Penguin Eggs: Canada's Folk, Roots and World Music Magazine

Issue #13 Spring 2002

Reviewed by Les Siemieniuk

Into the Woods is a comeback album of sorts. Rodney Brown first came out of Thunder Bay and built a very promising career when he first started n the late 70's. His first album Freedom in Me was released in 1977. He was part of that first wave of Canadian singer songwriters along with Stan Rogers, Murray McLauchlan and Bruce Cockburn. Brown played all the major Canadian festivals and toured the length of the country.

His life became travel, travel, travel, - always away from home and family. Some musician once said - I play for free - they pay me for the travel time. Brown had a family and decided he'd stay around and watch them grow up - so he stopped touring. Now Rodney is back into the mainstream of Canadian Singer Songwriters. He has a real sense of place in his songwriting - he lives and writes about Northwestern Ontario. And I love hearing Canadian placenames in songs. Especially good songs. Journey's End, the opening cut, features the great Northern Ontario places of Batchawana, and the Agawa, Michipicoten, and the Pukaskwa. It's a mature album in all the best senses of the word. Brown also writes of family and love from a perspective of a man looking at 50. Casualty of War is a wonderful song for his dad and "the war". Ian Tamblyn produced Into the Woods and he did great job in bringing out the best in Brown's songs and wonderful voice. It's a great sounding record with tasteful arrangements from accoustic to a full band with trumpets and drums. It's a lovely record marking a welcome return.