Jonatha Brooke Sets Original Music to Woody Guthrie Lyrics "The Works" on Bad Dog Records


Sign in to view read count
Jonatha Brooke
"Brooke has dedicated herself to the well-made song." --New York Times

“Brooke is pure folk clarity cut with pure rock opacity." --Rolling Stone

There's More True Lovers Than One (MP3)

When Woody Guthrie's daughter Nora invited Jonatha Brooke into the famous Woody Guthrie Archives, the intention was for Brooke to set Guthrie's lyrics to one or two songs, becoming the first woman ever to do so. The end result is a full-length album of previously unheard lyrics by Guthrie set to original music written and performed by Brooke. Bad Dog Records will release the collection, titled The Works, on August 26. Nora Guthrie gushes “For the first time ever, a woman has composed, arranged, produced and performed a complete album of Woody Guthrie's songs. The gods must be shaking their heads, 'bout time!'"

Co-produced by Jonatha Brooke and the legendary Bob Clearmountain (Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones), The Works was recorded over a two-month period in New York City. Several acclaimed musicians joined Brooke in the studio including keyboardist Joe Sample (Eric Clapton, B.B. King), bassist Christian McBride (Sting, Diana Krall), drummer Steve Gadd (Paul Simon, Eric Clapton), and steel guitarist Greg Leisz (Joni Mitchell, k.d. lang, Wilco). The album also features duets with Eric Bazilian, Glen Phillips and Keb' Mo.' Derek Trucks makes an appearance on slide guitar.

Spending time in the Woody Guthrie Archives proved to be very inspirational for Brooke, who says “Every singer-songwriter since the dust bowl years has been influenced in one way or another by Woody, so it was a thrill to able to sift through so many of his writings, notes, letters, and drawings that no one else has seen. But what was perhaps the most thrilling was realizing that I was truly being drawn in to his psyche, particularly during that period of time where Huntington's Disease was altering his life. I think I discovered a side of his writing that few have seen. I hope that these songs and new context to his work will resonate with a new audience."

The Woody Guthrie Archives are home to the largest collection of original Woody Guthrie material in the world. Open to the public since 1996, the archives contain thousands of Guthrie's song lyrics, personal journals, manuscripts, diaries, artwork and recordings. Although the information is open to public viewing, Jonatha Brooke is one of a select group of artists to be given the right to use this material on a recorded album. In 1998, Billy Bragg teamed with Wilco to release an album of Guthrie lyrics set to original music. The album, titled Mermaid Avenue, was critically acclaimed and received a Grammy nomination for best contemporary folk album.

The Works will be the follow-up to 2007's Careful What You Wish For, Brooke's seventh solo release following the 1994 dissolution of her folk-pop duo The Story with whom she released two albums in the early-90s. Brooke has garnered praise throughout her career with the Chicago Tribune declaring “Brooke has quietly self-released splendid pop masterpieces" and People Magazine applauding her “jazz-tinged, rough-edged folk sound."


My Sweet and Bitter Bowl
You'd Oughta Be Satisfied Now
All You Gotta Do Is Touch Me
My Flowers Grow Green
Madonna On The Curb
There's More True Lovers Than One
Sweetest Angel
My Battle
Little Bird
Taste of Danger
New Star
Coney Island Intro
King of My Love

Visit Website | Purchase

For more information contact .



Shop Amazon

Jazz News


Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.