Jon Brooks at Oakville’s Moonshine Café - InsideHalton

Toronto indie artist Jon Brooks is bringing his new collection of original, rural Canadian “murder ballads” to The Moonsine Café Wednesday (March 4). 

Brooks’ music circles around the Highway of Tears, Christine Jessop murder, domestic violence, mass shootings in the workplace, and the forced relocation of the Sayisi Dene near Churchill, Man., to name some of the subject matter of his songs on his ironically-titled The Smiling & Beautiful Countryside album. 

“With some eerie-sounding, back-water banjitar and the distressed vocals of a post-heroine Steve Earle, Brooks humanizes the serial killers and challenges the listeners to contemplate their own inner darkness,” stated a press release. “His writing also overflows with gallows humour, eviscerating any threat of earnestness.” 

The album was recorded by Toronto producer David Travers-Smith. 

Brooks is the winner of the Kerrville New Folk award (2010) and launched his solo career in 2006, nearly a decade after a trip through eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and war-ravaged Bosnia-Herzegovina. 

His four previous albums have explored themes from architecture and homelessness to the Canadian war experience, and the concepts of freedom and imprisonment — both physical and psychological. 

Brooks is also a three-time English Songwriter of the Year nominee at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. 

The concert at the 137 Kerr St. café starts at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $10. 

To make a reservation, call 905-844-2655 or email 

March, 2015