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200 State Street Binghamton, NY (607) 217-7334
"Jaime is like great fried chicken: Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside...He is one of the real ones," says Dan Fogelberg about his good friend. A real one indeed: Jaime earned his designation as the "Road Warrior" through years on the road, playing with everybody you ever heard of. He's shared stages with Joan Baez, Richie Havens, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Tom Paxton, Jimmy Buffet, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, and James Taylor, and that's just for starters. Brockett is also the acknowledged influence of many contemporary folkies including giants Bill Morrissey and John Gorka. "As with most superlatives, the term 'legendary' is often used so indiscriminately when describing established performers, that it loses some of its meaning. When applied to Jaime Brockett, however, the shoe fits...As John Gorka said, 'He's the last of the great road men,'" says Providence music writer Jack Thompson.
Brockett's cult status emerged with the 1970 classic folk anthem, "Legend of the USS Titanic." Brett Milano writes, "'Titanic' was a true product of its time, a hippie talking blues in the vein of Arlo Guthrie's 'Alice's Restaurant.'" The tune was Brockett's calling card for years, till it began to feel like a musical albatross. "I just felt I had more music in me than that." A number of albums and three-lifetimes worth of touring and hard life on the road yielded a body of work that Brockett describes, tongue in cheek, as "country-baroque-folk-rock-and-roll." His stage performances earned him a reputation as one of the most expressive musicians left. The Boston Globe adds, "In the world of homogenized singer/songwriters, Brockett is a reminder of the quirky individualism of the early folk revival. A fine songwriter, singer, and player of both 6 and 12-string guitars, he mixes traditional music, contemporary folk, bluegrass, and a dose of country blues."
The "crispy" part of Brockett described by Fogelberg may have come, in part, from life's wild ride. He has always made choices on his own terms, and has never been a stranger to conflict. When Brockett was slow to deliver tracks for his second album, his label raided the studio and released "Jaime Brockett 2" in its unfinished state. It is no surprise that Brockett had people arrested. He bucked authority again when his own farm in New Hampshire became a backdrop for the Seabrook nuclear plant switching station. His protests were strident, but this time it was his turn to be arrested--11 times. Brockett later took some time out in Europe, where an additional album did very well.
New England is home to Brockett once again, and he's also back in the studio. He'll finish up on Friday and head to the Night Eagle on Saturday, flush with new tunes. As a very special guest, he'll be bringing Bob Halperin, winner of the Seacoast Music Award for Best Blues Artist. "His slide playing kills me," says Bruce Pingree of The Press Room. And Al Peach of The Seacoast Times describes Halperin as "slide player to the stars." Halperin is a master of many blues styles, and is known for hot guitar playing, liquid slide work, and gutsy vocals.
A show by the "rejuvenated, cosmic, Colorado cowboy" is never predictable, but it's always inspired. Elijah Wald of The Boston Globe adds, "Brockett is still a hard-core, unregenerated folkie, in a day when the spirit of Woody Guthrie has all but disappeared he brings it back with a vengeance...Brockett came on like a cross between a clown and a street fighter. His guitar-playing ranged from a driving, percussive style...to expert blues...and the haunting melodiousness of 'Remembering the wind and the rain'...Brockett's back--and good as ever."