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The Budos Band

The Budos Band are an American big band who describe their sound as "doom rock Afro-soul big band with a '70s touch." Their multivalent approach bridges musical universes from trippy psychedelia and Afro-funk to '70s hard rock and late-'60s soul. Their choreographed stage show is at once intense, spontaneous, humorous, and geared toward audience participation. Budos are a 21st century jam band. While there is room for improvisation inside their often-hypnotic, labyrinthine compositions, their arrangements are sophisticated, tight, and centered on infectious grooves. The group's early years focused on integrating the music they loved as individuals -- from Mulatu Astatke's Ethio-jazz and Fela Kuti's Afrobeat to funky instrumental soul of the Bar-Kays, Muscle Shoals, Tower of Power Horns, and J.B.'s. Their recorded catalog, between 2005 and 2010 -- Budos Band I, II, and III -- appropriately reflected those influences. With 2014's Burnt Offering, Budos shifted gears, blending elements of early-'70s psychedelia and Krautrock, adding darker, more hallucinatory textural elements to thier sound. They toured and road-tested their material across the U.S., Europe and Asia. Budos Band integrated their tried-and-true, danceable funkiness with metal-tinged, psych rock on 2019's V. They celebrated 15 years together woth 2020's Long in the Tooth. Frontier's Edge, a six track EP appeared on Diamond West Records in 2023. The Budos Band got together at a jam session hosted by Brooklyn's Afrobeat kings, Antibalas. Specializing in horn-driven world roots funk, the group has a sometimes-fluctuating lineup that includes David Guy and Andrew Greene on trumpet, Cochemea Gastelum on tenor sax, Jared Tankel on baritone sax, percussionist Dame Rodriguez, Thomas Brenneck on guitar, Robert Lombardo on congas, Mike Deller on organ, Vincent Balestrino on tambourine and shekere, Daniel Foder on bass, and drummers Brian Profilio and John Carbonella, Jr. The group released the self-titled The Budos Band on Daptone Records in 2005 and followed it with The Budos Band II, also on Daptone, in 2007. After a tour, and a lengthy break during which individual members contributed to other artists' projects, the band reunited to record a third album, aptly titled The Budos Band III, which was released in August of 2010. The Budos Band were also willing to assist on others' recordings. They backed Charles Bradley on his 2013 cover of Black Sabbath's "Changes. In October 2014, the Budos Ba"nd re-emerged with Burnt Offering, an album that diverged from the path they'd previously carved for themselves; the set was deeply steeped in psychedelia and soundtrack grooves as well as Afrobeat and funk. A four-continent world tour followed and kept the band on the road for more than two years. After the deaths of Daptone family members Sharon Jones in late 2016 and Charles Bradley in 2018, the group went through a mourning period, during which time Brenneck and Tankel moved to California. Previously, when they were all in New York, Budos wrote together every Thursday night. After the pair relocated, others became fathers. Life dictated that the Budos process needed altering. Brenneck and Tankel returned to New York to write and work on an album at the band's new Diamond Mine studios, in Long Island City in Queens. It marked the first time that the band had written and recorded an album at the same location. Titled V, Brenneck brought the tapes back to Los Angeles and mixed them with Daptone's Gabe Roth (who produced the first three Budos albums). First single "Old Engine Oil" was issued in February 2019 and became a club hit; it was followed in March by "Veil of Shadows." The full-length V was released in the middle of April. The Budos Band celebrated their 15th anniversary with the release of Long in the Tooth in late 2020. It found the group further bridging the gap between the Farfisa-fueled Ethio-funk and break-laden hip-hop grooves of their first two albums, blending the psychedelic Black Sabbath-inspired rock riffs of the latter with a new dominant sound from their trademark Afro-jazz horn section. In 2023, the band released Frontier's Edge, their first non-Daptone release. The six track genre-fluid set appeared on their own Diamond West Records, run by Brenneck and Tankel.
© Steve Leggett & Thom Jurek /TiVo


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