The Bowery Presents
The Budos Band

The Budos Band

Paul and The Tall Trees

Sat, April 8, 2017

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Brooklyn Bowl

Brooklyn, NY

This event is 21 and over

The Budos Band
The Budos Band
When it came time to title their new album, one decision was easy: “This isn’t The Budos Band IV,” proclaims drummer Brian Profilio. “This isn’t just more of the same.” The Budos Band embarked on an experimental journey since the release of The Budos Band III in 2010, seeking inspiration from sources far and wide.

While wizards use books of spells and alchemy to mix their masterful potions, the Budos employ heavy doses of continent-spanning psychedelic rock to beckon the occult and conjure the supernatural. Hence the title of the band’s fourth album: Burnt Offering.

"We made a conscious decision to embark on a new sound," explains baritone saxophone player Jared Tankel. The heavy, trippy side the group unveiled on The Budos Band III reaches full flower on new tunes like "Aphasia," "Trouble in the Sticks" and particularly the title track “Burnt Offering.” “We were messing around with an old Binson Echorec at practice one night and this loop emerged,” recalls bassist Dan Foder. The droning fuzz guitar is a call to the gods from below and encapsulates the band’s sonic progression perfectly. "This record is fuzzy, buzzy and raw, and more obviously psychedelic," adds Profilio.

Like a cratedigger's classic from a parallel universe, "Tomahawk" melds heavy, distorted guitar riffs with bright blasts of brass and bubbling drums. An eerie, ceremonial vibe awakens the slumbering giant "Into The Fog" and prods it to life.

Driven by melodies, rhythms, and changes that animate muscle and bone to move, yet compel the ear to lean in closer, these full-bodied instrumentals push Budos' music deeper into new territory.

All lingering traces of touchstones of yore—be they Fela Kuti, Dyke and the Blazers, or Black Sabbath—have been wholly absorbed and filtered through the Budos Band's ever-evolving aesthetic. "We sound nothing like our first record anymore," confirms Profilio. Anyone content to just slap the old "Staten Island Afro-soul" tag on Burnt Offering and move on clearly didn't listen to the music first.

The group composed more than two dozen songs in the course of making Burnt Offering, yet only recorded fifteen, further distilling its essence to ten classic cuts for the full-length release. If a new tune failed to capture the rambunctious energy of their live show, if it revised familiar territory or obvious influences, it got cut. Budos was determined to break new ground. "If any band says that's easy to do, they're fooling themselves—and not writing good enough songs," insists Brenneck.

In order to reach the apex of the mountain, the band had to come together like never before. Always a brotherhood, the time spent writing and recording Burnt Offerings saw changes that many bands would have run from, but for the Budos presented opportunities to hone their craft. "Making this record reaffirmed that we work together really well," says Profilio.

Burnt Offering breaks from Budos' earlier records in another significant regard: this is their first album without an outside producer. "We had arrived at a different place sonically and needed see it through completely ourselves," says Tankel. They still praise Daptone mastermind Gabriel Roth, who worked alongside Brenneck co-producing their first three records, but parting ways at this juncture made sense.

"We know exactly where we're at," says Profilio. "We didn't want to have to explain ourselves if we were in pursuit of a specific sound or vibe."

"We made the demo that got us picked up by Daptone in my parents’ basement when I was eighteen years old," Brenneck recalls. "This album is a continuation of that, fifteen years later … with a lot more records under our belts."

After all that time, Budos has become more than a band—it's a brotherhood. "This is a real family band," says Brenneck. "Guys who've been making music for a long time, and friendships that run completely parallel to the music." They still rehearse religiously almost every week, even if some of those rehearsals encompass just as much drinking, socializing, and listening to music as actual practice.

That camaraderie doesn't evaporate when they put their instruments down. On tour, they hit a brewery or pub for lunch en masse before sound check whenever possible, and like to stir up trouble. There are dust-ups and reconciliations. All that kinship comes to a head when they hit the stage. “We’ve seen some things out there that most bands don’t get a glimpse of these days,” suggests Tankel. “All of that craziness just brings us closer together. We couldn’t shake each other if we tried.”

And capturing the intensity of Budos' electrifying shows on wax, making the grooves vibrate with excitement, was one of the biggest challenges of Burnt Offering. "We record live to tape, with minimal effects," Brenneck says. Nowhere to hide, then. The band insisted that each song push the envelope. No room for filler.

The Budos have traveled far and wide—playing across four continents—since the band’s inception. A lifetime of world tours and weekly rehearsals went into the making of Burnt Offering, and the journey is far from over. As long as there are new audiences to thrill and sonic frontiers to explore, they'll forge ahead. "We haven't fulfilled our mission," concludes Profilio. "We're still very hungry."
Paul and The Tall Trees
Paul and The Tall Trees
Paul Schalda–one part of a crazily talented musical family from Staten Island, NY–seems to embody the unexpected overlap of Buffalo Springfield’s rock, The Band’s Americana, John Lennon’s appeal and activism, and Otis Redding’s raw, warm soul. Going back two decades, Schalda has been a part of projects like the ’90s Staten Island hardcore group, Three Steps Up, and Awek–his early-2000s, Brooklyn-based rock band. By 2005 he had Pablo, an acoustic-folk-rock affair that nodded more toward Neil Young than the alternative music scene that was king at the time.

To the uninitiated, this progression of not-long-lasting groups and musical approaches may come across as scattered, or maybe even semi-typical of singer/songwriters like Schalda. But listening to his music, you don’t hear a man of many parts. You hear a sum of his experiences. This singular sound is helped by the fact that his doo-wop crooning father, Will Schalda, Sr., and brother, Will Schalda, have brought energy and inspiration to each record. In Pablo, his brother Will played keyboards and his father provided backing vocals in the studio.

What you can hear in Schalda’s music, no matter which song you hear, is that the road hasn’t been easy. His voice can be hauntingly harsh, yet hopeful and tender, raucous and gravelly one moment, smooth and intimate the next. In his cadences you can feel elation and life–performing on the road, tours funded out of his own pocket, and the hardships it all brought to family and loved ones.
After the second Pablo album in 2009, Schalda decided it was time to step away. He went back to school, got a desk job, and began to think that this is what life would be. Naturally, a new opportunity came calling. Tom Brenneck, of Daptone and Dunham fame, contacted Schalda about playing backing guitar for soul-man Charles Bradley’s tour. Once again, he hit the road. But this time, things were different.

Schalda had left music, only to have it come back. This brought new perspective and approach. And it takes the name of Paul and The Tall Trees. This is all shown in a new LP, being released on Brooklyn’s Big Crown Records. There is a renewed comfort, and an appreciation for even being able to write and perform his music. Yet some things remain: Schalda’s father plays a soulful harmonica on the record, and his brother presses out lyrical chords on the piano and organ. Both contribute to the vocal harmonies you hear. And still Schalda, even being compared to the famous groups and musicians mentioned above, can only call it Rock and Roll and be humbled. “I’m very lucky to be able to do this,” Schalda says. “And I’m extremely happy. Especially for my father. He worked hard for his sons and this record.”
Venue Information:
Brooklyn Bowl
61 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY, 11249
http://www.brooklynbowl.com/