Bushmaster review…December 27, 2019

BUSHMASTER

FEAT. GARY BROWN

DANCING IN THE BELLY OF THE BEAST

PROFILE–AJAX AND HOT WAX–A SONG FOR FREDDIE GRAY–THE BLUES–NOWHERE TO STAND–MUSHROOM–MISS SEXYFINE–FORTY ACRES AND A MULE–ARMY OF TWO–THE ELEVATOR–PRESSURE COOKER–JEKYLL AND HYDE–PROFIT FROM PAIN–THING BACK HOME

Gary Brown grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D. C., and the varied nature of his parents’ record collection exposed him to blues, funk, rock, and a lot more.  He fell in love with the blues, but, after forming his band, Bushmaster, in 1992, they came with more of a funkier, blues-rock sound.  They’ve released four albums, and their latest is entitled “Dancing In The Belly Of The Beast.”  Laid down in Nashville at The Sound Emporium, Gary is on guitar and vocals.  Two Music City legends are also on board, Tracy Nelson and Vickie Carrico, on backing vocals.

Gary’s versatility in composing is outstanding.  Witness the “Song For Freddie Gray,” dedicated to those oppressed, and a stern lesson to those who “weren’t in my shoes.”  A scathing wah-wah attack is the mid-song solo.  “Nowhere To Stand” is a slow-blues ode to the Black Lives Matter movement and the senseless loss of life thru gun violence on both sides of the badge.

Gary strikes a lighter mode for a love song dedicated to that special one, “Army Of Two.”  He then goes the polar opposite route with the story of a changed lover.  It’s the slow-blues, “long journey” that chronicles living with a “Jekyll And Hyde.”

We had two favorites, that bookend the album.  It’s been nearly fifty years since Marvin Gaye asked “What’s Goin’ On,” and it seems that the nation has returned to Square One in the arena of civil rights.  Gary addresses this symptom of society in the leadoff cut, a spit in the eye to racial profiling, the socially-conscious “Profile.”  The set ends on an acoustic note, firing a roundhouse right into the corpulent belly of the beast himself, and, yeah, we may be “winning bigly,” but, “the SOB is cray!”

Bushmaster featuring Gary Brown and “Dancing In The Belly Of The Beast” is a powerful statement of contemporary blues that takes dead aim at the ills in society today.  This is a brilliant set from one of the most unique players on the scene today!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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