A Man Who Inspires People

Lloyd Dennis

Detroit Brooks Sings and also Created Danny Barker Festival

Detroit Brooks is one of New Orleans top guitar and banjo artist. One of the Brooks family of musical artists who have blessed us with lifetimes of honed artistry. Juanita who passed away in 2009 was one of my favorite singers of all time, but as it seems, she passed some of the talent for singing to her younger brother, Detroit who has decided that it is time to expose his vocalizations to the public. He released the song "Broken Pieces" about the struggles of people in his city trying to recover from Katrina.  Click To Hear Him on YouTube Detroit's singing is not Blues or Gospel, but includes both but also with that always present penchant for the stylings of Jazz. You feel him deeply when Detroit sings.

On Sunday September 11th Boo and I caught him with some very accomplished sidemen at Cafe Instanbul where we got to behold him singing and playing original and classic music, one of which was a rendition of B.B Kings "The Thrill is Gone" that was completely unique in my entire musical experience, taken into the Jazz idiom, but completely respectful to the spirit and energy of the original version.

Detroit is one of the top session and touring guys on guitar and banjo and a songwriter and as such has managed to make his living playing with the likes of Dr. Michael White, Kermit Ruffins, others and recording with folks like Donald Harrison and many more. When people want the best complete guitarist on their records he and now deceased Anthony Brown would get the first call. These guys play the "whole guitar", playing chords on all the strings where others pick single strings,and engage electronics to embellish the sound, but when you need a guitar to fill the space on a recording or in the band, guys like Detroit who can strum all six or twelve strings get the call.. 

Detroit is a quiet, soft spoken kind of guy, which is surprising because he acknowledges the great Danny Barker as his mentor and major factor in his musical and personal life, surprising because the great Danny Barker was a fairly outspoken and engaging gentleman. Detroit has expressed his love and respect for Danny Barker by establishing the Danny Barker Banjo and Guitar Festival, which will be Jan 12 - 15, 2017. Use this link to learn more about Danny Barker, review what happened at the festival in 2016 and keep up with plans for the coming year: dannybarkerfestival.com