Brother Magnum is back with more double-barreled, high-firepower genuine soul, R&B and urban blues music for the modern age.
Last time out, with 2010’s Feel Like A King, Brother Magnum & The Razor Bumps “produced a great mix of funk, old-school R&B and straight electric blues, paying respect to all these styles without sounding retro or derivative,” raves the Memphis-based music magazine Elmore. Now with Fire & Steel, Magnum’s third album, he ups the caliber, broadens his aim, with 13 new songs.
The set leaps out from the speakers from the first track, the simmering Stax/Volt style “Damn Me” that resonates with the spirit of Otis Redding resurrected for 2011. Soulfulness for the 21st Century brims in such numbers as the title track and “Feel Good.” Magnum follows the blues trail to the heyday of T-Bone Walker on His searing guitar highlights the funky blues workout of “Love Me Woman” and his tribute to the “people who we can’t forget” that keep everything rolling on “Working Man’s Blues.” One hears echoes of his hero Sly Stone on “I’m Tired Of You,” and he rocks out the blues with fury and finesse on “Don’t Make A Fool Out Of Me” and “Are You Stoned?” Then after getting way down and dirty on “3rd Degree Love Burn,” Magnum & The Razor Bumps wrap up the whole affair with a slice of their party hearty sound that rips the roof off every venue he plays with "Mr. Mojo".
The disc’s title captures the essence of Magnum’s potent mojo within his music as well as everything he does. “Fire & Steel describes my passion: my passion for life, for loving, for music."
As the youngest of eight kids, Magnum grew up hearing a spectrum of great musical artists and styles. “My dad was into James Brown and Ike & Tina Turner. My Mom loved everything from Al Green to Neil Diamond to The Doors, and they were both heavily into Sly & The Family Stone,” he recalls. “One of my sisters was into Kiss, one of my brothers was a big Parliament-Funkadelic fan, and another brother was into The Cars, Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson. I was just saturated with all this music as a kid. You go to my hi-fi to this day, and I’ll be listening Metallica one minute and the next minute I’ll be digging on Buddy Guy. I can truly say that I don’t have a favorite
He first started making music at age 11 when he snuck onto his oldest brother’s drum kit, surprising his sibling when he walked in and heard how Magnum had a natural knack for the backbeat. The guitar and keyboards soon followed, and at 13 he played his first show. “All the girls that were there saw me and started screaming my name as the lights were flashing. Needless to say, I haven’t been right ever since." No wonder Elmore magazine observes how he “has something to offer fans of any of these genres [he plays]. That should cover just about everyone, right?”
His debut album, Meet Me In My Daydream, was a first Brother Magnum shot that “erupt[s] from your speakers like a hurtling fireball,” says SonicJive.com. “Fans of Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix, Lenny Kravitz, and Robert Cray will find delight in this effort… a great mix of up-tempo funkified numbers, retro soul blues, roots rock, traditional blues and even a shuffle or two. You can’t reinvent the wheel but you can still make top of the line tires. Brother Magnum has not invented a new genre of music but he's doing it as good as anyone ever has.” Or as he puts it, “It’s kind of like Mom’s home cooking with some hot sauce on it.”
Feel Like A King earned Magnum even more kudos. “It goes without saying that when a blues musician puts the word ‘king’ in either his records or stage name, it is a bold step,” notes Target Audience magazine. “If one claims to be a ‘king’ in the context of the blues they had better know how to play some blues, and that means play some blues. Fortunately for Brother Magnum and blues aficionados, Brother Magnum can play some blues and can make his guitar talk for him. Feel Like A King is blues done right and blues done well.”
The album landed Brother Magnum & The Razor Bumps on the famed “Austin City Limits” stage for a that made then one of the last acts to play the famed locale. They were also invited to perform at The House of Blues at the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas, opening the show for comedian Joel McHale (star of the NBC TV series “Community”) and then serving as the house band playing their tunes for McHale’s talk show style appearance. Magnum is also earning his stripes as a modern Texas master of the blues by being invited to play the Grey Ghost Music Series at Kerr Community College, named for legendary Texas blues piano man Roosevelt “Grey Ghost” Sykes.
Now three years into what’s sure to be a long and proud run, Brother Magnum & The Razor Bumps are sending ripples out nationwide from their Austin home base. “The biggest joy for me is to get more people to hear the music,” he says.
And you can hear how passionate and potent he and his crew of seasoned Austin players have become etched into the grooves of Fire & Steel. “I’m really starting to find my comfort zone,” Magnum enthuses. “Even if I do something like a simple 12-bar blues, I put my own spin on it.”
In doing so, Brother Magnum has become the Lone Star State’s funky and bluesy rocking soul brother number one. And that’s because his music isn’t just his passion and love; it’s his gospel. “More than anything in this world, the most important thing to me, my religion and my church, is writing songs and playing music,” he concludes. “It’s my form of prayer. It brings me the same fulfillment.”
Brother Magnum - Lead Vocals, Electric Guitar
Mike Barnes - Lead Guitar
Selton Cole - Bass Guitar
Will Chomycia - Drums
Paul Klemperer - Tenor Saxophone
Marty Van Blair - Trumpet
Len Sweatman - Piano and Organ
Fire and Steel- 2011
Feel like a King- 2010
Meet me in my daydream-2008
Tales from a bad man-2001
New Music Spotlight
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We were delighted to speak to an amazing musician who captures brilliantly the essence of music magi...We were delighted to speak to an amazing musician who captures brilliantly the essence of music magic when one hears him sings. His lyrics are enriching full of life lessons and he tells wonderful and soulful stories through his music. Meet Brother Magnum who mixes elements of Blues, Soul, and Classic Rock into a wonderful sound that fans can easily find appealing. In this spotlight with our Webzine, Brother Magnum speaks openly about the music entertainment industry and what he wants others to know about him and his music.
Isaac: 2010 has been an amazing year so far for Juniorscave.com. What are you most thankful for 2010 so far?
Brother Magnum: I have so much to be thankful for in this day and age; my family, my friends, my health, the opportunity to work with many great musicians and this gift that I've been given to write music. Performing for people consistently for so many years is truly a blessing.
Isaac: Who were your major influences that helped influenced you to want to pursue music as a career?
Brother Magnum: So many people have steered me down this road. I've always been moved by the old school greats like Otis Redding, Sly Stone, Stevie Wonder, Albert Collins, Funkadelic, U2, John Lennon, Prince, Jimi Hendrix, and the Rolling Stones. I could go on all day. In the early days, I have to credit my older brother. He is a drummer and was one of the cool kids in town with lots of ladies digging him so I said I need to be on that scene when I reach my teens!
Isaac: Describe the biggest highlight you have achieved so far with your career and why this moment is/was important to you?
Brother Magnum: Everything musically has been such a train ride that it’s difficult for me to even recall. I live for success that's ahead so I never look back. It keeps me focused on the future. Now a few weeks back, I was waking up and turned on the TV, saw one of my music videos and that brought a smile to my face. No less than twenty minutes after I turned on the radio and a local station was playing one of my songs. To be an independent artist and get your music heard is a big accomplishment. A Grammy and a mansion would be nice but if I can stay in the game doing my own thing and have longevity, that’s cool with me.
Isaac: What has been some of the negative aspects about the music industry you have experienced that you would like to warn others about?
Brother Magnum: So many traps and leeches exist out there I don't want to give them any recognition or any more of my energy then they've already taken so I'm going to leave them in the sewer where they belong. I want to allow the light rule the darkness. It falls back on the individual to be smart in this business. I think the most destructive thing to any artist can face would be an over inflated ego. Not only does it isolate ones audience but it tends to make people think they are indestructible. That leads to greed and all the bad that comes with it.
Isaac: Brief history about your background plus the style of music you play.
Brother Magnum: I'm the youngest of eight kids and I grew up surrounded by lots of love from my older siblings and my parents. I was blessed to have been exposed to so many styles of music and different cultures that it really opened my creativity. My music is a blend of blues, soul, and classic rock. It's always based off of a groove and it’s a lot like moms home cooking; from scratch! I like to call it "urban alternative" but I'm always referred to as a blues musician. I'm cool with that but I don't want to be thought of as one of those "whoa is me" old dudes in a chair... My music makes everyone from babies to grandma's get up and dance so let it be known that I rock the house! Kinda hard to put a label on it. Hell, I wish I could!
Isaac: How easy is it to gets gigs for you as an artist?
Brother Magnum: It's easy to get a gig but it’s hard to get GOOD gigs anywhere. I live in Austin, Texas and everyone and their mother is in a band. Competition is fierce and venues in town know this.
Isaac: What is the live music scene like in your area?
Brother Magnum: It's not what it used to be but it’s still cool. People here still want to dance to real music despite a lot of the canned "latest thing" many venues desperately push.
Isaac: What do you think of the state of Indie music at the moment?
Brother Magnum: I think it’s great for artist but bad for the people who profit off the blood and sweat of the artist.
Isaac: Do you listen to radio much at all?
Brother Magnum: Every now and then I'll find a cool internet station or a smaller market station but I just don't dig the idea of someone else selecting what I should listen to.
Isaac: Has the Internet helped music grow or hindered it in your opinion?
Brother Magnum: I think the Internet has been a wonderful blessing for music. The people have the control rather than the fat cats.
Isaac: If you could just perform and play music for the rest of your life but never become a household name, would you be happy (why or why not)?
Brother Magnum: Yes I would. Longevity is true success for me. I'm not the guy that would compromise creativity to be rich and famous. I never have been attracted to the latest thing so if I have to pretend to be something I'm not. I might as well get a corporate job and be a robot.
Isaac: If you could create a fantasy band - what would be the line-up and why?
Brother Magnum: Well, I would want the guys in my band. I call them The Razor Bumps because they are so irritatingly funky! We work together so well and no one has a rock star attitude so the vibe is always positive. Any band leader knows that having that kind of support is a fantasy in itself!
Isaac: Do you feel that your family and friends have been supportive of you?
Brother Magnum: I couldn't ask for a more supportive family and friends. I can always count on someone from the family coming to a show or they send friends from work when they come to town. I have a brother who always has a nice business/music connection or a product endorsement hook up. He has been my number one supporter from day one. All of my friends know that music is my life and if they were not supporters we could never be friends. It would be like rejecting everything I'm about.
Isaac: How hard is it to manage family, work, and everything else life sends your way with pursing music?
Brother Magnum: It’s definitely a challenge. I play at least five nights a week and the other nights I’m usually in the studio, at a video shoot or recording. You need a family that understands and supports what you do and you need a really cool boss or you need to be self-employed because the boss won’t like it if you handle music business on “their” dime. Music is my life so everyone around me support or they moved on. That’s okay with me because I don’t want anything or anyone in my life who doesn’t support what I’m about. This isn’t a passing fancy for me. It’s real!
Isaac: What CDs do you currently have available and where can they be purchased from?
Brother Magnum: I have two available from my website www.brothermagnum.com and you can buy mp3’s from iTunes.
Isaac: Where can fans access your music, videos, blogs, and anything else about you online?
Brother Magnum: Check me out at www.brothermagnum.com
At Twitter http://twitter.com/brothermagnum
On Face Book http://www.facebook.com/BrotherMagnum
Isaac: Message to your fans?
Brother Magnum: Thank-you for taking the time to read my psychotic rant. Without you this wouldn't be as joyful. Now turn off your hellavision and go watch a band. Peace and love!
Brother Magnum's Official Website
Feel like a King in Austin, TX
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Label: Indie Web: www.brothermagnum.com Location: Texas Genre: Rock/Blues Key Tracks: All Sin...Label: Indie
Key Tracks: All
Singer/song writer/musician, Brother Magnum and his Razor Bumps have composed a nice traditional blues and soul album. They have managed to combine funk, old school blues and funk successfully. Magnum has excellent tone and a strong, gritty voice. If you’re craving real music, creative lyrics and great vocals, this is a band to check out.
What is your ultimate goal with your music?
My ultimate goal in music is to continue to write and perform in a manner that
touches the head, heart, hands and feet of anyone who needs to put their
soul in a better place. --- Brother Magnum
Our Guest from Austin,Texas ... Brother Magnum
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In Texas they Say things come BIG. Well Brother Magnum is no exception to this. With only getting a... In Texas they Say things come BIG. Well Brother Magnum is no exception to this. With only getting a general image of him thru listening to his CD's and his responses to this interview, I would be comfortable in saying that Brother Magnum is more than a Ten Gallon Hat and an Armadillo has nothing on this Funky, Soul playing Guitarist who sincerely represents a unique, distinctive Austin, Texas sound that covers Blues with more depth than an oil well of Soul, Funk, Delta and true Sizzling Texas Blues.
From the onset of reading the responses I knew choosing Brother Magnum for our Guest this Month was simply going to be a ride that might be comparable to a Bucking Bronco, the Good kinda ride that brings you back for more. When I saw the phrase "Child" come across. Yes, I dug my spurs in and held tight I'm still laughing. From this interview I know a few things. I'm going to Austin, I'm lining some shots up because the journalist in me wants the answer to "Brother Magnum" and this "Child" well wants to Dance!.. I'm so pleased to have had the opportunity to bring to you this interview. American Blues News Readers, I present to you the interview for Brother Magnum, from the "Child". Enjoy!
C: Describing your Style of Blues is like a recipe for a great Texas BBQ sauce where your trying to figure out the secret spice. You have combined all the genres of what you were brought up with and played, Why Blues over all the other areas you have played
BM: I ask myself that question sometimes and still don’t know the answer. I guess the blues decided to choose me. I think life’s circumstances or maybe the vibe of the music itself. I never woke up one day and said “I think I want to start playing the blues”. Everything in my life came full circle and suddenly I had this desire to come back to the cradle. Maybe it’s like the kid who can’t wait to leave for college and experience the world and realizes that what he’s really about was right in his or her face all along, ya know?
C: You started out on drums and self taught with a natural ear, moved on to piano and guitar. Were there any formal lessons?
BM: Never any formal lessons when I was a young buck. I never had a desire to be serious about playing an instrument but more in the mind set of just having fun. And as a kid fun to me wasn’t reading charts and playing scales when there were footballs to be thrown, snakes to be caught and pretty girls to chase! I’ve taken some guitar from my lead player (Mike Barnes) in the last year. I learned a few licks so now I think I’m dangerous. My favorite players aren’t technically the best players but the cats who play with the most feel. There are players today who can play every scale lighting fast and make you say “wow” for the first five minutes but after that you better have something to say or you’ll be playing to the bar staff.
C: Was music a gift that you could just watch and or listen and play it?
BM: It’s definitely a gift. Music has been something that has come naturally. I’ve never had to struggle with learning the fundamentals. My brother was so amazed when he came home one day and I was playing his drum kit. I think I was eleven and I started playing shows by twelve. I even wrote my first song when I was seven and haven’t stopped. It comes to me like an unexpected gift. Whether it’s a melody, guitar riff, or drum beat. Ten minutes later I have another song. It’s a wonderful problem to have!
C: Your first CD "Meet Me In My Daydream", The song titled Cocaine Sheila there is such a cross of old school classic with guitar, drum shuffle and a power sax solo, it is one of the songs out of your 3 CD's that is so uniquely different. Where did this song come from?
BM: Cocaine Sheila was the last song written. It was a cool experience for me because I was in sort of a trance when I recorded it. That’s why it has that chugging/droning feel throughout the whole song on the guitar. When it came time to record the sax I told Hook (Saxophonist Roland Perez) to put his most painful memory in mind and let it bleed out in the solo. After listening to the song it hit me. This song was inspired by the death of my cousin who lost her life to drug abuse. Never knew that until after it was recorded.
C: Your Guitar of choice is? And What is her name and how long has she been with you?
BM: Child! Don’t get me started!! I have about fourteen of those suckers. I am primarily a strat dude and proud of it. I can’t say that any particular is my number one but I have to pay my respects to “Domino”, which is my Black Strat that I’ve had for fifteen years or so. I call her my first wife! Lately I’ve been playing these custom guitars made by my friend Jason Spradley from Jason’s Guitars. He makes them to my custom specs with some of the best wood and hardware and they really feel like extensions of my own soul. His latest creation is my new baby blue custom strat that I have named “Ms. Kandi” and she has kept me satisfied most every night since she came to my stable. I have also been known to spend time with “Butter Bean” (custom made ‘60’s style white strat), and “Megan” (custom made natural tele). I name everyone that I own. It gives them character.
C: The diversity of your upbringing clearly exemplifies itself in your writing style. An Old School Soul Contains itself with you. Out of those Soul Singers, Who do you relate with the most?
BM: Otis Redding. Something about the pain in his voice really got the lyrics across. I loved how the audience fed off his energy. He was also very unique in his musical style and different than most R&B singers that were current at the time. I can really relate to that. Of course I couldn’t mention soul without paying respects to Buddy Guy. He’s one of the old school cats that have really moved me with every note. I also dig Al Green, Smoky Robinson, and Marvin Gaye.
C: Your latest album released in April of '10 "Feel Like a King" has been out for a little over a year. and shows the growth you have made in which the songs are deeper and richer in context and also carry a sense of humor as in the song "Funky Foot Woman". Are you in the studio now or insight of the studio for a new CD soon?
BM: Well thank you for saying. I’m proud of the writing. I took my time with the latest CD. It was written over a period of six months and took almost a year to record because we were so busy playing live. I think “Feel like a King” is a much more cerebral album and has really established my writing style with a blend of all my influences. Now the song “Funky Foot Woman” was written at a sound check. I was telling my drummer a story about an old girl friend with foot odor. After the laughter he looked at me convincingly and said “I can’t do nothing with a funky foot woman”. I walked to the mic and started singing the chorus and making up the verse as I played. We were laughing so hard when it was over but I didn’t think much of it until I woke up and couldn’t stop singing it. I just had to record it.As far as knew projects, I started recording an acoustic EP called “Brother Magnum….Unthugged”. We will also record a live CD in September and I’m currently writing new material for the next CD. I’m sure we will start recording that in the fall.
C: You keep busy in Austin, TX. which is a competitive Blues circuit buried rich in tradition of Texas and Delta Blues. Who gave Brother Magnum and the Razor Bumps their first break?
BM: Break? Still waiting for one! We are definitely soldiers down here and despite the fact that we can pack a club we still have to pay our dues and play the game. We sound a bit different than most acts in Austin and far too many venues categorize us as a funk band rather than blues for one reason or another. Austin is very competitive because you have so many talented cats from all over the world down here since they were told it’s the place to be for live music. It’s changed so much over the last ten years and in most ways not the best for musicians. Hell, they’ve got DJ’s walking around with MP3 players in this town being called musicians, Child please!!
C: Where does the name Brother Magnum originate from?
BM: He he…You can’t get me drunk enough to confess.
C: How about the name of the band Razor Bumps?
BM: My drummer said it as a joke when I wanted to name the band. After he said it I thought because they can be so irritatingly funky during a show it was appropriate.
C: Any sight of the group coming out of Texas soon and sharing your power of Funky and Soulful Blues on the road?
BM: Nothing planned at the moment but someone needs to give us a call! We get lots of inquiries but I’m not the one for a jacked up Blues-Brother style tour! I guess we’re just waiting for the right call. I really want to play more festival dates in the future. Something about outdoor shows, smoked turkey legs and over-priced beer that makes me wanna get on stage and rock the house!
C: What Venue or Festival would you like to play at any point in time to say with a smile that you played that stage?
BM: I’d love to play Cross Roads Festival because it’s a guitar players paradise and some of the acts on the bill are the people I listen to. I’d also like to play ACL Fest in Austin because every time they have it I don’t see enough of what I like on the bill. You can’t please everyone but since Austin has such a blues history I think it doesn’t get enough representation of what’s made this city so cool.
C: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with on a CD?
BM: I’m such a fan of music. I get moved by so many different artists. Buddy Guy, BB King, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Johnny Lang, U2, Usher, Keith Urban, George Clinton, Prince. Cool thing about Austin is I might run into one of those cats in town. I’ve had John Popper of Blues Traveler sit in with me one night, some of the guys in 311 came to one of my shows and Pinetop Perkins will even come out every now and then. This town is cool like that.
C: For our readers describe what is a Brother Magnum show is like?
BM: Big ol’ sweaty BBQ with your drunken Uncle playing his new guitar. You’re gonna get a stain on your shirt, girls will be dancing, hell, there might be a fight or two, but when it’s all over you know you had fun. A Brother Magnum show is definitely a good time. I really feed off the audience so I do whatever it takes to keep them on their toes. If the music doesn’t get you out of your seat you will be laughing at what I say on the mic. I’m a fun loving dude and when I’m happy I like to pass the vibe. Even though my music is my art, it’s all about entertainment so I don’t take it so seriously that I can’t have a good time.
C: If you were granted 3 wishes in this Blues World what would they be?
BM: Every kid who got the guitar hero video game got a real guitar instead. Jimi, Stevie Ray, and Muddy Water were just on vacation and I’d sacrifice the idea of fame and fortune to help keep the music alive.
C: What would you like Blues Fans to know about Brother Magnum?
BM: That I bare my soul in every song and hope that the life experiences that I share in my music bring comfort or a smile to everyone who listens. My music is color blind and best enjoyed live. If you see me playing in your town or you make it to Austin I will greet you with a smile and a heaping plate full of fun.
C: Who or Whom do you give credit to for being where you at now
BM: Mad Respect to my band, The Razor Bumps. They are a big reason for my progress. I have some musicians in my band with mad skills that make me look more talented than I actually am. They stuck with me when we were playing coffee houses and some of the stanky, lower paying clubs. They have recorded two CD’s with me and have continued to soldier on. I have to credit my Mother and Father too. They’ve taught me to stand up for what I know is right in my heart and be true to myself and that is why I play the Blues. I think we can all agree that’s what most Blues Artist are about. If they were just trying to be the latest thing they wouldn’t follow their hearts and create such soulful music. I also have to thank my Brother for not beating me up for playing his drums when I was a kid. Oh! And that girl after my first gig when I was around twelve or so who introduced me to the benefits of being in a band!
C: In ending .. What words of Blues Philosophy would like to share with the Blues World?
BM: Pay no mind to the latest thing. It will be un-cool next month. Stick with the real thing!
To the readers of American Blues News, let me say. Brother Magnum is the Real Thing! Catch his show or request him near you. Brother Magnum is a must for your CD Collection and a venue or festival near you soon!
Keep The Blues Alive!
Peace, Blessings and Blues!
Brother Magnum - Meet Me In My Daydream
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On Meet Me In My Daydream, Brother Magnum serves up a heavy dose of his easily identifiable funk-ind...On Meet Me In My Daydream, Brother Magnum serves up a heavy dose of his easily identifiable funk-induced blues and slashing guitar throughout eleven songs - all of which he wrote, produced and arranged. His penetrating, signature solos are pleasingly demonstrative and pump through his veins, literally exploding from his fingertips in flammable fashion. His able-bodied vocals command your attention and can be compared favorably to Albert King. Fans of Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix, Lenny Kravitz, and Robert Cray will find delight in this effort as well.
Many blues artists live recordings far surpass their studio efforts - there is something about performing in front of crowds that brings out the best in blues performers that somehow traditionally fails to translate well to the studio. Brother Magnum manages to bridge that gap - for a studio release many of the songs have a distinctive "live" feel. This is a tribute to the arrangements and fine production on this effort as well as a testimony to his superb backing musicians.
Brother Magnum's classic "Have A Good Time" will erupt from your speakers like a hurtling fireball and is one of my all time blues favorites. His scorching guitar solo on "What I Need" is almost too short; it is so good you will wish he extended it a little longer, though a very Jimi Hendrix-like riff and vocal echo throughout the song is equally enjoyable. I was half-expecting the good brother to segue into "Red House". One could identify this song as psychedelic blues and be spot on. It's a great song.
"Cocaine Sheila" has traditional blues roots and bemoans the addictive nature of an unattainable woman in a descriptive, horizontal bump-n-grind manner. Brother Magnum's vocals are at the forefront of this number and the guitar is slightly understated, and it works well. A unyielding saxophone solo at 1:50 into the song accentuates the message and gives it a white-hot attitude. "I Should Have Known" and "Mexico" have a shuffle feel to them, blending traditional blues and soul that is incongruous to any specific genre. Both have a birth-of-rock-n-roll feel that is probably the best way to describe them. "Nee-Mo Money" and "Love Wrong Blues" provide wonderful examples of Brother Magnum's celebrated guitar-playing ability. To use a term that is often wrongly associated with heavy metal music, the man simply shreds.
Meet Me In My Daydream is a great addition to any blues lovers collection, a great mix of up tempo funkified numbers, retro soul blues, roots rock, traditional blues and even a shuffle or two. You can't re-invent the wheel but you can still make top of the line tires. Brother Magnum has not invented a new genre of music but he's doing it as good as anyone ever has.
-- Michael Canter (SonicJive.com)
Brother Magnum "Meet me in my day dream"
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With sunglasses tiled over his brow and and a smooth, classy mustache, Brother Magnum (a. k.a. Mag...With sunglasses tiled over his brow and and a
smooth, classy mustache, Brother Magnum (a.
k.a. Magnum de Pimp and Magnum von
Stankfinger) looks every bit the part of a silky
blues legend from Chicago. But the former
military brat instead settled down right here in
Austin in his teens, bringing with him a soulful
crooning that ladels itself over a roots-rock style
that seems more than at home in the heart of
Having grown up in California as the youngest
of eight siblings, it makes sense that Brother
Magnum would become a proverbial sponge of
music. Be it Jackson 5 or Kiss, Magnum was
introduced to it at a young age, and it all
manages to manifest itself in various ways in
his style, which nonetheless has an undeniable
aesthetic home in the southwest. Rock, jazz,
blues, soul, and funk all make sporadic cameos
in a sound that is bred for crowded bars and
outdoor barbeques. Austin has a strong (albeit occasionally hidden) jazz/blues scene and high-profile acts like Brother Magnum are welcome. With his charismatic embodiment of his genre, he’s a magnet for attention, but that’s just a road to the thick, coarse vocals and patient-butenergetic rhythms that help to define his style. The most prominent ingredient, of course, is his soulful wail, a semblance of blues from New Orleans or the edge of rock from decades past, owing as much to Ottis Redding as Sly Stone. With three albums already under his belt from his show band Dysfunkshun Junkshun (worth a glance in its own right) Brother Magnum has already established himself as a prolific performer. More importantly, his style resonates within its genre withoutbeing cliché or overdone. Brother Magnum exercises versatility in bouncing around from style to style in a manner that is embrasive and familiar, but never systematic. It’s this time of comfortability that has garnered Magnum comparisons to “Mom’s cooking with an extra
helping of the blues.”Brother Magnum has already performed at festivals, news stations, and jammed with John Popper (of Blues Traveler fame) in anticipation of a 2009 album, but your best chance to catch him is at one of his myriad of sixth street performances or at the North Iron Cactus. For now, take a listen to “Have A Good Time” off of his 2008 release, Meet Me In My
Exclusive and more interviews from Vents Magazine
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How did you start with all this?? It’s one of those things that you grow up around and it becomes y...How did you start with all this??
It’s one of those things that you grow up around and it becomes you. Music was always being played around me on the stereo as a kid and it just seems to comfort me. I couldn’t imagine my life without writing and performing. I’d be one miserable person!
What's the message to transmit with your music??
If I had to give it a message I guess it would be to live, love, be wild. I want the music to put people in a better place by getting the singing, clapping hands, sharing emotions and just simply being alive.
What's your method at the time of writing a song??
It comes to me in so many ways. Sometimes a melody or a guitar riff or a cool drum beat. I enjoy writing at the piano but when inspiration strikes me I’m usually not playing an instrument and I have to run and find
something quick while the feeling is strong.
Which is your music influences??
It’s a vast selection. It doesn’t even make much since to me but let me try; Sly Stone, Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix, Prince, U2, Robert Cray, Parliament Funkadelic, Kiss, Rolling Stones, Marvin Gaye, Led Zepplin; I’m out there man!
What plans do you have for the future??
My goal is to release three new CD’s this year; an acoustic EP, a live CD and another studio album of new material. All the songs have been written. I just need to get them all recorded. We’re going to be busy this fall!
If you were stranded in the middle of nowhere after a show or while on tour. The help is 65 miles away from where you and your band (If any) are, ¿Who would you send to look for help?
I’m sure it would send myself. I’d probably feel guilty for getting them in another fine mess so I’d feel obligated to get them out of it... And if while the rest wait, there's no food and the only way to feed
yourself is by eating each other, ¿Who would you eat first? I’m not eating any of them suckers in my band. They’re all too funky!
Which country you would love to play?
No country in particular seems to attract me more than any other. I mean people are people whereever you go and regardless of what may be said, we’re all just the same inside no matter where you go when it comes to music. We just dance differently than one another. If you had a room full of two year-olds from all over the world and play some music they’d all dance and clap and no one would care about the style. Skin color and Religion wouldn’t matter. I think this world needs more of that.
With which bands you would love to share stage??
I’d love to play with Buddy Guy, or BB King, or the Rolling Stones. It would be hard to share with them. I’d be so intrigued just watching and learning.
Are you OK, with the direction the band is going actually?
I love it. The music is getting more defined and we are playing so well together. People are picking up on the vibe of the music and the power of the show. I see great things in the future.