Gary Brooks Biography

How many artists can cover Joe Cocker’s “Feelin’ Alright” and Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman” with the authority of a musician’s musician who’s rubbed shoulders with stars of their caliber when those artists were in their prime?

Gary Brooks not only has a repertoire of more than one-thousand classic rock, soul and blues songs, he also writes his own material on his debut CD, Lost In The Shuffle and also on his latest CD, Milayne Jackson and Gary Brooks…Goin’ With The Flow, that have critics comparing him to Eric Clapton, J.J. Cale and Ray Charles.

Thirty-five years in the making, Lost In The Shuffle is anything but. “His whisky-‘n’-cigarettes-soaked-vocals really demand attention”, says Greg Haymes of Albany, NY’s “Times Union”. Don Wilcock, author of Buddy Guy’s authorized biography and Executive Director of the “Northeast Blues Society” calls Lost In The Shuffle “a beautifully produced showcase CD for his songs that range from classic rock in the Clapton/J.J. Cale vein to his strongest suit, soulful R&B.” Bill Camp from the “Baltimore Blues Society” says “Lost In The Shuffle showcases his vocal talents very well. His top-notch band cook up enough hot, soulful blues to melt the snows of the Adirondack Region.”

Six years in the making, Gary’s second CD, Milayne Jackson and Gary Brooks…Goin’ With The Flow is a powerful, glistening, state-of-the-art production of rockin’ R&B homages to everyday-life struggles”, says Don Wilcock. In the Troy Record, Wilcock writes “The album, so powerful, at times, reduces me to tears. Sometimes the sheer will and spirit of a performer can transcend his or her humble circumstances. Sometimes greatness can come from unexpected places.” Greg Haymes said, “the six year wait was well worth it, the disc is a real gem.”

While still in high school, Gary played keyboards and sang for “The Shames”, house band at College Inn, Saratoga Lake, for seventeen weeks in a row two different times, sharing the club with the likes of “The Sundowners” and “The Knickerbockers”, with their national hit “Lies”. He opened for Ike and Tina Turner, “Vanilla Fudge”, “Buddy Miles Express” and many other bands while he was a member of “Salt ‘n’ Pepper”, house band at The Aerodrome, NY Capital Region’s revolutionary psychedelic showcase for then up and coming legends in the making: Janis Joplin, “Led Zeppelin”, Jeff Beck and “Chicago (Transit Authority)”.

The seventies had him arranging vocals for “The Partridge Family’s” songwriters at New York’s Hit Factory Studio and backing ‘50’s icons Del Shannon, “The Platters”, “Shirelles”,and “The Coasters”. At the time he was lead singer and keyboardist for “Whisper”, one of New Jersey Shore’s hottest club bands performing at Osprey Hotel, Joe Popp’s Shore Bar, Dodd’s, The Penalty Box and The Rip Tide for examples.

In “Merlin’s Minstrels”, a ten-piece rock/funk band, Gary would belt out a Bonnie and Delaney routine with Nancy Kelly. Gary and fellow rock veteran guitarist Joe Mele formed the band, rearranged roots rock songs in the style of Ray Charles and Joe Cocker and pulled in an average of 1000 people a night at The Warehouse in Albany, Allen’s in Glenville and The Barrel in Renssalaer.

In “Emerald City Band”, a full-time road band touring New England states for six years, Gary, band leader at the time, commissioned legendary agent Ken O’Brien, Beaver Brown Band’s agent also, to keep the band busy five or six nights a week in Cape Cod, Rhode Island beach spots, Old Orchard Beach, Maine and Connecticut nightclubs. The band featured six lead vocalists and some great original music from Brooks and Gary Tash, guitar, vocals and piano, and was on the brink of signing a huge recording contract in New York City just before it’s untimely break up in 1982.

Gary started his solo act in the late eighties after a stint with The Joe Mele Band. While living on Warner Lake in the Helderberg Mountains he performed the solo act at Scholz’s Zwicklebauer’s Hofbrau for many years.

Today, Gary custom builds music acts for any occasion ranging from solo gigs and duos in Adirondack Region summer hotspots to seven-piece bands featuring fellow veterans like guitarists Joe Mele and Dave Seaman, vocalist Milayne Jackson and keyboardist Tony Perrino. He founded Brooks Entertainment in 2000, striving to provide the best live music for any occasion. He is currently working on a third CD he plans to release in 2008. His new website by Wanda Turner from North Country Web Designs was developed in 2007 to keep everyone informed about the new CD release, how to purchase the other two CD’s and his current gig schedule. Keep in touch at: www.garybrooksmusic.com

Brooks Entertainment
PO Box 4234
Clifton Park, New York 12065
(518) 526-1867 Info@GaryBrooksMusic.com