Upon his return from a 1997 pilgrimage to war ruined Bosnia-Herzegovina, Jon Brooks traded guitar for pen, claiming his faith in popular music as a legitimate healer had been challenged. In 2005 - after 8 years of neither writing music nor performing - Brooks declared an opposing view to be equally true: that "only the art of song carries within itself the means toward greater social justice and community survival”.
Brooks: “I aim to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. I want to improve our world by showing it, as truthfully as possible, to others. As well, I believe I owe you, the listener, some hopeful argument as to why we should believe our world could be improved. I believe songs can afford us the rare chance to see others as we might see ourselves. In this sense, the folk singer is simply trying to politicize love, hence, my contention that today’s songwriter should be a lobbyist for compassion to be our principle representative in government office”.
In 2006 he released 'No Mean City', a weighty and conceptual exposition of the modern urban soul’s homelessness and moral fatigue. 2007 afforded Brooks only superlative acclaim with the release of 'Ours And The Shepherds', a CD of Canadian war stories inspired by James Loney, Senator Romeo Dallaire, Sgt. Tommy Prince, and John McRae among others. The collection earned Brooks a ‘Best Songwriter’ nomination at the 2007 Canadian Folk Music Awards. Penguin Eggs deemed it “a thoroughly wonderful and truly important addition to the canon of Canadian folk music”. 'Ours And The Shepherds' is now among the collections of The Canadian War Museum and The John McRae Society.
His third CD, ‘Moth Nor Rust,’ is an investigation into all the living things that neither “moth nor rust” can touch: love, hope, memory, justice, faith; in a word, peace. More than a celebration of the inner life, 'Moth Nor Rust' is an implicit reminder of how the folk song may be a means toward lifting humanity in the 21st century.
Thanks to Peter Holmstedt - Hemifran