Not only did Rachel Brooke come to NYC to sing with a full band, we got to spend time together. Rachel with a full band is the bee’s knees. On bass is Brooks Robbins and he is just the coolest cat. We sang Rocky Horror Picture Show songs in the van on the way to the gig. Her brother Andy is on drums and he is so good, and is a fellow sound aficionado. On guitar is Nick who gave me my perfect show moment when I heard him start up Serpentine Blues. During the show, Rachel sang a few songs with just her guitar, and there wasn’t a dry eye in Public Assembly during Life Sentence Blues.
On Thursday afternoon, I practically leapt out of my cubicle when I saw Rachel Brooke pop up on my cell. I gave her directions to the mom & pop store that held my keys and told them to make themselves at home. The forethought to leave work a smidge early was great and I got there just in time to freshen up and take the band to the gig in time for load-in. I give traveling musicians so much credit. I don’t think I could deal with the minutia of getting to or from somewhere different every day and performing in shows that leave audiences spellbound. For me as a fan, it’s awesome. It got instantaneously real when they launched into soundcheck with just me and the sound guy.
The gig was fantastic! The organizing and promotion of the event is our very own Laura of Rebel Angel Productions. Opening was Jet Black Bullseye and they were fun and fashionable. I’m still singing “Street Boss” in my head and ogling over my friend’s gift bag goodies from the store SlapBack Brooklyn. Let me point out that Dead Amble was the perfect opener for our Miss Rachel. They’re charming and talented and energetic. Find them and know them.
Her set was magical. As much as her in long pigtails are enchanting, she also does gussied up well. Her voice has grown and sounds robust. And the band fills it all out. As a percussion fan, I always check out the drummer and their technique. Andy mixes it up seamlessly with jazz brush drum sticks. Nice. Nick’s guitar is a work of art and he’s so good my friend wanted to give up his day job and jump in the van with them to tour America. Brooks is cool personified and the reason us fans swoon for bassists. One of my favorite parts of the extravaganza was my friends who joined me at the gig. It was so special to be able to share the experience of her show.
And then there’s her voice. And her lyrics. I know I get all gushy with her, but it’s hard not to. She’s my musical soul sister. As much as I want everyone to find success and recognition for their talents, nothing will ever be as special as seeing an intimate show with friends.