Basic Folk: Jonatha Brooke

by Cindy Howes

I have always really liked Jonatha Brooke. Her songs are sharp, joyful and wise. She’s one of those writers who always knows what to do, which is the basis for why we like pop music. Her songs take you to the place you wanna go while still hitting vulnerability and insight. I can confidently say that after our conversation, I love Jonatha Brooke: the musician, the person, the soul. She’s the real goddamn deal.

JB gives details about her upbringing in a Christian Science household (she went to Christian Science Summer Camp) and where she stands now with her religion. We speak of her journey taking care of her mother, who suffered dementia, but seems like she was a total goofball and made JB laugh during the weirdest and saddest time in one’s life. She ended up creating a one-woman musical out of that experience called “My Mother Has Four Noses.” We also get to talking about the sensuality of Woody Guthrie. JB’s album The Works is all songs written and never finished by Guthrie. And of course, we talk about her incredible duo The Story. I’m really shocked how much ground we cover in this conversation!

I’m so grateful for Jonatha’s honesty during this moving conversation. I hope we get to talk again sometime! She is a very special person.

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