The music comes back to town
Rock and roll will be returning to Brookhaven for another year of Brookstock this weekend. The music festival will begin Friday and continue through Saturday with area performers taking the stage at the Haven Theater, Brookhaven Recreation Department, Recess 101 and Magnolia Blues BBQ Company. This will be the 14th year for the music festival.
“Every year as Brookstock approaches, I start getting butterflies in my stomach,” said Don Jacobs, founder of Brookstock. “It’s also extremely gratifying and a little mind-boggling to realize that I’ve brought all these people together to have a good time.”
When Jacobs’s old Brookhaven high school band, “The Brutes” reunited at their 30th class reunion, a spark was ignited. The musicians fit together, just like back in the day; if not better. They had all grown independently as musicians since their teenage years, so together they rocked. The Brutes enjoyed performing together enough to continue. The first band of Brookstock was revived.
“When we got up to perform, the Brutes had never sounded better,” said Jacobs. ” We had such a good time and were so psyched afterwards that we all agreed that we should get together and do this a least once a year.”
The group performed again in 2000, but this time they were joined by other local bands looking for an audience. Various musicians joined together in Brookhaven for a night of music. The Brutes’ reunion concert had turned into an entire music festival.
When the last band finished performing that night, Bill Lauderdale, one of the performers, was joking around on the microphone and thanked the audience for coming to Brookstock.
“Until then we hadn’t had a name,” said Jacobs. “But when he said that, I thought, ‘That’s it. We need to call this Brookstock.’ That was really the first event, even though it didn’t get a name till after the fact.”
Every year since then, Brookstock has been an event for good friends to reunite in the name of music. The festival has grown since then and now averages around 200 people in attendance.
“It’s amazingly fun, and I feel very privileged to be able to have this experience year after year,” said Jacobs. “It’s always great seeing all these familiar faces, and it’s an exceptional joy to get to play music with old friends I grew up with.”
This year will have some special additions to the festival. Brookstock Teens will be performing at the Haven on Friday night. This will give the next generation a chance to showcase their talents. There will also be performances a two different clubs in town. Recess 101 and Magnolia Blues are sponsoring pre-Brookstock parties on Friday night. The original one-day event has morphed into a weekend music extravaganza.
The finale will be Brookstock on Saturday, beginning at 6 p.m. at Brookhaven Recreation Department on Highway 51 North.
Food will be catered by the Allan Community Fire Department to raise money for their firefighters. The event will showcase mostly rock, but some country may be scattered throughout.
This year’s lineup includes: Mike J. Case & Friends, Bryan Batson, Chalmers Davis & Scott Albert Johnson, Ricky Brown & Friends, The Greg Smith Group, Shaw Furlow & the Wonder Boys, The Brutes and Jimmy Henderson.
“In general Brookstock is about Lincoln County bands and musicians, but from time to time, I like to be able to bring in something a little different and so I’ll sometimes invite friends from elsewhere who I’ve met along the way,” said Jacobs.
Jacobs explained that Davis is a musician out of Jackson who has played with Little Richard and Muscle Shoals, Scott Albert Johnson is a singer/harmonica player who frequently plays with Chalmers as a duet and Jimmy Henderson, from Jackson, played with “Black Oak Arkansas” and now tours with Dorothy Moore.
“Brookstock started out as a sort of ‘high school class reunion’ event, but is now open to the public, whether you have roots here or not. The more the merrier,” said Jacobs. “It is going to be a big weekend with a lot of music and a lot of people in town and a lot going on. A lot of people have put in a lot of time and effort over the years to help make Brookstock happen and it’s nice to see those efforts bearing fruit.”