Katey Brooks is a rising star of British acoustic music. Singing “splendidly sad-eyed modern spirituals” (Venue magazine) in a rich, deep voice lilting effortlessly across the scale, INDY Music Award finalist Brooks is “on the road to becoming a phenomenon” (Trevor Raggatt, Wears the Trousers magazine).
Katey recently released her debut album ‘Proof Of Life’, and in April 2010 the album reached no. 1 in the Amazon Folk Chart, as well as being chosen as ‘Album of the Week’ on BBC Bristol Introducing. The album has since gone on to be chosen as Venue Magazine’s top 3 albums of 2010, and Shakenstir’s top albums of 2010. ‘Proof Of Life’ has also received an overwhelming amount of critical acclaim nationwide:
“Already on my shortlist for album of the year.” Shakenstir Magazine
“It’s lie-down-in-a-darkened-room-to-drink-it-all-in good.” Venue Magazine
“Katey’s rich, sonorous voice is strongly reminiscent of the great June Tabor, and her material is similarly wide ranging…yes, it’s that good…Definitely a name to watch.” Choice Magazine
“She is a little like John Martyn – the same hypnotic, lamenting tones…” Manchester Evening News
In the latter part of 2010 Brooks had the pleasure of recording at Peter Gabriel’s Real World studios; which she said was “…the highlight of 2010…” She also debuted at Glastonbury Festival, Dot to Dot, and played extensively on BBC Radio including Tom Robinson’s hugely popular BBC Introducing, and Jo Whiley’s Radio 1 show.
Brooks has played alongside and worked with the likes of US No.1 Grammy Award nominees Cutting Crew, Beth Rowley, and Patrick Duff (Strangelove), as well as supporting many notable acts including Newton Faulkner, Mercury Award nominee Lou Rhodes (Lamb), The Christians, American singer-songwriter Joe Purdy, and folk hero Martin Simpson, and of course, the legend that is Carlene Carter. She has also had the blessing of working with the great Graham Smith (Van Der Graaf Generator, String Driven Thing), who has played live with Katey on many occasions, and features heavily on her second EP ‘True Speaker’, as well as her debut album.
Over the past year and a half Katey has become increasingly involved in music for charity projects, and in September 2009, had the privilege of shooting a music video, and recording vocals at Abbey Road, for the BBC Radio 2 Children in Need single ‘All You Need Is Love’, and ‘Favourite Things’, as part of the CIN album ‘Bandaged Together’. Katey has exclaimed this was a “…surreal and memorable day…” recording alongside Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones) and Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) among others.
Katey also featured on the 2009 release of ‘Beautiful Star: The Songs of Odetta’; a tribute to the late Odetta Holmes, with all profits going to The Fawcett Society (http://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk) and The Women’s Resource Centre (http://www.wrc.org.uk) The album features songs from successful artists in the folk world such as Ane Brun, Marissa Nadler, and Anais Mitchell.
Earlier this year Brooks also contributed a film of an Ane Brun cover to ‘The Voice Project’; a project set up by Anna Gabriel, in an effort to support Ugandan women using songs passed by word of mouth to call child soldiers and abductees back home in Africa’s longest running war.
As well as her growing UK fan-base, Katey has been garnering praise in Europe, and recently joint headlined a tour of Holland and Germany; which saw her record a couple of tracks for Center TV in Bremen, and Balcony TV Hamburg (video of this below). Brooks also recently headlined the Bordeaux River Festival, in front of an audience of several thousands.
At the moment Katey is enjoying touring the album in the UK, and has just completed another German another tour (May 2011). She’s busy writing new material…and honing her ukulele skills, so watch this space for another record soon…
Katey has also been in the studio with Record producer Stuart Bruce and has been writing songs and lyrics for Alice de Sylis and other artists Stuart is Producing.