““Producing and playing most of the instruments herself, Rachel demonstrates her immense talent and diversity on this album. (Down in the Barnyard 2011) The song writing is top notch, her voice is eerily old-time-authentic, and the whole album has the ability to whisk you away on the country technicolor lullaby head trip that she has painted during it's near-hour long set. Rachel is just hitting her stride, but with this release is proving that we should all be keeping our eyes on her.” –Shooter Jennings,”
“Rachel Brooke is a little bit country, a little bit gothic and a little bit indescribable. She’s the rebel Southern belle who’s actually from Michigan. Her words are tough, yet elegant; her music is refreshingly simple and quietly suggests that Brooke herself is not. Critics and fans have said that she was born in the wrong time — and perhaps that’s true — but in the midst of synthetic dance music’s assault on current culture, an unadorned and honest song stands out in a novel way. With two full-length solo albums and a four-song vinyl 7-inch, Brooke is an intriguing and badass arrival to the neo-traditional country scene. She’s the tough chick who can keep up with the boys in chores and whiskey shots, then pick up a banjo and silence everyone in the saloon with her beautiful twang and poetic lyrics. Her music is paradoxically old-timey and fresh; it transports you to a hazy rural daydream.”
“if there's any justice in the music world (very rarely), then people forty or fifty years from now will say that some singer or another reminds them of that 'ol Rachel Brooke they used to listen to on quiet and brooding evenings, while the sun was setting. What we have here are four dark lullabies that take us to Parts Beyond. This here's unadorned, raw-to-the-gut country blues. (Late Night Lover)”
“We have watched as Rachel Brooke has evolved from the conflict of her punk and country roots trying to mix and blend, to a classic, cohesive style that is all her own, and compliments one of the most naturally-blessed voices in country today. Late Night Lover is a gift that I am grateful for”
“Normally, it would be a cliché to call a performer multi-faceted. Not so with Rachel Brooke. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to put Brooke into any single category. Pick up her latest solo CD, “Down in the Barnyard,” and play tracks like “Meet Me By the Apple Tree,” “Don’t Forget Me When I Die” and “City of Shame,” and you’ll see the country and bluegrass side of Brooke, who lists Hank Williams and the Carter family with Johnny Cash among her musical influences. Think Loretta Lynn, with her clear voice and direct stories, with the styling of Clara Bow. But then take in “Barnyard,” and you’ll hear Brooke’s lovely voice croon lyrics with decidedly dark themes, along the lines of gothic country."”
"What makes an artist like Brooke more appealing to me is that she understands that there are more nuanced ways to tap into the visceral aspect of country without being so heavy handed."
“For all the deep root folkies, hipsters, nics, and cowboy jokers there’s some mighty fine new music out today. A second album, “Down In The Barnyard,” from Rachel Brooke, which is as straight up and unadorned as creek whiskey in a mason jar. Its filled with songs about tough women (don’t cross ‘em, don’t boss ‘em) sung over plaintive banjo strums, boxcar rhythms, bottleneck blues, and, what is that, a pump organ? Nice. There’s a Maybelle Carter feel here, nothing fancy, nothing superfluous, nothing artificial. There’s also a touch of the gothic here, but that too is keeping with the old parlor days. I don’t suppose there’s a place for Ms. Brooke on the radio, beyond community stations, and it breaks my heart that she won’t be breaking yours. If you like it, tell someone. It’s a rule.”
"Rachel Brooke's brand of simplified country is complemented perfectly by the slight twang in her voice and the heavy banjo and guitar in the background. The Michigan-based singer/songwriter's clear voice carries with it all of the melancholy blues of Appalachian folk music combined with the grit of a modern-day rocker."
"Brooke's music is genuinely heartfelt and she sings with real passion and honesty. She might actually live in Detroit, but she'll make you feel like you are sat on a porch in remotest Alabama."
“Brooke is carrying on a longstanding, but recently overlooked, tradition of strong women in country music. None of that phony pop stars “empowering” woman B.S. manufactured divas throwout either. When Brooke lays it down, she does so plain and simple"”
“Rachel Brooke...was nothing short of amazing as she captivated the crowd with her sultry drawl and presence. Her country/folk ballads have unique dark undertones about them; songs with wicked twists like murdering cheating lovers in “The Barnyard” had the crowd reeling for more.”
"Rachel Brooke's music hearkens back to this time in country music when the keys to success were a steady rhythm, a clear and honest voice and a good story."
“(Down in the Barnyard) "There was a strange kind of cognitive dissonance at work here, the brain pulled in all sorts of directions at once. There's so much depth here. So much room for vision, for contemplation. It's metaphysical country music. But the good stuff always is. To borrow from the great Dean Moriarty: This woman knows time. Dig?"”
"It sounds like Rachel has just emerged from a lost, out of time 'holler' somewhere in the high Appalachians with all of that old time 'hillbilly' eerie edginess and mystery completely intact."
“(Down in the Barnyard) I love this album. I think it's superb. I am astounded by how wholly original the thing is, how successful the theme and vision were implemented and seen through, that it brought out Rachel's subtly brilliant songwriting, and most importantly, did not suffocate her most important asset: her timeless, flawless voice.”
"The only other person I've ever known of that can convey that much pain with just their voice and an acoustic guitar is Hank Williams. Rachel Brooke is not only a singular talent, if you ask me she is a national treasure
"...In her tender age she has accomplished a lot and become an important fixture in the modern day "Roots Movement" You can expect to see great things from this young lady..
"..Rachel Brooke, a badass...with a heart made of whiskey..."
"Rachel's voice is one in a million. It's all natural. She did not develop a unique singing style to delineate her from the masses, like is so common with over-singing songbirds these days. She purified her own voice, with no facade or embellishment. It is so wondrous because it is adorable and seemingly innocent, yet at the same time aged like a ghost, haunting, and filled to utmost capacity with pain"
"Rachel Brooke has the wintertime blues , but unlike the rest of us, her end product of misery is something haunting and beautiful, rather than alcohol and bad poetry-mired."
“(Lonesome Wyatt and Rachel Brooke) The ideal soundtrack for receiving the Last Rites... like Nick Cave with a banjo.”
“(Lonesome Wyatt and Rachel Brooke)"It is a pinnacle of gothic country, and at times it reaches the pinnacle of all music."”
“(Rachel Brooke with Modern Mal) "Soul-scraping duets from folks into Hank Williams Sr., played at wrong speeds. Slow flowin' molasses of the old heart, the old man said."”
“(Rachel Brooke with Modern Mal) This duo's stuff is beautiful; whispers of loneliness at the end of the bar dotted with doused regulars who have nothing else in life but their own reflection.”