Brownout: Laredo 77 + Barretta
From Homenaje (Freestyle, 2008)

I’ve recently been enjoying the sounds of Brownout, a Latin funk outfit out of Austin, Texas. They’ve been around for a minute in the form of Grupo Fantasma except here, they’re strictly instrumental. What I like about these guys is not only that they have their chops down but rather than following a strict revivalist route, their sound has a clear Latin influence but isn’t holden to simply trying to sound like it’s East Harlem 1968 again.

There’s an impressive diversity of styles on the album and the two cuts I pulled out above can’t do it proper justice. “Laredo 77” reminds me a lot of the Calbido’s Three (who I really should get around to blogging about one of these days…note to self). Super laidback and smooth Latin-flavored soul-jazz.

“Barretta” goes in the other direction: dark, funky. with a slick kick and thump. I may very well have to play this out at my next gig (heck, I’m tempted to spin out half the album, just to see how it sounds loud).

Here’s the extra treat for Los Angelinos: Brownout is playing two shows, starting tomorrow night:

  • Thursday at The Root Down
  • Friday at Soul Sessions

    These guys ain’t local so use the opportunity to catch them at least once while they’re out here!

    More info:
    Brownout on MySpace

    Oh yeah, one last thing: I’m forever indebted to Brownout for putting this video on their myspace page. Now I can see how the boogaloo is danced, by JB himself!

    Speaking of gigs, Murphy’s Law and myself will be back at the Short Stop next Thursday, Jan 31. Hopefully, this will turn into something regular there. More info on this later.