Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Review -- AYLA BROOK -- After The Morning After

Ayla Brook
Ah what do you get when a musician is left alone as his old bandmates head off in different directions?Well if you are Ayla Brook you take some roots/folk, acoustic Americana-inspired material and you head to the studio. You keep everything startlingly simple, and you lay down some tracks.And, then if you have a knack for writing good songs, and a voice that can carry the day on its own, you emerge with something like After the Morning After.There aren't any electronica tricks here in support of a better sound. Instead, Brook has let the material live and die on its own merits. He puts it out there for the listener, a few whiskers unshaven, and a smudge of dirt here and there, and in the end it doesn't matter because the listener can relate to the relaxed and near-conversational effort.While Brook is from Edmonton, there is a Saskatchewan connection to the CD. It was recorded at Pine Ridge Farm in Lily Plain, SK., with John Blerot engineering and Danny Michel producing. The tracks were laid down in June 2007. Brook's spot at explained “no (real) drums were used. Just foot stomps and hand claps in the wooden high-roofed room. Late night rummy gang vocals were added to creaking floor boards and acoustic strums. Everyone recording in the same room - no isolated control room here. The wind sneaking onto the tracks disguised itself as tape hiss along with the clinking of glasses and stray bird songs. After The Morning After is an album about love, about camaraderie, about being in the places you belong.”It is a recording style perfect to the material. There are great songs here, among them Leaving Tonight, Wake Up Early, Leave Anymore and Wonder, although overall this is simply a solid folkie-inspired effort.This one is well worth searching out.Check him out at

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Oct 1, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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