Brooksie Wells was a child of the sixties whose father was a Civil Rights activist from the deep South. Discovered by Bobby Darin at 19, Brooksie wrote for years for Chappell Music, with several of her songs used in recordings and movie soundtracks. Her early demos were with John Lennon's band Elephant's Memory and she was also a singer with Kid Creole and the Coconuts. (Kid Creole's recording "Off The Coast Of Me" has been re-released). She left New York to raise her kids in Virginia and performed for children for many years then returning to her music career in 2008. With the help of Kari Estrin, she has had two top ten CDs on the Folk Charts in the last three years.
"In My Pocket" , her newest CD is a journey of love. This set of songs reflects the humor and pathos of being present and observing our own joys and mistakes. Brooksie's songs, like her life on the road are, at heart, about connection. Her interactions with friends and strangers along the way inform the stories sung on In My Pocket. Ms. Wells' elegant fingerpicking and grounded vocals are supported by warm, acoustic arrangements and clean production.
The album feels like a summer afternoon on the porch with Folk's greatest players all picking along and sipping lemonade. The opening track, "Love On," a protest song and love letter to America, was co-written by Louisa Branscomb and features Ronnie McCoury on mandolin. "Willow Rose," "Honeysuckle," and "Maybe Not," are personal notes: to a child, to a friend, and to a heartbreaker - their comforting melodies moor the listener to the Folk foundations of the record. Brooksie's only cover, Jackson Browne's "Rock Me On The Water," touches on the pain and karma of moving through a beautiful world with blinders on.
With the zeal of medieval balladeer, Brooksie tells the tawdry, twenty-first century tale of the Mead maker and the Stonecutter's wife on "Rappahannock County," while "Bell Buckle" spins a bride's wedding day jitters into a playful Bluegrass comedy. The album's title track, "In My Pocket," closes out the record. Pensive and confessional, "In My Pocket" is a song about getting back on track by letting go of yesterday, embracing today and letting tomorrow's hope lead the way...maybe the road leads to the next broken heart, but maybe not.
At Cue Recording Sessions in Falls Church, Virginia, Brooksie and her longtime producer Julian McBrowne called on great friends and brilliant players, Lisa Kay Howard-Hughes and Brian Ashley Jones, among other fantastic musicians to lay down the fundamentals. Gary Gordon, Inside-Out Studios in Sparta, Illinois, mixed and mastered vocals and brought in Ivas John for additional guitars, Robert Bowlin on fiddle and a pocketful of session musicians to round out and perfect the album's sound. Brooksie's son, John Bridstrup, contributed percussion throughout the record and sang harmony vocals on "Captain John."
Brooksie Wells' deep south roots and Dylan-era New York coming-of-age ignited and continue to inspire her music. Her 2015 release, North East Rising Sun, took a top ten spot on Folk DJ charts; its title track lingered in the top ten most-played songs through year's end. And 2013's Down Home Divas rose to #2 on the Roots Americana Charts.