Gary Brooks Biography
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.”
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.
“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