Brooks Mason has just put out his first solo EP., “brooks,” and you really should give it a listen. He’s only 22, but many of us around Atlanta have been hearing him play with his brother for years. The music he really loves is straight blues from the 50s and 60s, guys like Howlin’ Wolf and Freddie King. So he made this EP, using vintage recording techniques to get the sounds he wanted. Brooks plays guitar, bass, drums, and horns on this record and sings, and he does it all well.
The result sounds fiercely authentic and from the very first, the guitar riffs on “Yonders Wall” just snap you awake and make you pay attention! From there on, it’s just straight blues through “New Orleans,” where admittedly the sound rises and falls, to “36th & Main,” where the volume is still a bit unpredictable. In fact, that happens throughout the recording, but that is not much of a price to pay for this fierce authenticity. Brooks is paying tribute to the 50s and 6-s blues he loves and he knows exactly what he is doing.
The fourth track is “Whiskey and Wimmen,” which does not sound very convincing. I think Brooks is too young for women and strong drink to have ruined him yet, and he sounds pretty happy about it. Nevertheless, the song is great fun. A great version of “I’m Worried” wraps it all up.
Brooks’ voice is clear and strong enough not to require harmony and his guitar playing is incredible. He has made the EP available for free on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and YouTube, with donations requested. Here is your chance to show your support for a young blues artist, who is also going to entertain and impress you and make you wish for a full 10 or 12 tracks next time!