Adams keeps it light and bright
The longtime Eugene musician combines clever lyrics and toe-tapping beats
One of the more prominent local wielders of the mighty ukulele is releasing a new CD of music that is both guitar- and uke-based.
No matter which stringed instrument Brook Adams chooses to help bring his song-stories to life, the new CD is a solid, tuneful effort from one of Eugene’s longest-running musicians.
Most of the new songs are upbeat in lyrical content and up-tempo musically. His voice is displayed best on the final track — the soulful, Joe Cocker-esque “Carry Me Home,” with Adams’ handling his own high notes in falsetto.
“I think people are basically good,” Adams says in a news release. “In every heart there is a source of strength, courage and love.
“Our challenge in life is to find that source.”
Even when he’s singing about a relationship breaking up, he does so with a sense of humor and a toe-tapping beat.
“I’m a number and you’re a letter/ Fell apart but I’m feeling better/ Broken heart gonna be no debtor/ When I rob the bank of love,” he sings in “Rob the Bank of Love,” a song that goes on to express ambivalence about whether being in love is a good thing.
It’s fun to listen to — and yet another example of Adams’ oddball perspective when it comes to tackling time-tested topics.
The title track, “Fountain of Love,” shows off his dexterity on the ukulele. It takes the instrument pretty far from its Hawaiian roots and into a place where it can help him express some ideas about letting go of fear.
Over the years, Adams has performed such classic albums as the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” and Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” on solo ukulele to packed houses at Tsunami Books. He certainly knows how to tease unexpected dimensions out of the little instrument.
On his new release, Adams didn’t go solo at all. He enlisted the talents of many well-known local musicians, including Tim McLaughlin, Sylvan DuPlant, Paul Safar, Nancy Woods, Matt Butler and Keith Blackwell.
Most noticeably, the guest appearances add jazz flavors.
Adams has played the New York Ukulele Festival, Portland Ukulele Festival and Columbia Gorge Ukulele Festival. He is the co-founder of UkeToberFest here in Eugene.
You also can catch him most every July at the Oregon Country Fair.
For Saturday’s concert, he plans to play songs from the new album as well as favorites that he and his band are known for.
“I think people are basically good. In every heart there is a source of strength, courage and love.”