Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at OttawaMagazine.com. Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine and follow her on Twitter @fateemasayani
Patrol cop Joe Brownrigg’s outlet is songwriting. Since 2011, he’s been releasing folk albums that deal with what he sees in the grimiest parts of capital city.
The guitar-slinger in blue will release his third album, called Free, Sunday at the Daily Grind.
It’s his second release this year. In May, Brownrigg released The Wild, which features songs called “The Forgotten Ones”, “Almost Home”, “Give It All Away” — and other titles that convey hopelessness. The tunes are sombre with hints of sunny harmonies when a verse calls for it.
These are songs are about hard-done-by kids, domestic violence, and pimps. They take place in hospital waiting rooms, on the street, and in the projects. A few songs deal with the story of a drug-addicted prostitute that Brownrigg, 34, says is one of the worst cases he’s seen.
“I felt this overwhelming need to help her,” he says, “but I found it almost impossible because, as anyone with drug addiction in their family knows, it’s really hard to help someone with those problems.
“Put yourself in my shoes where you’re a cop and they have absolutely zero trust in you. In fact, all they have for you is fear. How do you help a person when you’re in that position? What do you do? How do you help them? It’s an impossible question,” he says. (more…)