The Budos Band
Welcomed by WORT
Having scalded listeners' ears with sonic lava on Budos I and stung them with venomous frequencies on Budos II, The Budos Band delivers on their promise to spread the epidemic of "Budos Fever" far and wide with the release of The Budos Band III. The cobra is poised to strike if anyone dares challenge The Budos on their quest. And, if there was ever any question whether the brotherhood of The Budos is instrumental afro-soul royalty, the Chateau de Budos that graces the back cover of The Budos Band III assures all that the group is strong unstoppable even and will use all of nature's power to ascend to their rightful throne.
"Heading into the studio for Budos III, I really thought we were going to make the first psychedelic, doom-rock record ever recorded at Daptone," recounts longtime Budos de facto frontman and baritone saxophonist, Jared Tankel, "but somehow it ended up sounding like a Budos record." Recorded at the now infamous Daptone "House of Soul Studios" by the world-renowned production team of Bosco Mann and TNT, Budos III was tracked to analog tape and recorded live over the course of an intensely productive 48 hour period, much like its predecessors. The songs that emerged are unmistakably the type of tough sonic nuggets that have long earned The Budos Band the title, "the quintessence of Staten Island soul." Replete with tight rhythms, blistering breakbeats, blaring horns and, yes, perhaps even a tinge of psychedelic doom-rock, Budos III promises to bring some added heat upon its release this summer from Daptone Records.
Composed, arranged and honed during weekly, beer-fueled Staten Island writing sessions as well as more than 150 live gigs over the last two years the band's third full-length studio effort evinces the tight-knit and creative bond The Budos have come to share since the ten-piece ensemble's inception in 2003. "The Budos have become more of a brotherhood," explains bassist Dan Foder. "Egos suck, that's why bands don't last more than two records. Musically, we understand each other better now than when we were younger. That's why this is our best record. We're all on point our playing and creativity are at a higher level - and we understand what The Budos Band means to all of us: family and friendship."
The strength of the group's bond and its music has allowed The Budos Band to accomplish feats rarely attained by instrumental groups. With collective sales of over 30,000 albums and tours that have spanned the US, Canada, and Europe, playing rock clubs and large festival stages, The Budos have developed a rabid fan base that spans genres and ages. At any given Budos show, one might see b-boys break dancing to the band's funk and hip-hop beats; record junkies nodding their heads to the soul-infused melodies; metal heads thrashing to the dark and ominous guitar and bass riffs; and general music lovers who eagerly attend Budos shows and smile approvingly at the melting pot of music that takes place. Simply put, The Budos kill the live show and with each record, their ability to put the energy, sweat, and passion of the live experience to wax increases.
The sound of The Budos may be challenging for some to describe, but to the band, "Staten Island instrumental afro-soul" means internalizing such seemingly disparate influences as the Cairo Jazz Band, J.C. Davis, Mulatu Astatke, and Black Sabbath and coming together to form a mind-bending combination of rhythm and melody. The unique and signature sound of The Budos has become a favorite for music supervisors to use in TV, film and video games, as well as producers who have sampled The Budos on numerous hip-hop tracks.
The live shows, the long hot nights in the rehearsal studio, the diverse listening diets of the members all of it comes together to make The Budos Band III the most vicious Budos release yet. "We wrote a lot of this album together," says trumpeter Andrew Greene, whose tune, "Black Venom" was named after two of his favorite bands--Black Sabbath and Venom. "There was a lot more collaboration as people would come regularly with ideas, even the percussion guys. We all had a say. Unlike our earlier albums, we weren't trying to be Ethio-, or funk, or soul, we were just trying to be The Budos." Guitarist Thomas Brenneck--who breathes psychedelic fire into "Reppirt Yad," the album's lone cover song--agrees. "We weren't looking to explicit outside influences for inspiration as we were on previous records. For this album, we were looking more within The Budos." And to help distill that unique Budos inner-essence, it didn't hurt to have the ever-present ear of Daptone's world-renowned Bosco Mann tweaking knobs and manipulating faders behind the engineer's console. "With Bosco in the studio, doing what he does, the sky isn't the limit," says Tankel, "there simply is no sky."
Charles Bradley is no stranger to hard times. Born in Gainesville, Florida in 1948 and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Charles spent the better part of his childhood living on the streets. One of the more optimistic moments of his childhood came in 1962, when his sister took him to see James Brown at The Apollo. Brown's energy formed a lasting impression on Charles. He went home and immediately began practicing microphone tricks with a broom attached to a string, imitating the Godfather's every move. With his newfound inspiration came an urgent desire to get off the streets and make something of himself.
Charles made his way out of Brooklyn via Job Corps, a federal program for helping underprivileged families. His job placement took him to Bar Harbor, Maine where he learned to cook. While in Maine, he put together a band and began to pursue his passion for performing. He had his first taste of the stage when he was asked to perform for some female employees of Job Corps in Poland Springs. The ladies went wild and Charles knew that he was destined to be an entertainer. Unfortunately, his fate was put on hold when his band mates were drafted in the Vietnam War, and he was forced to find work as a chef in Wassaic, New York at a hospital for the mentally ill.
After nine years cooking for 3500 people a day, being harassed by local police officers, and having no musical outlet, Charles decided to leave Wassaic and head west in search of a dream. He had saved up enough money to buy a new Ford but soon realized that he couldn't keep up with the payments; he promptly returned it to a dealer and began hitchhiking. He caught rides all the way from New York to California and up through Canada. He persevered through the dangers of the road (including one driver who confided in him that he had just killed his wife and children) and eventually landed in Alaska where he once again found work as a chef. Though the job paid well, he was not well liked by his fellow chefs, and soon made his way back to California via airplane.
Charles spent over 20 years in California, making his living as a chef, all the while playing music on the side. He had no regular band, but he played pick-up gigs when they came along and sat in on recording sessions to feed his musical cravings. Things seemed to be looking up for Charles, but just as he was about to put a down payment on his first house, he was laid-off from his job of 17 years. Being fired forced him to re-evaluate his life out west. Ultimately, he decided to come home to Bushwick, Brooklyn to be with his family again. Charles took every penny he had saved, loaded up a truck with the musical equipment he collected over the years, and drove back to New York. At this point, he was fed up with the tribulations of being a chef and took up work as a handyman to allow himself the flexibility to pursue his musical career.
Charles finally found an audience when he began making appearances in local Brooklyn clubs performing his James Brown routines under the alter ego "Black Velvet." At 51, he was finally making a life for himself back home. His musical career was moving forward, but he was to be tested once again.
Charles awoke in his mother's house one morning to the sounds of police sirens. He was devastated to find that his brother had been shot and killed by his nephew. Life did not seem worth living anymore.
Charles was down and out when Gabriel Roth of Daptone Records happened upon him performing his Black Velvet act at the Tarheel Lounge in Bedstuy. Roth recognized his raw talent and directly brought him into the Daptone "House of Soul" Studios for a session with the Sugarman 3. "Take It As It Comes" was Charles' first single on Daptone and it proved him as a worthy vocalist. Roth eventually brought Charles out to Staten Island to see Dirt Rifle and the Bullets, a young funk band playing James Brown and Meters influenced songs. Thomas Brenneck, songwriter and guitarist for the Bullets, hit it off with Charles and they began working together. They released two singles on Daptone under the name "Charles Bradley and the Bullets," but the Bullets soon dismantled in order to form the afrobeat influenced Budos Band.
However, Brenneck knew that Charles had something more to give and after moving to Bushwick himself, he and Charles reunited. In time, they became close friends and Charles confided his life story in Brenneck. The young producer was moved when he heard Charles tell the painful story of his brother's death. Brenneck said, "Charles, we gotta put that story to music." Brenneck had put together a small bedroom studio and was working on instrumentals with a new group soon to be named Menahan Street Band. His new sound was the perfect compliment for the heartfelt and troubled lyrics that sprang from Charles' story. Brenneck had just launched Dunham Records, a division of Daptone, and would release Charles' "The World (Is Going Up In Flames)" and "Heartaches and Pain" as it's second single. A departure from his Black Velvet act, the songs showed a new side of Charles as a compelling artist in his own right and proved to be a great success. Many late night writing and recording sessions later, he and Brenneck completed their first full-length record, No Time For Dreaming. Charles always knew he was born to entertain, but in the making of this record he discovered a proclivity for songwriting as well.
The record was a labor of love for both Charles and Brenneck. After years of working together, No Time for Dreaming is due for international release on Dunham Records. In the meantime, Charles has been touring with The Menahan Street Band and honing his passion as a singer and an entertainer. If you know Charles today, then you know one of the most loving, humble, honest and genuine human beings you will ever know. Charles Bradley spent most of his life dreaming for a better one, and now there is no more time for dreaming, just time for singing, dancing and loving.
High Noon Saloon
701A. E. Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53703
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|