The Austin-based, funk collective Brownout will pay tribute to heavy metal legends Black Sabbath at StageOne at Fairfield Theatre Company this Thursday, Sept. 11.
Brownout is a psychedelic funk band that began as a side project 10 years ago from the Latin band Grupo Fantasma. Last September, Brownout began to rearrange Black Sabbath tunes as part of a themed night gig back in Austin. When the band, half-joking, came up with “Brown Sabbath,” there was an instant reaction from fans.
Since then, Brownout has played across the country, from the Brooklyn Bowl to Bonnaroo and the Bear Creek Music Festival. Their latest album, “Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath,” which was released this year, was focused solely on Brown Sabbath. In addition, Brownout has released all-original albums including “Homenaje,” “Aguilas & Cobras” and “Oozy.”
On their new record, Brown Sabbath’s “Iron Man” and “The Wizard” are infused with three-part horn lines, heavy drums, percussion, two guitars and funky bass. Beto Martinez stated that many fans tell Brown Sabbath, “It sounds like Sabbath should have had horns all along.” Expect to hear other favorites from the Black Sabbath like “Electric Funeral,” “Into the Void” and “Hand of Doom.” Along with Alex Maas of the Black Angels on vocals, the band is reinventing the Black Sabbath as we know it.
Recently, Ozzy Osbourne, lead singer of the Black Sabbath, was quoted calling the Brown Sabbath’s performance of “The Wizard” as “great” by the Boston Globe.
Brown Sabbath has been referred to as Brownout’s alter ego, but in fact they are one in the same. “Brownout opens with a set of original material and then Brown Sabbath comes on,” said Martinez. Brownout or Brown Sabbath, these are the same guys who all grew up together in Austin, love funk, Latin and metal music and share a passion for Black Sabbath.
After touring out west, the band is excited to come to FTC for the first time. The small venue of StageOne puts everyone face-to-face with the band. “It’s fun, party music,” said Martinez, but they “keep the heaviness and sentiment” of Black Sabbath.
No matter if they are playing with Prince, GZA of Wu-Tang Clan or covering Black Sabbath, they take their music seriously and have fun doing so. After the tour, Brownout will head back home to work on a new original album in their home studio. Martinez felt that the band’s experience with Brown Sabbath has influenced their original material, leading them to a deeper, hard-hitting funk.