Creative Pagosa: Brooks Lindner

Photo courtesy Brooks Lindner For Pagosa musician Brooks Lindner, playing guitar and writing songs is both a necessity and a joy. Lindner is one of the many local artists included in the Pagosa Arts and Culture Project web directory.

Photo courtesy Brooks Lindner
For Pagosa musician Brooks Lindner, playing guitar and writing songs is both a necessity and a joy. Lindner is one of the many local artists included in the Pagosa Arts and Culture Project web directory.

The Pagosa Arts & Culture Project is building a web-based directory of all the creative people and businesses in the community. By creating this website, it will make these MAKERS easier to find in online search engines and help share the wealth of innovative and talented individuals that call our small town home.

This sort of database is called “cultural mapping” and is being done by communities around the country in order to realize and recognize the value of their creative assets.

The Pagosa Arts & Culture Project is establishing the groundwork for continued collaboration and cooperation and promotional efforts of the combined community. The goal of the project is to establish a solid foundation of cultural and creative individuals and businesses, to create a viable plan for promoting these assets and to promote the Pagosa area as a worthy place of residence for creative people, a productive place for creative business ventures and a desirable destination for arts tourism.

At present, the PACP is also planning an event for fall 2013. The event, the MAKERS Expo and Tour, is set for Oct. 12-13.

To register and be listed in the PACP database, go to

In order to highlight the MAKERS in Pagosa, the PACP will profile its members, giving readers of The PREVIEW a sense of the depth and breadth of the creative community.

This week’s MAKER is Brooks Lindner.

Q: Tell us a little about who you are, where you were born, educated, your family, growing up and how you came to be doing your creative work?

BL: I was born and grew up in Aurora, Ill. There was always music in our family. My great-grandmother had a beautiful voice and always hummed and sang around the house. My grandmother used to sing on the NBC radio program “The Breakfast Club” in Chicago in the early 1930s. My mom studied the performing arts at Northwestern University and acted in New York before raising her family. My dad never really performed music professionally, but he used to play the trumpet and piano around the house. My parents had all kinds of cool records that they would play when I was young — everything from The Kingston Trio to The Rolling Stones to Bob Marley to Mozart on Sunday mornings. I have two older brothers who have been playing music their whole lives, and they had a lot of cool records, too. I think when you grow up with music in your family that it gets in your blood, and that gives you the opportunity to really connect with it in your life.

Q: Describe the objects you make or the creative work you do.

BL: I sing, play guitar and write songs. It has been something that I have done pretty much my whole life, and it is a necessity and a joy for me.

The creative process of writing a song is just plain fun. It happens in a lot of different ways, but it almost always requires inspiration. Most of the time, as Keith Richards says, it is just a matter of putting up your antenna and catching that inspiration. It’s outside of you, but you have to be open to it.

I also love performing, and go by the stage name Brooks-i. My brother gave me that name riffing on Ras Tafari. The greatest joy for me is when I am on stage, and I get into a zone where there is an interaction with the audience, and something is being created right there in the moment. That’s the magic.

Q: What is your favorite tool or material used in making your work? Why?

BL: My main instrument is my voice. I was lucky enough to have some wonderful choir/voice teachers growing up, and so I really learned the fundamentals of vocal support, breathing and dynamics. I love singing and using my voice to entertain. I love playing the guitar, too, but it is really just a way to accompany my voice.

Q: Do you have a regular routine or schedule?

BL: I go through stages. Ideally I would play/practice every day, but that doesn’t happen at this point in my life. I play out quite a bit, so that keeps me practiced. When I have a band going, I try and stay on a once-per-week rehearsal schedule with my bandmates. That is very necessary for staying tight with a group.

Q: What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?

BL: My older brother, Mike, always instilled in me the idea of playing with feeling. There are many musicians that aren’t necessarily technically advanced, but they play with a lot of feeling and soul. That really comes across.

Q: When you’re not making art, what is your favorite thing to do in Pagosa country?

BL: I love being at home with my family, cooking, doing fun things like skiing, mountain biking, getting in the river and the hot water, and listening to the birds, crickets and frogs.

Q: What are your goals for the coming year?

BL: I’ve got a great band right now, The Brooks-i Band, with Marcus Rivas on drums and Jarret Heber on bass. We just completed a CD which will be released very soon. We play all original music, and in the coming year we are going to continue to keep writing and playing more original music and getting tighter. I’m always trying to learn more songs for my solo gigs too.

Q: What is your dream project?

BL: The real dream is to have fun every time I play music or perform, and I feel very fortunate that I get to do that a lot here in Pagosa. The super fantasy is to have a killer rock-n-roll band with guitar, bass, drums, B-3 organ, horns, singers, dancers and play to big crowds of screaming fans that know the words to your songs and travel in a luxury bus, but not too much, ’cus I’m a homebody.

This story was posted on July 25, 2013.