NAME: Jonatha Brooke
OCCUPATION: Singer-songwriter, Creator and Star of the Autobiographical One-Woman Show My Mother Has Four Noses
WHO SHE IS: Careful chronicler of nuance. Observer and interpreter of maladies. Of cautionary tales, the stories between the seams, the moments just before the bottom falls out. Think the poetic preening of Joni Mitchell meets the wry incandescence of Nora Ephron, with a voice that ranges from a whispering wind to a damning, devastating downpour. The pop-music poet laureate for the cautiously optimistic dysthymic in all of us.
WHY SHE INSPIRES ME: Her music, though not preachy or pedantic or particularly crafted in the “get ‘em, tiger,” spirit of Corporate McGirl Power Lite™, has always been both a security blanket and a beacon of hope for me. Like one-way advice from the big sister I never had. Lyrics like “I go on looking for comfort/I can no longer see to the left or the right/But I walk with my head held high and naked in the sun/Claiming these streets for myself” from “Paris” and “My hands get shaky and I think of all the reasons/ And I start to drink/I get lonely, get depressed, don’t sleep well nights/ Can’t get dressed / I can’t help myself” from “Westpoint” have been like lyrical lighthouses for me. An anchoring hope of deliverance over the past two decades since I first was introduced to her album “Plumb” by a boyfriend whose musical taste far outlived our relationship. Her songs have been a mantra and a siren, pulling me back into myself, reminding me that even in our darkest moments there’s someone out there who’s held their breath and weathered the storm, too.