History of Brookfield
In the early days (1976 to 1980) Brookfield was a trio featuring Fredrick Brooks, multi-keyboard player David Hawes and engineer Ron Biggs. They played concerts in art galleries and clubs where original music was featured. After they disbanded, Brookfield was reformed (1981) with Fredrick, Jeff Brackett and later Joy Brooks.
As the principle writer, Fredrick draws his inspiration from everyday experiences, sketching life in lyrical musical poetry in this fertile mix of acoustic guitar and voice. Joy sings lead vocal, provides percussion and a sprinkling of flute. Jeff adds electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin and vocals. From the beginning of the musical acquaintance between Fredrick and Jeff, the band’s creative process has been characterized by overlapping compositional and improvisational forces.
They've performed at venues like Harbourfront (Toronto), Market Hall (Peterborough), All Folks Festival (Kingston), Music in the Parks (Whitby, Clarington, Uxbridge), art galleries (Whitby, Barrie, Oshawa), folk clubs (Greenbank, Millbrook, Toronto), fundraisers for Indigenous youth in Canada and AIDS in Africa and a variety of other venues.
In time it became a family band featuring Caroline, Katherine and Emerson Brooks (vocals) and Steve Brackett (drums). Mel Kay joined in as bass player. After many performances, the band decided to produce a full length recording. The album received shining reviews.
John O’Reagan (British broadcaster/journalist for BBC and various music magazines in the UK)
“Contemporary folk based songs with strong rock/indi/pop influences yet possessing a strong sense of place and personality…”.
Folk Roots - “…sweet acoustics, strong melodies with a sta-press harmony, and totally clean production…”.
Dirty Linen - “…tasteful guitar work… relaxed atmosphere of a small cafe”.
Each song on the album came from a special place. The record still communicates a rich creative alliance between tone and text and followers still refer to it as one of their favourites.
The songs received extensive airplay and Brookfield performed on CBC Toronto, CHCH Hamilton and other Ontario stations, but at the time of its release, Brookfield could not give it the attention it deserved. The offspring eventually went off to pursue further education and Mel went his own direction. Brookfield was now back to three. Two of the Brooks offspring have continued in music careers.
Although Fredrick, Jeff and Joy continued to perform as a trio, they could not give 100% to the band. Side projects and collaborations with visual artists Marlene Hilton Moore and Ruth Read allowed them to continue feeding their artistic souls. Two poetry books published by Fredrick and a children’s book by Joy also kept them focused on the arts.
After a sabbatical due to life’s adventures, they are now back working on new projects and two long overdue Brookfield albums. One will concentrate on their love of contemporary jazz and blues, and the other will take them back to their folk roots bringing their long loved songs to fruition. Brookfield is now performing at concerts, coffee houses, and house concerts and are looking forward to tour their new recordings.
Lead vocals, acoustic guitars: Fredrick Brooks
Backup vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin: Jeff Brackett
Lead vocals, percussion, flute: Joy Brooks