Butcher Brown — a group of five sophisticated musicians from Richmond, Va. — upholds a self-professed blue-collar approach to music. Stylistically speaking, that music falls somewhere on the spectrum between jazz, rock and funk.
On this episode of The Checkout, Butcher Brown performs live in our WBGO studio, in celebration of their latest album, Camden Session. Comprised of only first takes, it was recorded direct-to-disc at Gearbox Records, and released as a six-track vinyl album last fall.
The young ensemble — DJ Harrison on keyboards, Corey Fonville on drums, Marcus Tenney on saxophone and trumpet, Andrew Randazzo on bass, and Morgan Burrs on guitar — first met in the music department at Virginia Commonwealth University, which they say, “brought the scene together.” Here is the premiere of a song called “Frontline,” composed by Randazzo.
When some of the musicians decided to move in together, they turned their living room into a makeshift recording studio and held regular jam sessions. While they worked out their ideas and musicianship, they would take breaks to play the boxing video game Ready 2 Rumble, which is how the band got their unique name.
Their welcoming sound piqued the ears of saxophonist Kamasi Washington, who invited Butcher Brown on tour last year. Watch the band premiere Tenney’s new space lounge composition “I Don’t Know” in our performance studio.
Butcher Brown joins the Dirty Dozen Brass Band for a Mardi Gras celebration on Feb. 28 at Brooklyn Bowl.
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Audio Mix: Corey Goldberg
Video: Chris Tobin and Sarah Kerson
Producer: Simon Rentner with Anthony Nieves