Jon Brooks – The Smiling & Beautiful Countryside
Jon is a Kerrville New Folk Winner and a three-time “Songwriter of the Year” nominee at the Canadian Folk Music Awards.
The Smiling and Beautiful Countryside is an album of rural Canadian murder ballads and was recorded in Toronto by acclaimed producer/engineer, David Travers-Smith. Jon’s fifth full-length release is an intrepid solo set that defies categorization and resists any ‘singer-songwriter,’ or ‘solo acoustic’ description.
Equal parts local Canadiana and universal horror, this is a collection that has buried all the trademark Jon Brooks social commentary in a shallow, roadside grave.
The Smiling and Beautiful Countryside is neither an album for casual fans nor is it music that will ever be heard in your dentist’s waiting room. Why record such a violent set of songs? In Jon’s words, “Because: a) I wanted to write an album from which nobody indifferently escapes, an album that can only be loved or hated; b) if courage is a muscle, it needs to exercised with a healthy dose of fear today; and c) I’ve already done four albums that inspire: it’s now time to offend.”
The Smiling and Beautiful Countryside holds a mirror to contemporary society and may offend some that don’t care to see the reflection. However reflection is perhaps what it is all about.