My wife and I first heard about "Funk Powerhouse" Brownout a few years ago on an episode of A&E's Ozzy & Jack's World Detour. It was during Season 2 on an episode entitled Texas, Bloody Texas, wherein son Jack was treating Ozzy Osbourne to covers of Black Sabbath, as well as his own solo songs. Brownout were then moonlighting as Brown Sabbath (their Black Sabbath cover band) and treated Ozzy & Jack to spirited renditions of a few Sabbath staples, whilst bargoers played Chicken Sh*t Bingo. As a direct result of their appearance on Ozzy & Jack's World Detour and praise from Ozzy himself, Brownout/Brown Sabbath were invited to play Ozzfiesta in Mexico. Brownout has released three EP's-worth of Black Sabbath covers with an expanded line-up including vocalist Alex Marrero and in 2018, released a full album of Public Enemy covers entitled, of course, Fear of A Brown Planet. Brownout has, additionally, served as a highly in-demand backing band for artists including Prince, Daniel Johnston, GZA, and Bernie Worrell.
Now, Brownout have returned once more with the announcement of their first proper non-covers album since 2012's Oozy. Brown Sabbath frontman Alex Marrero has now been brought back into the fold as a full-time member of Brownout and they've joined forces with FatBeats Records—together, they previously released Fear of A Brown Planet—to issue said new album, Berlin Sessions. For Berlin Sessions, Brownout recruited esteemed saxophonist, keyboardist, and producer Steve Berlin of Los Lobos fame. Brownout's current line-up includes Gilbert Elorreaga, Mark "Speedy" Gonzales, Greg Gonzalez, Josh Levy, Matthew "Sweet Lou" Holmes, Beto "Bigtoe" Martinez, Adrian Quesada, John Speice, Alex Marrereo, and, Peter Stopchinski. Ahead of Berlin Sessions, Brownout have released two pre-album singles: "Somewhere to Go," as premiered on KCRW, and "Naín," which was recently premiered KUTX 98.9, based out of California and Texas, respectively.
Last month, Brownout did a Tiny Desk Concert for NPR and they treated viewers to spirited renditions of both "Somewhere to Go" & "Naín," along with "You Don't Have to Fall" from their 2017 FatBeats covers EP, Over The Covers. Newest addition Alex Marrero explains, "the name comes from Biblical times and means "a person of great spirit and beauty." It's a name commonly used for gender neutrality. So, it's the story of Naín, a young person who does not fit within the small-minded framework of their birthplace. They are not accepted or understood. It's about the struggle and pain in being different and their subsequent triumph against prejudice and adversity to shine as the individual they knew they were from Day One." Below, you will find a perfectly trippy/spacey animated music video for "Somewhere to Go," as directed by Eduardo Xavier Garcia. Brownout's Berlin Sessions drops this upcoming Friday, March 6, 2020, on FatBeats Records.