I know I’m not the first person to have grown fond of the music of Brooke Waggoner, but I’m happy to report that I finally got on the bandwagon.
Raised in Louisiana, Waggoner began an interest in music at a very young age and wrote her first original song at the age of 10. She graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in Musical Composition & Orchestration and continued to write her own songs, believing she’d one day compose music for film scores. To become a recognized singer-songwriter was not something she ever particularly sought after.
While in college, Waggoner began to attend the live shows of various acts and quickly realized that it was the element of performing in front of an audience that she was truly after.
After a move to Nashville in 2006, Waggoner continued to work on the music that would eventually see its release in the form of her Fresh Pair Of Eyes EP, released last year. The six songs found here are the place to start if you’re new to Waggoner’s music. A single listen to “So-So” will find one’s self smiling at the intended rhyming scheme and the affecting story of homesickness.
Waggoner’s latest is Heal For The Honey, her full-length album released just a few months ago. Written largely after the end of a relationship, Heal For The Honey is a wealth of amazing gems. The songs found here are wonderfully unconventional; they play like beautiful piano ballads one minute and suddenly turn into jubilant displays of string arrangements and obscure poetry the next.
With influences that range from Simon & Garfunkel and Chopin, to the compositions of Rodgers & Hammerstein, much of Waggoner’s music possesses elements similar to that of a three-act play, beginning one way, then drastically altering both tempo and instrumentation, and then reverts back without losing its cohesiveness or its audience.
Standouts include the self-confidence of “Young Friend,” the infectiousness of “Tender Mending,” the fluttering strings of “Live For The Sounds” and the pure somberness of the album’s title track.
On September 28, 2008, Brooke Waggoner performed for NPR on its Mountain Stage program. Be sure to check out her live performance of the four songs she performed there.
Visitors to Waggoner’s official web site will also be treated to a wonderful flash presentation of her performing “Live For The Sounds.”
Update: Waggoner’s Christmas song, “Christmas Moon,” will be available exclusively through iTunes on December 2, 2008. Just in time for your holiday mixes.