MIKE BROOKFIELD REVIEW
How has the reaction to your latest CD been?
Really great! I suppose what people are enjoying is that I'm a singer songwriter trying to tell stories through songs & expressive blues guitar. My playing is intuitive but well studied so I suppose there's a nice mix of interesting song structures and free expressive playing. Everyone seems to pick a different fave track which is good for me to hear. Some like the darker tracks with fuzz tones like Love Breaks The Fall and No Candle Burns In The Rain, others like the full on rockers like 'All My Heroes Are Junkies' & 'Killing Line'. Actually come to think of it everyone comments on the instrumental ballad that closes the album called 'Peace For Joe'. That will probably be in our live set forever now. Audiences seems to really connect with it. I wrote it for a close friend who recently passed away, so the song seems to be a living thing of its own, I'm just like the expressive vessel playing it…
Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Well most guitarists will hear the usual titans of blues rock in my playing like Clapton, SRV, Hendrix but I've played a lot of styles particularly Rockabilly. I even played Eddie Cochrane in a West End musical. In a similar way as when you'd scratch away at the surface of Jeff Beck, SRV and Gary Clarke Jnr you'll find everything from Cliff Gallup to Django and anyone who beat on a guitar with feeling.
My songwriting influences are mainly Americans like Dylan, Ryan Adams, Doyle Bramhall II but I always end up writing things only a bloke from Merseyside would. I'd like to think i have an honest writing style, that people can hear I'm telling a story.
I'm also influenced by people I meet on a regular basis. I've never met Clapton, I'd love to one day. I've written a duet for me & him just in case I do one day and he wants to jam HA! As much as I love his playing, I only hear him play live every now & then. The stuff that really sticks with me is when I experience it live. I hear different guitar players every other night so they are sculpting me as much as the CDs in my car do.
Charlie Banacos my old teacher influenced me greatly. He was a piano player whom I studied composition with for 9 years…
What inspires you to do what you do?
I'm a family man with 5 year old and a baby due in March 2016. That's all the motivation you need right there!;-) I can't stop thinking about music & I don't resist it either but I ride my bike a lot which helps me get away from things. I used to be a competitive cyclist. I trained to a pretty good level and won a few medals but you can only serve one master and for me now thats music..
What was the first LP/tape/CD you bought with your own money?
I'd do the weekly supermarket shop every friday with my mum & dad when I was small, and we'd always come home with a single or album to listen to. I remember getting my dad to buy me August by Clapton which was one of his polished 80's records but really great for me at that time. I learnt a lot about guitar playing from it.
The first one with my own hard cash was Defender by Rory Gallagher in 1987. I remember it came with a free single also, great album. Now I feel really lucky to be working with Alan O'Duffy who co-produced that record as he is producing my next record. Alan worked in Olympic studios so recorded Honky Tonk Woman, Street Fighting Man with the Stones and produced McCartney and loads of other big names from the golden era of blues rock. Alan is a gentleman & I'm really excited about the next record, I'd like to think we can pick up nicely where Rory left off..
What's the most unusual place you've ever played a show or made a recording? How did the qualities of that place affect the show/recording?
Like I said before I wrote 'Peace for Joe' about a close friend, basically for the recessional. I performed it solo and played from a place that's hard to go to on a regular gig. I wasn't playing to impress. It was music to honor a great friend, to show respect, trying to play on everyones behalf about how we felt. Music is entertainment but there are other deeper levels to it that can't be articulated only played & felt..
What has been your most memorable moment in your music career so far?
When I tell people of my career to date they always seem impressed but to me I've done very little. I've performed in London's West End, Arenas with pretty big names, jazz clubs in New York but not doing my own music. It was always under that banner of something that doesn't really represent 'my thing', just paying jobs. Seeing people connect to something you have created it what its all about from me, ask me again in 12-16 months as things are moving well for us…. maybe I'll get to do that Clapton duet. I'd totally shit myself..ha!
Can you talk about a fan encounter that completely took you by surprise?
Not really had too many surprises. A lot of fan encounters are online these days, I get pretty random mail from all over the world. Amazing how the internet has made all music so accessible. I'll take a compliment though in any language thank you very much!
If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?
I wish people would be a bit more open & take a chance on new music a bit more. I remember going into Woolworths as a teenager, picking up a record and just buying because I liked the cover. John Hiatt 'Bring The Family' was one because the was a weird family and ventriloquist doll on the front. What a great record. I still play it today and knew nothing about it at the time. I used to do record fairs with a local record shop and all the traders would trade with each other before opening to the public so I got my hands on some great records. I hope record shops survive. I love them. Vinyl is hip again which is great. Fingers crossed it stays strong because its a great way to listen to music.
What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?
Hang on I'll have a look…Like I said i have a 5 year old so 'Let it go..Let it Go…' from Frozen
What does the next 6 months look like for you?
Humungus amount of hard work! I'm still pretty much under the radar and haven't broken through the circles I need to in order to get the exposure, reach my audience and build so I'm gonna be hustling like madman. I have the songs, the band, the chops are in good shape, as is the streak of madness required! So I'm getting in the car and I'm playing to people and its working. You can be sure I'm trying to book a gig in a town near you very soon. I'm my own manager which is mental but I'm learning and moving forward all the time. The music I just enjoy but the management side I have to really work at.
What can people expect to see at your live performances?
People want to be moved and dazzled so i'm aiming to kill it every night. We are high energy & invested I'd like to think.
I like to do solo shows as well as play with the band, sometimes even singer songwriter nights as it helps sharpen my performance and i'm exposing myself to younger music lovers who would not normally listen to blues rock. After hearing my set many would often come to my band gigs. It also keeps me hip to the local scene. I'm not competitive in music like I was on the bike. I'll help anyone I can. You have to have a generous spirt to play or I think you can hear it in the music.
What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?
New York probably. I used to play wedding gigs for money in Ireland. Sometimes I'd be mentally in a different universe on one of these gigs, so I'd say thats a more colorful answer ha!
Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?
My song 'No Candle Burns In The Rain' is pretty dark. I can usually look around on a gig and find someone with a look in their eyes that says 'I know what your saying'. When someone comes up and shakes your hand and you know they really engaged with the music you get a buzz. My fave comment is 'i prefer hearing your originals to the covers'…that'll guarantee you a post gig hug from me, anyway of the week.
Best track you've ever written and why?
Like most songwriters, I'm always most in love with the last thing I've written. The material for the next album shows a real development in style. There are one chord hill country blues inspired songs and some where I have written in subtle complexities which make them unique. I'm obviously excited with Alan producing it. 'Love Breaks The Fall' is my fave recorded song that's available at the moment, mainly because of the way it builds & I love playing it live. When it goes right, it explodes!
Mike Brookfield - Love Breaks The Fall
Mike Brookfield is een blues rock gitarist uit Dublin.
Op het album ' Love Breaks The Fall ' mogen we kennismaken met het talent van Mike Brookfield. En na het beluisteren van de tien nummers ben ik in ieder geval om. Wat een uitstekende gitarist is Mike en ook de vocalen en teksten zijn tip top in orde.
Mike Brookfield heeft zijn eigen muziekschool en leert studenten over de hele wereld en via het internet de geheimen van de gitaar.
In alles wat Mike Brookfield doet is kwaliteit de norm.
Ik ben ervan overtuigd dat Mike Brookfield een grote carrière in de muziek tegemoet gaat. Mijn favoriete nummers van het uitstekende album zijn ' Love Breaks The Fall ' , ' No Candle Burns In The Rain' en ' All My Heroes Are Junkies'.
Mijn eerste kennismaking met de muziek van Mike Brookfield is me meer dan uitstekend bevallen.