Brownout’s legendary status as a “Funk Powerhouse” (Stereogum) is a reputation well deserved. The band of musicians have an impressive resume performing with Prince (RIP), GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, Bernie Worrell (RIP), and accolades from Ozzy Osbourne for their Brownout Presents: Brown Sabbath project. The latter helped grab the attention of Fat Beats Records, who worked with the band to release the critically acclaimed Public Enemy instrumentals project Fear of A Brown Planet in 2018. The Austin 9-piece is back with their first full length album of original music in over 8 years. The album, aptly titled, Berlin Sessions (out March 6, 2020 on Fat Beats) was produced by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos and is the first with lead singer Alex Marrero, whom they originally collaborated with on their wildly successful Brown Sabbath records. Berlin Sessions finds the group merging a multitude of styles, from rock to psych and of course the Latin Funk and Breakbeat on which they have built their sixteen-year career and reputation as Austin’s premier party-starters.
NPR recently featured the band on their heralded “Tiny Desk Concert” series, performing songs off the new album. NPR described the diversity of the band, stating, “One of the things you need to know about this band is that they can change traditions or genres almost on a dime. The core members dip into soul, Latin funk, a form of Peruvian cumbia called chicha, and funk covers of both Black Sabbath and Public Enemy. What each configuration has in common is the almost telepathic bond the band has developed after 15 years of working stages across the country. As you can see on the video, it’s so infectious that Prince once used them for a while as a back-up band.”