“The First Time” is The Best Time!
Sheena Brook presented her first EP, appropriately called “The First Time,” at a debut celebration and concert at “The House of The Rising Sun Art Bar” on Saturday evening, May 27th.
The title track is the initial number, opening with a haunting lone guitar, with Sheena’s voice coming in, perfectly pitched, over the top, accentuating rather than overwhelming the arrangement. The backdrop of the catchy tune is first date between she and her now wife, Summer Stockton, in conjunction with taking charge of her own musical career. At the party, Summer, either on purpose or by incredible coincidence, wore the same Superman shirt and cut-off jeans outfit referenced in the song’s second line. Sheena’s searing voice over the solo guitar builds with emotion and power, until the three-minute mark when her talented band explodes in full fury.
Sheena follows that up with “Voodoo,” another love song that begins this time with her band on go, spearheaded by a powerful drum backbeat. “Voodoo” is a nice mixture of the blending of County and Pop, with its memorable lyrics staying in your head for hours afterward, particularly around the hook line. This song allows Sheena to best show off her marvelously sweet and distinctively perfect Southern twang, ideally suited to her County style.
“Lime in My Whiskey” is the third straight love song, and perhaps the most Country of the EP’s four offerings. This tune is an excellent example of how Sheena seems to be a disciple of the John Lennon School of Song Writing, as her work exemplifies the late Beatles’ motto: “Say what you mean, make it rhyme, and give it a backbeat.” She again nicely employs a brilliant hook on the “lean over the bar and kiss me, kiss me” segment of the song.
Just when you think you have Sheena figured out, along comes the change-of-pace “Taking The Highroad.” In the most Rock-driven of the four songs, anger and frustration seem to replace love as the primary emotions. While her band hammers out the thumping beat, the song reaches its crescendo with Sheena’s voice soaring on the “Highroad” line.
Sheena has a strong Country influence, but can excel with Pop and Rock as well. Her writing is personal and powerful, and penning her own lyrics allows her to accentuate her voice that is her prime talent. At the same time strong and sweet, Sheena’s singing doesn’t so much stand out over the instruments as it bridges them into her melody. Her hooks are perfectly placed and completely effective, whether they change the pace from fast to slow or vice-versa, and Sheena has a special way to make those few micro-seconds of silence work to enhance the performance of her full band.
You can tell from her lyrics and music that right now, in her life love, and career, Sheena is in a happy place, as that radiates through her EP, live performances and talent. She wrote all the songs, including “Taking The Highroad” with Summer, and plays acoustic guitar and piano as well as leading the entire enterprise with her extraordinary vocal skills. The pace to her music is perfect, neither hurried nor slow, with a precision that leads to four expertly-crafted songs. She recorded the EP in Nashville, with an extremely tight and talented five-piece band.
For more information on Sheena, her upcoming appearances, and how to obtain “The First Time” EP, see sheenabrook.com; Facebook at facebook.com/sheenabrookmusic, or twitter.com/thesheenabrook. Sheena Brook’s debut EP is a stunning work, and her future is bright.