Byron Brown and the Derelicts
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Byron Brown and the Derelicts

Band Rock Funk


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"A derelict wind"

January 29, 2009
Byron Brown and the Derelicts are trouble.

I know firsthand.

I had anticipated the standard interview: How long have you played together? Who are your influences? You know the drill.

The three-piece band showed up at my Wailuku office at roughly 3:15pm on a Friday.

"We're going bowling," Brown, sporting a pair of gigantic rock star sunglasses, said.

Impossible, I thought. There's one bowling alley on the island, which happens to be down the street, but it's always closed for league play. Besides, slipping unnoticed past the honchos during business hours is a challenge in my office.

Yet somehow within 15 minutes, there we were, sucking down BYO Heinekens, hurling rocks toward the pins and taking turns strumming Brown's Takamine between rolls.

I was among derelicts. The only question to apply from here on out was, why not?



Drummer James Bowersox, who has been part of this project since it began three years ago, is not the most phenomenal bowler I've met. But I found out at their Dog & Duck show the following night that he is one of the best drummers I've seen. His kit includes at least a dozen pieces, including toms and snares ranging in tone, all of which he uses.

Bass player and backup vocalist Alan Jacob fared better at the game, and coached me on my own. The soft-spoken Galveston, Texas native has been with the band all of three weeks. Anyone who needs proof of his lifelong devotion to music need only observe the symmetric f-shaped soundholes (the kind you see on a cello) tattooed on his upper arms.

Brown rolled on intermittent turns, but didn't keep score. He was jamming most of the time, as he had convinced the woman behind the counter to let him play inside. Between turns I would ask him to explain some of his lyrics.

The song "It's Cool," a funky, catchy tune that you can hear on their MySpace page, is about breaking up with a girl who isn't taking a hint. "Old Man Barbarino" is about a guy who sells second-hand clothes out of his trunk. Brown says that a lot of his lyrics follow a narrative, and many are composites of various experiences he's had.

We were asked to leave the premises at around 4:30pm, surprisingly not due to bad behavior but because that was when the place actually closes.

We headed to Iao Valley to finish the interview and jam some more.

Brown explained the depravity that inspires many of his lyrics as well as the type of music one can expect the band's shows. Their sound, he says, is "all over the place."

Their influences range from Marvin Gaye to various genres of Latin music to, yes, Dave Matthews Band. Their sets comprise mostly originals, but they throw in a few covers including Weezer's "Say It Aint So" and Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get it On."


"What about 'Sweet Home Alabama?'" I asked. "I hate that song."

"I've never wanted to be that band and I never will be," Brown said.

They delivered me, mildly sloshed, back to my office shortly after dark. I agreed to check out their show the following night.

Saturday's show started out pretty low-key despite the band's volume and energy, but by the end of the night the patch of wood that serves as the Dog and Duck's dance floor was pretty packed.

I turned my attention to those in attendance. The bar perked up as soon as the guys started, and the room's energy stayed consistent throughout. The music seemed to have power over the audience—heads bobbed during the funky, high-energy tunes and faces appeared wistful when they broke out slower tunes, especially during "Say It Aint So."

Toward the end of the night Bowersox busted out with a five-minute drum solo. Everyone was floored.

I partially expected debauchery or violence, given that I was among derelicts, but was (somewhat) relieved to find little of either. But there are stories. Brown says that a former bass player once passed out on stage mid-song (he had been playing while lying down). Another time, he tells me, a man carrying a cane topped with a replica of his own head threatened to stab Brown in the chest.

The band doesn't play out all the time, but they do have a couple of shows in the coming weeks. They're set to open for jam band Supertrout at Charley's and The Cellar 744 this weekend, then will tear it up at Wailuku's First Friday in the courtyard of Maui Time's very own lair.

Expect a little trouble and a lot of funk. MTW - MauiTime Weekly

"Loves the Derelicts"


I saw Byron Brown and the Derelicts ["Derelict wind," January 29] at the Dog and Duck this past weekend while on vacation from New Jersey and they blew me away. They played tight and sounded full with great vocals. I have been a touring musician for years and it is near impossible to find a drummer that plays like the Derelicts' drummer. This is a band I will be telling people about!

Scott Thorne, submitted online at


I wish I could go bowling with Kate Bradshaw—she has got to be the hottest and most talented journalist to come through Maui Time Weekly. By the way, Byron Brown and the Derelicts do rock. These boys should have won the battle of the bands. They killed it hands down!

Kevin, submitted online at - Letters to the editor, MauiTime


It's Cool-Single on X92.5 FM Maui Hi

Chilean Lady-Single on X92.5 FM Maui Hi



Aug 30th 2008, the phone rings during one of our live radio interviews. The voice on the other end says, "Would it be okay if Mick Fleetwood's band opens for you tomorrow night?" I looked at my drummer and he responds with, "Well then, I'm going to need a really long drum solo so Mick knows who's show it is." I grinned. What's the reason for this grin, you may ask? Well, you see things weren't always like this.

Three years earlier, I walked into the club where we were performing. It was like any other night, the grimy regulars at the bar, that too familiar stench oozing out from the restrooms, and yet this night was going to be different. This night our bass player would sit down on stage during our second set, proceed to lie down and pass out mid song. As if that wasn't the best way to end the night, our drummer would take it upon himself to not allow the 65 year old bar back to be in his personal space, so he proceeded to pick up his dukes and go the blows with him. The 65 year old man kicked his ass! This was rock and roll in its finest form.

Six months previous to this incident, I had finished playing one of my weekly gigs when a man who plays bass approaches me and tells me to stop being an asshole and start a band with him and his friend. He explains how his band had just broken up a week earlier and he and the drummer are not going to be sitting home another Saturday night.

Forty-eight hours later, Byron Brown and The Derelicts emerge onto the Maui Scene!

Today, through tough lessons and much hard work, we've taken over the airwaves of the Pacific, captivating every stereotypical rocker, hip-hopper, dread-head, country-line-dancer and soul-trainer with our music and stage ruckus! Our shows hold not only the interest of the fans, but the bar owners, promoters, and vendors such as Budweiser, Odwalla Juice Co among others. The music infects them like a fungus that you need medication for. If you like a show and real original music then tune-in and experience the reverberation of Byron Brown and The Derelicts.