Folksinger Steve Brooks returns to Vermillion Vermillion fans of Texas songwriters will get a tall shot of tequila this month, as Austin folksinger, radio personality, world pun champion Steve Brooks brings his witty slice-of-life songs back to Vermillion.
Brooks performs Thursday, Oct. 21 at the Latte Da coffeehouse, 853 E. Cherry Street, Vermillion, from 4 to 6 p.m.
The Jimmy Buffett of Bubbaland, his offbeat lyrics and country-folk flavored music have tickled crowds from Texas honky-tonks to Cambridge coffeehouses.
He's best-known in Austin for the year he spent writing a song-a-week for Jim Hightower's radio talk show, and for his six CDs, which range from classic country sounds to comic commentaries on current events. His latest project, BushWhacked, a timely and toe-tapping collection of election-year songs, has been played on more than 20 radio stations since its release in June. His songs have been recorded by artists like Kevin So, Dave Hooper, Marilyn Rucker and Slaid Cleaves, who calls Brooks, "A great unsung songwriter of Austin."
A master of words as well as music, he's also six-time winner of Austin's O. Henry Pun-Off, a feat which led to a national TV appearance on I've Got a Secret. He spices his concerts with recitations of his epic puns, like his reworking of the Gettysburg Address with the names of Texas towns, or his philosophy of food titled "Tex-Mexistentialism."
Brooks' music is well-liked and well-reviewed.
"The melodies are so pretty they make me green with envy, wishing that I had written them," wrote Al Grierson in a review for the Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange. "I'm still humming some of the tunes when I oughta be working on my own stuff."
Brooks' awards include the Texas Songwriting Contest, the Keep Austin Weird songwriting contest, finalist in the B.W. Stephenson Memorial Songwriting contest, KRCL Salt Lake City, the Napa Valley Folk Festival and the Austin Songwriters Group and runner-up in the Kerrville New Folk contest.
Fans can hear echoes of Buffett, Bob Dylan and Guy Clark, but in a voice that's clearly Brooks. If there's a common thread, it's about looking at the world from a slightly different angle than the one you're used to � or from several angles at once.