PREMIERE: Butcher Brown Stream New Album

 A record that captures very well the essence of the band’s live and energetic performances, Butcher Brown and VENTS are teaming up for the exclusive first listen of their album “Live At Vagabond.”

About the album, the band comments:

The new record, Live at Vagabond, is a perfect representation of us at our favorite venue at home in Richmond, VA. It’s an honest interpretation of what we sound like live as a unit, as well as a taste of our energy we bring when we’re all together. This record is the perfect introduction for anyone who has never been has never heard our music or seen us at a show…

Recorded at a hometown show in Richmond, Virginia, in July of this year, their electrifying energy on Live at Vagabond is a sharp reminder of how vital a live album should be. Multi-instrumentalist DJ Harrison (who’s recently released a debut solo album on the mighty Stones Throw label) is broadly seen as the visionary, though this is an egalitarian band. Here his keys provide the harmonic colours around which drummer Corey Fonville’s muscular delivery and bassist Andrew Randazzo’s effortless cool pulsate. Marcus Tenney on trumpet and Morgan Burr’s guitar complete the quintet.

Butcher Brown’s musical maturity is surprising in such a youthful band, given that its members were all born after the mid-70s golden age of fusion. Still, their modern, hip-hop-inflected funk has rich echoes of Weather Report, Return to Forever, early Earth Wind and Fire and, perhaps, a pungent whiff of Zappa. Like those bands, Butcher Brown’s unified sound comes from the intertwined talents of the five members, each bringing something unique to the mix. Butcher Brown’s recordings to date, the polished soul/funk of All Purpose Music (Ropeadope) and the 20-track underground groove-laden beats cassette GrownFolk provide two great windows into the band’s charms.

Multi-instrumentalist DJ Harrison has had a lifetime fascination with what makes a record work thanks to a childhood surrounded by a funk/rock/R&B saturated environment. Bassist Andrew Randazzo, the band’s navigator, offering a foundation for the band’s funk-inflected music. Drummer Corey Fonville, a percussion prodigy turned international jazz sideman, is the beating heart of Butcher Brown, pumping out fresh, danceable rhythmic complexities that are aimed at both the brain and the hips. Guitarist Morgan Burrs was seemingly destined for a life in music, originally picking up a guitar at age six. He has become a force in RVA’s music scene, where he is currently a junior at Virginia Commonwealth University. A recipient of the Louis Armstrong Award, trumpeter Marcus Tenney has studied with world-renowned trumpeter and former Joe Henderson sideman Dr. Rex Richardson. He has worked with artists such as Nicholas Payton, Billy Williams, Braxton Cook, Count Bass D, Bon Iver, Matthew E. White, Natalie Prass and many more.

Dedicated to innovation, informed by a love of the past, the band’s modernistic fusion is aptly described as “hip hop Mahavishnu.” Impressive as they are individually, together they are something increasingly rare: a real band, playing for their audience and for each other, on the verge of a brilliant future. The controlled collision of each of their talents makes Butcher Brown a fun band to watch; the excitement wholly captured on their first-ever live album, Live at Vagabond. 

Live at Vagabond Track Listing:

A1. Tomahawk (7:39)

A2. Cairo (6:07)

A3. Moses (4:33)

B1. Forest 2.0 (6:25)

B2. Lysol (6:28)

B3. Tunnelvision (5:44)

Upcoming tour dates: 

November 16 – Paris, France – Duc Des Lombards

November 17 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso
November 18 – London, England – Rich Mix
December 7 – Charlotte , North Carolina – Visulite Theatre
December 8 – Charleston, South Carolina – Pour House
December 10 – Atlanta, Georgia – Aisle 5

December 15 – Richmond, Virginia – Vagabond (vinyl release show)
December 29 – Brooklyn , New York – Brooklyn Bowl (Lettuce Bowl)

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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