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October 5, 2008
Sacramento Single: Ghosts of Wyoming' "I Have a Brain"

brighter GOW.jpgEarl Brooks only moved to Sacramento five months ago but he's had one toe-tapping foot in the River City for much longer.

Brooks' band, Ghosts of Wyoming, was born in Seattle - his home for 26 years. But, after meeting Sacramento guitarist Jerry Lewis at a gig, the band slowly shifted to include more parts Sac than Seattle.

"I just woke up one day and decided it was time for a chance so I made my girlfriend mad and told her I was moving," he says

The pair still talk on the phone twice daily and her influence is notable in the lyrics Brooks writes for his rollicking country-rock tunes.

Drawing from true life inspiration, he says, is the only way he can write.

"I can't write from anyone else's perspective but my own," he says.

"I can't sit down and say 'I'm going to write about a truck driver -it just comes out sounding like a 17-year-old's essay."

Ghosts of Wyoming

Song: "I Have a Brain"

Style: Bar room brawlin' Americana

Behind the song
: "I really like this song because it's got a great opening line, 'I was born in a one stripper town," Brooks says.

"That's a running joke with me and my sweetheart - her dad was an oil executive in Los Angeles ... and I grew up in eastern Idaho and Wyoming so the song is about the dynamics of two very different people coming together."

In addition to Brooks and Lewis the band also includes bassist Brad Moore,singer Mary Louise Picerno and keyboardist / lap steel player Brett Lemke.CQ

Much of GOW's music reflects influences such as the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Neil Young but "I Have a Brain" also taps into his love for the Flaming Lips.

"There are these two lap steel parts buried in the mix and they just come in and out of the song," he says. "The Flaming Lips have really tweaked my head as far as emotional content and general weirdness. There's a certain joy to their music that's really powerful."

See them
: Saturday at the Ryan Seng Collective, (1301 I St.) The artists' reception starts at 6 p.m., the music starts at 10 p.m. Free.

On the Web:

Listen to "I Have a Brain" here:

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