Brother Joscephus and the Love Revolution
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Brother Joscephus and the Love Revolution

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
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“Brother Joscephus and the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra brings a righteous message of love and rhythm.” - The New yorker Magazine


"It's rare to find an act that sounds so comfortable and familiar and
yet so completely unique. Brother Joscephus and the Love Revival
Revolution Orchestra is intoxicating."
-Shana Liebman, Arts Editor, Heeb Magazine

- Shana Liebman, Arts Editor, Heeb Magazine


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Review: Brother Joscephus And The Love Revival Revolution Orchestra


Brother Joscephus And The Love Revival Revolution Orchestra - Self-Titled
2009, Righteous Enough Records

Today we get to hear the words of the secular gospel of Brother Joscephus And The Love Revival Revolution Orchestra, an 11-piece band from New York City who sounds like they just stepped off the steamer from New Orleans. Ray Charles Soul and R&B, southern Gospel and New Orleans Jazz all get thrown into the mix to create one of the most dynamic and enjoyable recordings to come out of the New York City scene in quite some time. Brother Joscephus And The Love Revival Orchestra was released in February of 2009 and has already made a splash in New York, but something this good can't be contained even in a city the size of New York. Brother Joscephus brings his message of universal love, harmony and peace wrapped up in some of the warmest feel good music you can find.

The CD opens with A Child Shall Lead, done in classic southern gospel style. It's an amazing listen and poignant regardless of your belief system. Like many of the songs on Brother Joscephus, A Child Shall Lead is written from the perspective of the downtrodden; the folks who know they can't live up to the standard of perfection but continue to try to be good and hope for one to come along to lead them all into the path of righteousness. The same ideal has transcended philosophical and religious thought in culture after culture, and there is a strong history of this resigned persistence in jazz in particular. Brother Joscephus captures this heavy dynamic perfectly in a song that is deep yet entertaining. Bon Temps Roulez is a New Orleans expression in French Creole meaning Let The Good Times Roll. The song is written in a jazz fueled style reminiscent of some of Randy Newman's best work and is a definite highlight.

Brother Joscephus channels the late, great Ray Charles on Can't Help Myself, getting the same sort of gritty soul and pop mix that Charles practically invented. O Moses and More Than I Need fit into the secular gospel model that Joscephus brings to this CD and to his live shows, whereas Bury Me In New Orleans hits the perfect blend of Rock, R&B and Jazz. It's hard to pick one or two highlights here, as everything on the disc is a great listen.

Brother Joscephus is a showman in the most classic sense. It would be easy to imagine seeing Brother Joscephus on the same stages as greats such as Louis Prima and Bobby Darin. Brother Joscephus And The Love Revival Revolution Orchestra is a must-listen, must own CD. While the style isn't original, there are so few people doing this sort of music these days that it will sound new and original, much like Brian Setzer reintroducing the world to Louis Prima and swing a decade ago. You don't want to miss this Wildy's World Certified Desert Island Disc.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)

- Wildy's World Music Blog


"BroJo delivered… they had everyone from 5 to 95 shaking it!” - Brian Mital, Managing Director


"BroJo completely blew me away. These guys will be headlining major festivals soon - try to catch them on their way up.” - Bo Lyons, Asst. Director


"You cannot find an act with more instant appeal, accessibility or energy. When you go to a music festival to see what's out there, this is exactly the type of band you pray you'll run into. BroJo is the ULTIMATE festival band !” - Wylie Stecklow, Director of Entertainment


"I've been booking in NYC since 1990 and have never seen anything like it! Great show, great music, great party!" - Mike Maietta, CEG/Sullivan Hall


"...an 11-piece band that plays secular gospel... get your head around that!" - New York Times, December 25, 2008 - The New York Times


"Brother Joscephus killed 'em at Great South Bay. What a tight band, what great songs, what a show, what a party!” - Richard Arfin, Manager,


Love the gospel feel to this group. They are fresh and exciting.
Love songs "More than i need", "Can't Help Myself" is a great ballad.
"O moses" is another great gospel song which kinda makes you think about things.
"Bury Me inNew Orleans" is a classic.
As well as being gospel they also have great soul and R&b and blues especially in the track "I Wont Be That Man".
"Midnight Moon" has a great old feel to it and is absolutely brilliant.
"Dont Give Up on Love" is a great ending to the album and has a great souly feel to it.
Love this cd. 5 stars (out of 5) - AllSortsMan Music Blog


The first time I listened to the self-titled album by Brother Joscephus and the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra, I imagined a Broadway show. In the show, a young man born in New Orleans comes to New York City. Through various trials and tribulations, he is encouraged, chastised, and set back upon the course by a Greek chorus of Mardi Gras Indians, sometimes ghostly in appearance, who represent his roots. The show concludes with the young man, not so young any more, returning to New Orleans to live out his life and die. That may sound like a downer of an ending, but remember that a New Orleans funeral is a joyous occasion, a celebration of a life well lived, and so it is here. The finale is the song, Bury Me in New Orleans, heard here.

This album, however, is not that show. But this is big music, and it would sound right at home in a Broadway musical, one I would love to see. This is rhythm and blues music, in the best sense. There is a core band of six musicians here, plus four horn players, plus four background singers. There is piano work reminiscent of Professor Longhair, gospelish vocal arrangements, a tight/loose rhythm section in that way that is unique to New Orleans, a church-like organ in places. And Brother Joscephus has the vocal chops to pull this off. It takes a powerful voice, that can express a range of emotions over full arrangements without ever forcing it, and Joscephus passes every test.

Perhaps the most astonishing aspect of all this is the fact that this is a debut album. This is a large band, with complex arrangements, and they mostly get it right on the first try. All of the musicians have something to do in every song, but there are stretches where some, or even most, of the musicians sit out, waiting for when the are needed, and their entrances are all the more powerful for it. I have often heard that one of the hardest things for a young musician to do is not play, but here the arrangements do not accommodate such youthful impatience. Another marvel is the fact that a band this large creates such an intimate sound on some of tunes. Both Can’t Help Myself and I Won’t Be That Man include the full band, but make quiet personal statements.

The album begins on a high note. A Child Shall Lead is a joyous and riotous expression of faith, although not the one the listener expects. Joscephus catalogs some of the troubles of the world, and says, “Don’t try to tell me that she’s born with sin/ Her smile could teach this world how to love again/ And a child shall lead the way.” This is the faith of a man who has just beheld the miracle of the birth of his first child. There is nothing religious about it, although it is a profound feeling, to be sure.

From there, faith and love wax and wane throughout the album. The two songs about New Orleans, Bury Me in New Orleans and Bon Temps Roulez, both have a spiritual dimension to them; they are as a much about a state of mind as they are about a physical place. O Moses is a plea for help during a crisis of faith. And the songs about relationships find the narrator offering or needing encouragement. So lyrically, Don’t Give Up On Love is a fitting way to close the album.

This is a debut album, after all. So there are a couple of things to improve upon in the future. Midnight Moon is a wonderful tune with a Tin Pan Alley feel to it. But it doesn’t fit musically with what has gone before. It sounds like it belongs on a different album, one I would love to have as well. - Oliver di Place Music Blog


Discography

Brother Joscephus and the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra (2009)

Live at Brooklyn Bowl (2011)

Photos

Bio

Brother Joscephus and the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra is a 12-piece explosion of righteousness blending New Orleans party music, Soul in the style of Ray Charles and Al Green, a good helping of jam-bandy Roots Rock and a splash of upbeat (non-religious) Gospel into a feel-good gumbo of love.

The band began performing in late 2007 and has gathered quite a following due to a live show that prompted the Greensboro News and Observer to say that BroJo's “Funky, free-wheeling unit looks and sound as if they just stepped off a Big Easy 2nd line from heaven." Love Revivals have thrilled audiences from New England to New Orleans, including Crawfish Fest (NJ), Discover Jazz Festival (VT), Clearwater Festival (NY), Harper’s Ferry (MA), Stephen Talkhouse (LI), Bearsville Theater (NY), and multiple gigs to New Orleans during Jazz Fest and VooDoo Fest. Brother Joscephus has co-billed with New Orleans stalwarts such as the Rebirth Brass Band, Trombone Shorty, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, The Radiators, Bonerama, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, and The Meters.

The band's second full-length effort, Live at Brooklyn Bowl, was released this past spring to raves such as this one by influential blogger Oliver Di Place: "In some cultures, music is used to induce a shared ecstatic trance state. Individual participants are then driven to shout and move wildly, as their spirits rush out seeking expression. On Live at Brooklyn Bowl, Brother Joscephus and the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra give us an idea what this sounds like." This highly anticipated release, which was recorded during Mardi Gras 2010 and combined the efforts of 23 different righteous brothers and sisters of the revolution, followed the group’s debut self-titled album which included two Finalist selections in the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Competition ("I Won't Be That Man” - R&B category & "Child Shall Lead" - Gospel category).

Brother Joscephus and the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra is a family-friendly act with an incredibly broad range of appeal. The music legitimately hits home with all age groups from 2 to 102. BroJo fits in perfectly at outdoor festivals, sit-down theaters or the most raucous of roadhouses. The power of the music and the universality of the message make the band a bonafide hit at any venue. The Revolution prides itself on being reliable... and undeniable!

Each BroJo tune has been meticulously arranged for the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra: The three-piece horn section (the Shepherds of the Wind), the gospel choir (the Voices of Reason), and the most righteous rhythm section (the Guardians of the Groove) lay it down for Brother Joscephus to sing about the pain, joy and wisdom that is in his heart.

The core group is twelve pieces, but the Revolution has been known to expand to over sixteen (adding members to the gospel choir, fiddle, mandolin and percussion) and can also play a stripped-down version with as little as four brothers and sisters of the Revolution. The standard touring configuration is ten pieces.

A Love Revival with Brother Joscephus is more than just excellent original live music. By placing a strong emphasis on spectacle and pageantry it’s a life changing EXPERIENCE! The orchestra is decked out in their finest whites (accented with the appropriate gold, purple and green of Mardi Gras). They break out parasols, start each set with a parade through the audience and throw out hundreds of Mardi Gras beads over the course of a show. When the parade starts grooving the crowd can't help but have a good time. It's undeniable!!

Brother Joscephus' message is one of righteousness: spread as much love as possible around, regardless of your individual beliefs, race, age, gender, sex, sexual orientation or whatever it is you're into. Long as you're not hurting anyone, BroJo has much love for you and encourages you to fill the space with whatever love you got. That's what the Love Revival Revolution is all about.

Much gratitude for your kind consideration. Be righteous!

"Brother Joscephus is the quintessential festival band - more fun and energy than you can imagine and accessible to all ages - just be sure to put them on last because they're an impossible act to follow.”
- Karen Auster, President, Auster Events NYC;
Director/Booking, Roosevelt LIVE Festival, NYC
(reference: Karen@AusterEvents.com)

"BroJo delivered… they had everyone from 5 to 95 shaking it!”
- Brian Mital, Managing Director, Discover Jazz Festival, Burlington, VT
(reference: brmital@discoverjazz.com)

"You cannot find an act with more instant appeal, accessibility or energy. When you go to a music festival to see what's out there, this is exactly the type of band you pray you'll run into. BroJo is the ULTIMATE festival band !”
- Wylie Stecklow, Founder, Fragment Fest NYC; Director of Entertainment, FIGMENT Fest NYC
(reference: Wylie@WylieLaw.com)

"An 11-piece band that plays secular gospel...get y