Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Jonatha Brooke is an American folk rock singer-songwriter and guitarist. She began her career in the 1980s as one half of the folk duo The Story, and began her solo career in 1994. Her music merges elements of folk, rock and pop, often with poignant lyrics and complex harmonies. Brooke formed The Story in the early 1980s along with a friend and classmate at Amherst College, Jennifer Kimball. Despite playing locally on a regular basis during their college career, the duo never issued any demos or albums during this period. They took a break for a period after graduation, during which time Brooke joined a dance troupe. In 1989, the group created a demo called Over Oceans. The two friends were promptly signed to the independent Green Linnet label, which, in 1991, issued the duo's debut full-length album, Grace in Gravity. It was not long before the larger label Elektra Records expressed interest and reissued their debut. Their second album, The Angel in the House, was released in 1993. Both albums featured dissonant vocal harmonies to an extent not found in most albums in the genre.
In 1994 Brooke parted ways with Kimball and pursued a solo career. She released her first solo album, Plumb (1995), which, despite Kimball no longer being part of the act, was credited to Jonatha Brooke & The Story. This was followed by 10 Cent Wings, which also marked a shift from her earlier folk-pop to more of a radio-friendly style. This shift continued onto her next release Steady Pull, a more rock-influenced album which was co-produced by Brooke and renowned studioman Bob Clearmountain (who has worked with Bryan Adams, The Rolling Stones, The Corrs, Hall & Oates, and other major artists). Beginning in the late 1990s, Brooke's albums were issued via her own record label, Bad Dog. Back in the Circus, released in 2004, features new material along with covers of songs by Alan Parsons Project (Eye in the Sky), The Beach Boys (God Only Knows), and James Taylor (Fire and Rain). The album was also released in the UK in 2005, combining some of its tracks with some from Steady Pull.
In August 2006 she released a combination CD and DVD titled Live in New York. In 2002, she performed a pair of songs on Disney's Return to Never Land soundtrack, contributing an original composition (I'll Try) and a cover (The Second Star to the Right). Brooke has been featured as a guest vocalist with artists such as Lisa Loeb, Chris Botti and Patty Larkin, and has co-written tracks for Joe Sample's The Pecan Tree.
Her latest studio album, Careful What You Wish For, was released on April 3, 2007 via Rykodisc distribution. Brooke's song Because I Told You So (from Ten Cent Wings) was covered by Nick Lachey on the European release of his 2006 album What's Left of Me. Her song Inconsolable (from Plumb) was featured in an episode of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer entitled Prophecy girl. Landmine (from Ten Cent Wings) was featured in an episode of Ally McBeal.