Folksinger Steve Brooks returns to Vermillion Sept. 23

Folksinger Steve Brooks returns to Vermillion Sept. 23
Austin songwriter, radio personality and world pun champion Steve Brooks returns to Vermillion this weekend, to bring his Texan tall tales to town.

He will perform on Saturday, Sept. 23 at Latte Da Coffee House, 853 E. Cherry St., from 2 to 4 p.m.

Two new releases spotlight the diversity of his songs. Fellow Austinite Slaid Cleaves' version of Everette is climbing the Americana charts, a haunting tribute to a New Orleans poet. Meanwhile, Deadeye Dick was released this month on the anthology Hail to the Thieves, Vol. III, alongside songs from Billy Bragg and Utah Phillips. The song, a tongue-in-cheek outlaw ballad inspired by Dick Cheney's hunting accident, was written in less than 24 hours to win a contest at the North American Folk Alliance conference.

Brooks is best-known for writing a song-a-week for Jim Hightower's nationally syndicated radio show. His songs have been recorded by artists like Russell Crowe, Emily Kaitz, Kevin So, Dave Hooper, Marilyn Rucker and Cleaves, who calls Brooks, "A great unsung songwriter of Austin."

A master of words as well as music, Brooks was featured on TV's I've Got a Secret as six-time World Pun Champion. 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."

Other 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 in Brooks' performances, but he has a voice that's clearly his own. 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. As Brooks puts it – a bit more poetically – "A single new star rearranges a whole constellation."

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