands of an eloquent singer songwriter as Jonatha Brooke were his words in strong, introspective, and capable hands properly set to music...Jonatha Brooke is in a rare class of singer songwriters that are so hard to find these days when overproduction and marketing mimic talent...Her enduring career and a stunning musical library (venture into her CDs) of her own makes this project even more memorable ...Special tracks include "You'd Oughta Be Satisfied" and "All You Gotta Do Is Touch Me"...You just know one day when Brooke makes her way to Heaven..Woody will be waiting for her, a table for two with a bottle of wine ready to be shared...


Born: January 23, 1964 in Illinois

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Jonatha Brooke began issuing albums that merged folk and pop during the early 1990s, first as a member of a female duo named the Story and later as a solo artist. Brooke formed the Story (originally called "Jonatha & Jennifer" during the duo's early years) along with another vocalist, Jennifer Kimball, who attended Massachusetts' Amherst College with Brooke in the early '80s. Despite playing regular local gigs during their college career, the girls never issued any recordings...
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