Courtney Brocks writes songs that want to take you someplace, and chances are, you’ll want to go. With memorable melodies, infectious rhythms, and warm, earthy vocals, Brocks’s songs traverse a variety of geographical and emotional landscapes, inviting you to come along as she explores the terrains of love, belief, and just-plain living. Her new e.p. “After, Before” conveys a spirit of travel and a longing for direction in songs that find the author looking for solace in the deserts of Arizona (“Arizona”), pondering the sustainability of a love left halfway around the world (“China”), and lamenting an American dream done wrong while celebrating a 4th of July in Spain (“Saints and Acquaintances”).
Brocks began writing and performing at open mics in coffeehouses and bars in Ft. Lauderdale, FL at age 16. Her academic studies brought her to Vermont, where she encountered a thriving folk-acoustic world and eventually recorded two now out-of-print cds. She later moved to southwestern Colorado, where, among other pursuits, she wrote and recorded the music and lyrics for David Nighteagle’s NAMMY award-nominated album, “Torn from the Heart.” She moved to New Hampshire and put music aside for a number of years until a fateful encounter brought her together with writer-producer Michael Chorney, widely known in the contemporary folk world for producing Anais Mitchell’s “Hymns for the Exiled” and “The Brightness,” and arranging the score for her folk opera, “Hadestown.” After joining Mitchell on a couple of songs at a Newmarket, NH show, Brocks accepted Chorney’s generous invitation to record a few songs at his Bristol, Vermont studio. “After, Before,” beautifully recorded and produced by Chorney, is the result.
Since recording “After, Before,” Brocks has played regularly with a host of talented musicians on the Seacoast of New Hampshire, most notably Jeff Hawkinson, Jesse Dold, Cole Gove, Martin England, and Eric Ott. Her songs and performances are garnering increased attention; she has opened for such national acts as “These United States” and “The Honey Dewdrops,” and was nominated for a 2010 Spotlight Award. She continues to write and perform songs that take eager listeners on journeys; they know that wherever the destination, they’re glad to take the trip.