Budhi Brown
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Budhi Brown


Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music



Sounding as if they are the soundtrack to a film noir flick, Budhi Brown doesn’t just create saxophone-drenched rock and roll, they ooze subtle sexual imagery without breaking a sweat or being the least bit obnoxious. Their songs explore the seamier side of life, the smoky hotels and back hallways that we know we are better off avoiding, but find ourselves drawn to anyway.

I first stumbled upon Budhi Brown last autumn by downloading their song, “Blue Cadillac”. How this band has managed to elude the big time is a mystery. They play a style which is similar to Morphine’s sax/bass/drum/vocal groove, but the addition of electric guitar opens up their sound and offers new dimensions to the music.

It’s a good thing we have MP3 distribution, for it would be a shame to go through life missing out on music that is as evocative and expressive as Budhi Brown.

Budhi Brown began in Ft. Collins, Colorado in 1997. The group recorded their first album before ever playing out live that same year. The group has been through several line-up changes – as many as 8 people have been in the band. Today, there are currently 3 members: Jim Vegas, who handles the vocals, tritar, and 2-string slide bass, Johnny Shallow on drums and vocals, and Sid Swinger, the band’s heart and soul, on sax. After touring the southwest United States, the band decided to relocate to southern California, where they reside today.

Budhi Brown’s most obvious influence is the band Morphine. I asked sax-man Swinger who else inspires their sound.

“Our instrumentation is nearly identical to Morphine’s,” said Swinger. “They were the inspiration for the tritar. Besides Morphine, you could pick just about any kind of music from any genre and one of us would list it as an influence. Each of our musical backgrounds are very different. We have a lot of blues influences in many of our songs.”

Most bands find that the MP3 phenomenon encourages creation of new songs, and Swinger agrees.

“The MP3 movement has been incredible,” said Swinger. “We’ve gotten new fans from all across the world. We’ve received inquiries from record labels in London and radio stations in Russia. It’s really blown us away. Plus, MP3’s have allowed us to listen to lots of different music that we wouldn’t normally hear or have access to. That always starts the wheels turning in new directions.”

The band plays a lot around southern California, mainly in the Orange County area and Los Angeles. They have opened for such nationally known acts as The Untouchables and Gene Loves Jezebel. They are also planning on opening for Fishbone later this year.

Aware of the pitfalls associated with signing to a major label, Swinger says, “We’re very uneasy about the idea of major labels and have done quite well on our own. We’ve thrown around the idea of creating our own record label, with Internet based distribution. I’m not saying we definitely would turn down the chance to sign with a big label, but I think we’re better off as an indie band. I’ve grown quite attached to my soul, and I’m not quite ready to sell it just yet.”

One last thing was bothering me. I had to know who was driving the Blue Cadillac when the whole band is cruising around.

“We’re all in the driver’s seat. That’s basically what the song’s about, taking charge of your life and living it up. Of course it’s also about letting everyone else worry about the dirty work while you sit back in your plush leather seat and laugh at the world.”

AMP3.com is proud to offer five Budhi Brown songs for immediate download. You may also visit Budhi Brown’s website (www.budhibrown.com) to purchase their self titled EP and a six track disc, Some Kinda Liquor. - Doug Cornell

"OC Weekly"

Budhi Brown has gigged at all the clubs where you would expect to find a struggling local band: the Shack, the 13th Floor, the Tiki Bar, Hogue Barmichael’s. Together just six months, the Huntington Beach-based trio has recorded two self-released indie EPs of their droney, Morphine-influenced sax soul, but don’t look for them in the racks at your local Tower Records. They don’t have a manager, publicist or booking agent. KROQ and MTV rotation? Riight. You’ve probably never heard of Budhi Brown, struggling as they are among jillions of other local bands trying to get your attention.

But on the Net, Budhi Brown has become bona-fide superstars. When amp3.com – a music website that pays unknown indie bands for every song of theirs that gets downloaded – debuted in February, Budhi Brown decided to throw several songs on it to see what would happen. Last month, they found out: their song “Blue Cadillac” was named amp3’s “Pick Hit of the Day” for the second time in several weeks, an honor that netted the band a cool $1,000. Because such pick hits are prominently featured on amp3’s homepage, “Blue Cadillac” went from logging six hits per day to 600 hits per day practically overnight. If the song earns a third pick-hit honor, Budhi Brown will get $10,000.

The only investment we’ve had to make in amp3 is time,” says Seth Mullendore, Budhi Brown’s sax player. “We’re pretty damn happy we got featured.”

They’re also pretty damn lucky. Out of hundreds of bands who have uploaded songs to amp3 in hopes of earning the pick-hit tag, “Blue Cadillac” happened to be the one that amp3 A&R director Doug Cornell liked enough to spotlight. It’s either Cornell or company president Michael Sharp who decides which band to bless. - Rich Kane

"Top Picks"

Showcasing the two-string slide bass and the baritone saxophone, this band sounds like a caffeine induced version of Morphine or the Stray Cats, with comparisons being made to The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion as well. Very groovy and horn heavy, the songs are full of lyrics that fit the late night, smoke-filed barroom atmosphere precisely. This album is refreshing, and well worth checking out, just a little to restricted in its sound. - Impact Press


The Time or the Place - 2003
Wise to Lock the Door (EP) - 2002
The Sleepwalk Album (EP) - 2001
Swim at Your Own Risk (EP) - 2000
Some Kinda Liquor (EP) - 1998


Feeling a bit camera shy


The music of Budhi Brown, Los Angeles' premier rock noir band, has been described as “a car crash between Morphine and The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion” and as the soundtrack to a film noir movie. What makes them so unique is the supplanting of traditional guitar with two instruments rarely found in contemporary rock bands: the two-string slide bass and the baritone saxophone. Budhi Brown's first full-length studio album, "The Time or The Place" was released on 2/24/04. In addition to the three band members, this album also includes tenor saxophonist, Goz Inyama, who has recorded and performed with Macy Gray and Ozomatli.

Budhi Brown is an original band that performs with a jazz/blues ascetic. They’ve been performing and recording together for more than six years, getting their start in Fort Collins, CO. After completing several regional tours, the band relocated to Southern California, where they can be found spreading the word of rock noir throughout dark, smoky, whiskey-drenched lounges.

Begun in February 2004, efforts supporting the release of The Time or The Place initially focused on southern California and are currently widening to include northern California and parts of the Pacific Northwest. Upcoming events include CD listening and release parties, in-store appearances, street promotion, interviews in local publications, local and college radio play, and a music video for their single, “Death is a Flower." The video may be viewed at Launch.com or budhibrown.com.

Thanks for listening!