Gary Brown (Guitar/Vocals) is a DC area native (Palmer Park) with 30+ years playing experience. After picking up his first guitar (an old Guild acoustic) at age 14, the 45 year old Brown quickly progressed to electric and after stints with various local...
Gary Brown (Guitar/Vocals) is a DC area native (Palmer Park) with 30+ years playing experience. After picking up his first guitar (an old Guild acoustic) at age 14, the 45 year old Brown quickly progressed to electric and after stints with various local bands, most notably The Spoilers, and sitting in around DC area clubs he decided to take the plunge and form his own group in 1992.
Bushmaster - Drowning on Dry Lan
Written, Produced, and Performed by Gary D. Brown of the band Bushmaster: featuring Jay Turner and Anthony Setola on Bass; Greg Phillips, El Toro Gamble, and Nick Bertling on drums/percussion; and Henry "Rusty" Morton, Lori Rudolph, Allie and Megan Bannigan, Trudi Brown, Max Muller, and Charlene Brown on guest/backup vocals
Independently Released on August 25, 2006, Bushmaster's second CD is an inspiring collection of original tunes varying from Blues, Rock, Funk, and Rap. Gary's blazing guitar style is even more riveting (if that's possible) than his captivating live performances, you will be glued to your stereo all the way through the album. Influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, Frank Marino, Freddy King, and Funkadelic alike, the music on this CD is sure to please a wide spectrum of music lovers.
New York Waste - Summer 2007 by Starr Tucker This summer's screamer goes out to BUSHMASTER and their mellow, fast rocker "Drowning On Dry Land". Rollin blues with a pick-up full of licks, real music for great times - smooth whiskey tunes that...
PensEyeView Artist Spotlight July 1-2, 2007 by PensEyeView.com I find the cover art of Bushmaster aka Gary Brown's latest release "Drowning on Dry Land" beyond suitable; an outstretched arm-clenching a guitar or as most musicians call it-an axe, busting...
New York Waste - Summer 2007 by Starr Tucker This summer's screamer goes out to BUSHMASTER and their mellow, fast rocker "Drowning On Dry Land". Rollin blues with a pick-up full of licks, real music for great times - smooth whiskey tunes that go the distance. Imagine Hendrix on tour with Taj Mahal, lost in PA on their way to Chicago... friggin brilliant.
PensEyeView Artist Spotlight July 1-2, 2007 by PensEyeView.com I find the cover art of Bushmaster aka Gary Brown's latest release "Drowning on Dry Land" beyond suitable; an outstretched arm-clenching a guitar or as most musicians call it-an axe, busting through cracked dry land. For years Brown has been establishing himself as one of the premier musicians in music, busting through clubs with the swagger and ownership of a wild west outlaw. His guitar playing rivals the great blues and rock stars that helped establish what it means to be a true rock star. "Drowning on Dry Land" is filled with energetic and fierce guitar riffs that would make the guitar Gods of a time long past--Clapton, Hendrix, Page, to name a few, proud to know that their work of establishing the ability to master the guitar an art in its own. Brown summons their goal to keep "real" rock music alive and beating wherever he travels (which Brown calls, addictive). Like most musical road warriors, playing show after show, night after night, winning over the crowd with his larger than life presence. That presence is what makes Brown very popular. He commands the stage, sometimes shirtless, contorting all the muscles in his body, from face to toes, as he maneuvers chords, resulting from years of practice. As long as there is life in Brown's body, I believe he will keep on astonishing audiences...and right now Brown's life seems to be rolling along rather smoothly. Have axe will travel. Read his XXQs to find out more.
XXQs: Gary Brown
PEV: How and when did you first get involved in music?
GB: Almost from birth. My parents had an extensive collection of blues, big band jazz, and R&B that I would listen to almost non-stop. I got my first guitar at age 12 (a guild acoustic), and I haven't looked back since.
PEV: What was it like the first time you stepped into a studio to record your own music?
GB: Exhilarating. Terrifying. And yet somewhere I belonged.
PEV: Is there a certain atmosphere you surround yourself in when you write music?
GB: Yeah, life (LOL). Seriously though, I know some people immerse themselves in settings that facilitate relaxation, and therefore creativity. That's generally not how I do it. Songs just come to me and there's really no rhyme or reason to it. I just try to get out of my own way.
PEV: Tell us about the creation of your latest album, "Drowning on Dry Land"?
GB: Writing the album was a reaction/statement inspired by that aforementioned "life" thing. I wasn't living in the safest of neighborhoods, or necessarily keeping the best company. But I think ultimately, good did come out of it. You know, from the grain of sand grows the pearl, from pressure coal becomes diamonds, and all that.
PEV: Describe the feeling when you first started to write " Drowning on Dry Land".
GB: In a word, liberating.
PEV: What do all your friends and family think about your music?
GB: I generally get the impression they think I'm doing the right thing, and they really seem to be feeling it. I can't overstate how gratifying this is, and how much I appreciate them for it. There has been the odd person here and there for whom my music is not their cup of tea, but no one likes everything, right?
PEV: How has life on the road been for you? GB: Addictive. It's where I feel I belong.
PEV: If I were to walk into your house/and studio right now, what is one thing I would be surprised to find?
GB: Me there (ha ha). Let me see, hmmm, that would probably be my pair of musk turtles.
PEV: When you are not working, what do you like to do?
GB: Think about working. After that, watching movies with my wife, and my guilty pleasure - boxing.
PEV: What can someone expect from a live Gary Brown show?
GB: To be transported (albeit temporarily) away from your troubles and worries, and brought with us to a place of joyful celebration, and funkiness.
PEV: What is the best part about playing live?
GB: Hmm, that's a hard one to answer. There are many different good things about playing live, catharsis among others.
PEV: What other artist right now should people be watching out for?
GB: Geez, I'm afraid I'm really out of the loop as far as current artists go. I can tell you which of my current peers totally kick my butt. Jay Turner (www.jayaturner.com) writes some great stuff, is a great musician, and a hell of a nice guy - check him out! Another good friend of mine, Dayne Shannon (guitarist), has a band called Serving The Industry (www.servingtheindustry.com) that totally rocks! These are the first guys that come to mind.
PEV: In all your travels, which city do you think offers the best music scene?
GB: All of them. (laughs) Lemme see... Baltimore is pretty jumpin', it seems to be the place where the players interact in a mutually beneficial manner.
PEV: What drives you to continually create great music?
GB: The satisfaction of exposing your innards and having people not only understand you, but empathize with you as well.
PEV: Which venue is a favorite place to perform and why? GB: I'd have to say the Ram's Head Tavern in Savage Mill, MD, Ôcause those people really know how to party. And though I know you asked for one venue, I also have to mention the Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD, it's also a very happening place (with the coolest owner and staff).
PEV: What is one thing we'd be surprised to hear about Gary Brown?
GB: Sometimes I tear-up watching a particularly poignant movie. I'll still take anyone in a fight though (LOL).
PEV: Which artist do you feel has had the most influence on you?
GB: Oh no, this question... I just can't single out one person. But if you're gonna make me say... I dunno, Freddy King? Yeah! (I also could have easily chosen fifty other guys including Hendrix, Eric Gales, Robin Trower, George Clinton, Sly Stone, Frank Marino, Johnny Winter, Miles Davis...)
PEV: What is a normal day like for Gary Brown? GB: There is no such thing, is there? I play guitar, go for walks, watch cable, same as anybody else.
PEV: Finish this sentence, "The most embarrassing moment at a gig was when." GB: I can't really think of anything since I tend to take things in stride (although my band mates may beg to differ - LOL).
PEV: 20. So, what is next for Gary Brown? GB: Hopefully just to keep making more music, and keep on keeping on
HBG Online - CD Review - February 2008 by Crazy John “Drowning On Dry Land” 11 tracks of Funky Rock/Blues from Bushmaster. This cd is an inspiring collection of original Blues tunes with Rock, Funk, and Rap influences and a riveting blazing guitar style with high Hendrix content to it. Gary Brown and Bushmaster have actually taken the sounds of Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan and updated it into this century. This cd has one captivating blues song after the other that should keep you listening.
City of Hagerstown Advisory
12th Annual Western Maryland Blues Fest
Plan to be in Downtown Hagerstown on June 1, 2 and 3, 2007 for the 12th annual Western Maryland Blues Fest (www.blues-fest.org) - Hagerstown's community house party featuring a jam-packed weekend of performances by an impressive lineup of national, regional and local blues and jazz musicians. Led by a cadre of committed volunteer organizers and hosted by the City of Hagerstown, Blues Fest represents a unique partnership between city government and local business sponsors as they team together to create an incredible community celebration. You won't want to miss out on the extra fun and special activities that planners have in store for Blues Fest 2007 including continuation of the free Thursday lunchtime and Sunday City Park events together with Friday evening's expanded Lotta Blues Show and Saturday's wildly popular multi-stage Downtown House Party! In 2007, Saturday will once again run later into the evening, giving your tickets even more value!
Residents and guests can treat themselves to a lunchtime sampling of the coming weekend's festivities by attending the Blues Fest's popular Blues Prelude concert on Thursday, May 31, in University Plaza on West Washington Street. Located beside the downtown campus of University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, this beautiful urban green space will host a free, 2-hour concert featuring the original blues of Bushmaster with electric guitarist Gary Brown of Carlisle, PA followed by the talents of Hagerstown's Rhythm Kings featuring local guitar hero Lewis Palladino. Thursday's lunchtime fun runs from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. and is free to the public.
The three-day Blues Fest proper kicks off on Friday, June 1 with our Lotta Blues Show starting at 4:30 p.m. and continuing until 9:30 p.m. from our festival main-stage located in the City's Central Parking Lot off North Potomac Street. The sounds of Hagerstown's harmonica-led Ronnie Ray and the Coolers will kick off Friday evening opening festivities followed by The Bobby Flurie Band of nearby Frederick, MD. The classic Chicago blues of Nora Jean Bruso and her fine band will then take to the stage preceding a closing set of sensational electric guitar from the internationally acclaimed Walter Trout & The Radicals. You'll want to visit Blues Fest's website (www.blues-fest.org) as soon as possible to purchase advance tickets for Friday's exciting show.
On Saturday June 2, Blues Fest ramps into high gear in the Central Lot showcasing its unique Downtown House Party where alternating stages featuring eight different acts which pump nearly continuous blues and jazz performances from noon until approximately 9:30 p.m. Performances will include highly regarded national artists including past and present Grammy and Blues Music Award winners and/or nominees as well as new and noteworthy regional talent. Food, beverages, souvenirs and comfort facilities are all available within the festival site, so you won't need to miss a note.
Premier national artists appearing Saturday include legendary Chicago bluesman James Cotton and his fabulous harmonica skills together with, by popular demand, a sizzling Blues Fest 2007 encore performance by young guitar phenomenon, Joe Bonamassa. These can't-miss, got-to-see stage closers will be preceded by a variety of bands and performers: 8-string jazz guitar by Charlie Hunter Trio; Louisiana-based bluesman John Mooney and Bluesiana; Delta acoustic legend "Honeyboy" Edwards; sacred lap-steel artists, The Campbell Brothers; the vocal stylings of Ruby Hayes from Washington, D.C. and many more! More information, performer links, maps, directions and precise stage times are listed at Blues Fest's website, www.blues-fest.org. You just HAVE to come witness what many consider the best single event in Western Maryland!
On Sunday, June 3, the Blues Fest continues its tradition of giving back to the community with the free Family Blues Picnic in Hagerstown's aesthetically lush City Park. Sunday events begin at noon at the Band Shell and conclude at 5:00 p.m. Preceded by three exciting regional and local acts including the acclaimed Mary Ann Redmond Band, Chicago's exciting blues saxman Eddie Shaw and The Wolf Gang will close out our weekend fun. You'll want to consider a lawn-chair or blanket to get into the laid-back Sunday park vibe.
Wait, there's more!! Saturday and Sunday will both feature musical workshops, an exhibition of the works of Blues Fest 2007 graphic artist Mike O'Brien and a myriad of free, special kids' activities at designated Kids Jam Too children's areas sponsored by CitiGroup. As more activities are constantly being added to bring additional spice to this fantastic community celebration, please periodically re-visit Blues Fest's website, www.blues-fest.org, for evolving and updated information about the weekend's events including precise stage times.
Call 301-791-3246 or go to www.blues-fest.org for ticket information. For other festival information, visit the Blues Fest website or call 301-739-8577, ext. 116.
Guitar Player Magazine - April 2007 by Michael Molenda, Editor Bushmaster
Silver Spring, Maryland
“Drowning on Dry Land”
Gary Brown’s songwriting and guitar chops are Zip-Locked to the Hendrix school, and his lack of a truly individual approach almost tanked his appearance here. Luckily, Brown is massively funky, and uncorks truckloads of energy. And the wah solo at 1:28—as well as the maniacal outro—totally kick ass.
The first release for me is BUSHMASTER, Drowning On Dry Land. It is Blues at it's best .GARY BROWN writes the songs and he's quite good at his craft.I really like the whole album,I have to tell you, as each song tracks,I smile,cause the guy has it going on.I love great blues, and this guy is quite a bluesman. The lyrics blow me away. The first cut "Drowning On Dry land" features some blistering guitar work. That Fender sings sweetly. I don't expect much from the vocal end of things, but you can't help but love the Blues. And BUSHMASTER delivers in every sense of the word.
My favorite cut,though, is "COSMIC FUNK". I just wish there wasn't the talking under the music.The next cut" SONG FOR MY FATHER", floors me. The man knows what he I would like to tell you BUSHMASTER delivers Blues at it's best. I thank him for sharing it with me. My only complaint is that I get the feeling that the sound effects ruin the music. I sure don't like sound effects in my music. It makes me stop listening because I don't appreciate sirens in my music. That is a minor complaint. I like pure blues, not the sound effects. The incomparable JAY TURNER plays Bass at their CD release party at THE RAM'S HEAD TAVERN in Savage, MD. I am having a hard time finding out who else is on the disc liner notes just aren't what they used to be.The bottom line is that if you like the Blues hard and fast, you will love this CD…
Rootstime (from Belgium) reviews "Live & Blue" by Rootstime I received another humbling review from Rootstime today. This is a publication based in Belgium, and it was written in their language which is closest to Dutch. After utilizing several online translation services, I was truly humbled to read their glowing review. - Thank you Rootstime!
Here it is (both in Dutch and English) for your perusal. Please leave me (and them) a comment with your opinion of the disc and/or review. The website is http://www.rootstime.be/, and their myspace page is http://www.myspace.com/rootstime (in my top friends).
You may not realize it from many of today's blues albums but the blues was once real and you could feel it. Bushmaster's new live album "Live & Blue" landed through the letterbox at Bluesbunny Towers recently and we felt we had to review it just in case it was the real thing.
Live & Blue
There's a way to do things when you play blues guitar and this album from Bushmaster is an object lesson in how to do things. It's a live album that tells it like it is, warts and all. The sound is nothing special but who cares as it's all about coming back from the crossroads inspired and ready to make it all work on stage.
It is also something of an oddity nowadays as most blues albums are polished to an inch of perfection. Here you can damn near smell the sweat. The band lay down a demon groove but it is Gary D Brown's guitar that sells this set. He's always had the spirit of Hendrix in him (and it's still there in "Drowning on Dry Land") but this time out he plays the kind of laid back but elegant blues guitar that brought back memories of Freddie King. The thing to note is the discipline of his playing, however. The guitar is the star but this recording is a long way from self indulgence. That fret board get worked - that's for sure - but everything is in the right place. Emotion and atmosphere abound. "Thousand Miles from Nowhere" was like time travel to late sixties Chicago and some backstreet blues club with nothing but cigarettes and whiskey for company. That's something that is lost on your rock guitarists - that expression of emotion that the true masters of their instrument can bring.
This album has no pretensions. It is rough around the edges but it is the blues and the fact that I have been playing it every day for the last week speaks volumes. I wish I could play guitar like Gary D Brown - I really do.
Review by: Bluesbunny
4 carrot rating
Best enjoyed with Wild Turkey
Live & Blue," the latest release from Bushmaster featuring Gary D. Brown, is so good, it'll make you wish your lady would leave you, your dog would die and you'd loose your job, just so you and the band would have something to talk about.
The live album, an amalgamation of original pieces and works inspired by and improved from blues classics, sees Brown kicking out barnburners and slow jams with equal aplomb. The Carlisle-based musician plays guitar like a drummer, switching deftly between staccato rhythms and fluid melodies.
Featured track "Night Shift" is a seven minute ode to the lengths a person will go to for good lovin'. Brown, bassist Jay A. Turner and Mark St. Pierre, one of two drummers to play on the album, are all in excellent form. Turner showcases his acrobatic bass skills, his rhythms bobbing and weaving with as much pomp as a young Cassius Clay. St. Pierre coaxes a jaunty, hopping rhythm from his set, keeping the whole piece on its toes. And out front, Brown rips off some smokin' syncopated licks in his typically muscular tone, his throaty baritone prowling and growling. The best part of Brown's ability is how he plays the silences. He lets the song breath, understanding that not every moment needs to overflow with notes.
That's the way the whole album plays out, really; good, solid blues, from slow jams like "Have You Ever Been Mistreated (Nine Below Zero)," with lyrics improvised from Sonny Boy Williams II's "Nine Below Zero" and Eddie Boyd's "Five Long Years," to the hurts-to-the-bone original "Drowning On Dry Land."
For Fans Of: Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Elmore James and herpetology
New York Waste - Fall 2008 by Starr Tucker Damn that man can play... BUSHMASTER send me their latest "Live and Blue" featuring Gary Brown. Chicago blues with a truck load of groove, the perfect soundtrack for kicking back and getting stoned. Solid rocking tunes that go the distance - full on 'till morning & then some...
• Album Info •
Bushmaster Review :: Shinbone :: Pennsylvania's Free Music Monthly
Mike Staugaitis (Bio)
Big Bang Audio
Drowning on Dry Land
Bushmaster may sound like a rifle you would use to hunt buck. But in reality it is Gary Brown, a blues guitarist and singer from Carlisle.
The Bushmaster does not need a rifle to make an impression on the ears. He uses a six string Strat and his bluesy, gravel-rough voice on his latest offering titled "Drowning on Dry Land.
The album kicks off with an up-tempo blues rocker in "Good Life," where Brown shows off his considerable skills as a guitarist with a great riff and few well placed solos as he sings about sharing his soul and singing his song. It gets things rolling down the highway and sets the tone for the rest of the proceedings.
One immediately thinks of the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughn as the albums moves into the second and title track "Drowning on Dry Land," which is also Bushmaster's featured track for the album. The track, like the opening one, shows off Brown's impressive chops.
The Bushmaster is not satisfied with making blues rock songs exclusively. He dips his toes in the funk waters with the aptly titled "Cosmic Funk" and excellent and bouncy "Big Back Yard." Another highlight of the album is "Sweet Olivia," which could almost be a lost Cream song featuring lead vocals by Henry "Rusty" Morton.
Brown shows his social conscious in spots on the album. He tackles racism with "Hard Word." Brown's intentions are certainly in the right place but the track comes off as ham fisted compared to the rest of the album with its spoken word parts in the second half of the song. "Ghetto All Over the World" is a better example that more successfully and elegantly bears Brown's concern for injustices and social wrongs with a great vocal bit on the chorus by Lori Rudolph.
Brown surrounds himself with many talented musicians and they all seem up to the task of matching him and bringing out the best in his songs. "Chains" and "Glass House Dweller" are two tracks that make that crystal clear. "Chains" opens up with a crunchy, staggering guitar and bass riff. The track slows to a stomp about two minutes in. The album ends with the hopeful and warm "Song For my Father," where he passes on advice given to him from his father in the track's opening lines.
For Fans of:
Stevie Ray Vaughn – Texas Flood, The Black Keys – Magic Potion, Galatic – Ruckus
Gary Brown, gitarist en leider van de Amerikaan bluesrockband Bushmaster, is samen met Eric Gales, van wie ik de nieuwe cd volgende week zal bespreken, de man die de fakkel van Jimi Hendrix kan verder dragen, want zoals ik vorige week al zei, de brievenbus zit dezer dagen overvol met jonge gitaargoden die zich laven aan de bron van Jimi en Stevie. Dit is er ook weer zo ééntje, en niet van de minsten. Een van de minst bekenden misschien wel, want op het internet is er bitter weinig van hem te vinden, geen echte eigen website, buiten grote hoeveelheden foto's van live-optredens,en zijn eigen MySpace, zo goed als geen info! Dan maar verder met hetgeen we vinden op MySpace: 35 jaar, van gekleurde origine, uit Pennsylvania. Dat is het zowat, maar is al die info ook belangrijk? Waar 't om gaat is de muziek, en die bevalt me wel, moderne bluesy gitaarrock met hoog Hendrixgehalte, zoals ik al zei. Reeds vanaf de eerste noten in de intro van opener "Good Life" is de overeenkomst merkbaar, veel fuzz, veel wah-wah, een ook qua stem zijn er veel gelijkenissen. De titelsong "Drowning On Dry Land" heeft iets "Voodo Child" achtigs. "Hard Word" ademt de sfeer van "The Wind Cries Mary". Maar soms gaat het er dan weer heel eigentijds aan toe: "Cosmic Funk" is heel funky met rap fragmenten, stadsgeluiden en natuurlijk weer die allesoverheersende scheurende gitaar. Het tweede buitenbeentje is "Big black Yard" met schratching geluidjes, rap en een huppelende funkbas, al is de stem en intonatie van Gary hier 100 procent Hendrix. Het grote aantal live fotos, lovende reacties op een forum en een aantal filmpjes op "You Tube" en "My Space" doen ons vermoeden dat Bushmaster zeer de moeite waard zijn als liveband. Overtuig Uzelf!
A rough translation from Dutch to English utilizing several free online translation sites is as follows:
Gary Brown, guitarist and leader of the American blues-rock band Bushmaster (together with Eric Gales, whose new CD I will discuss next week), is the man that can further carry the torch of Jimi Hendrix; for as I already said last week, the mailbox has become overflowing with young guitar gods who slake themselves to the source of Jimi and Stevie. However he is not just another clone. And of the slightest well known perhaps, for on the internet there is to be found extremely little of him, no real bio information on his own website, outside large quantities of live-action photographs! Furthermore what we found on MySpace: 35 years old, of colored origin, from Pennsylvania. That is about it, but is all that info really important? Where it goes is the music, and that pleases me well, modern bluesy guitar-rock with high Hendrix content, as I said already. Already from the first notes in the opening song, "Good Life," is the likeness noticeable, many fuzz, many wah-wah, and also the vocals have many resemblances. The title song "Drowning On Dry Land" has some aching of "Voodoo Child". "Hard Word " breathes in " Wind Cries Mary". But sometimes it goes very contemporary: "Cosmic Funk" is wholly funky, with quick fragments of city sounds, and naturally again that overpowering tearing guitar. The second funky groove is "Big Back Yard" it's voiced with scratching sounds, rap and a skipping funk beat, already and intonation of Gary here 100 per cent Hendrix. The large number live photographs, laudatory reactions on a forum and a number of films on "You Tube" and "My Space" do we suspect that Bushmaster worth the trouble as a live band. Convince Yourself!
It is said that life is full of regrets. We would indeed have regretted missing the music of Bushmaster. But for a chance encounter on MySpace, we might never have known about this fearsome slice of electric blues featuring the exceptional guitar talents of a certain Gary Brown.
It is not just standard blues fayre either. The lyrics show political and social awareness relevant to today - take "Hard Word" for example. Not that it is all social commentary however. "Cosmic Funk" is one long mesmeric groove. "Big Back Yard" is a steamroller of a song driven along with bone crushing precision by the drumming of El Toro Gamble. There is a sensitive side on show as well in "Ghetto All over the World". Picking a favourite song from this album was a hard task but we eventually chose "Your Song". A simple song starting with just a click track, it builds beautifully into a lament for lost love. Gary gives his best vocal performance on this track as well.
Ok, so he has a bit of a Hendrix fixation but Gary Brown plays his guitar with real fire in his belly. We suppose it might be considered the ultimate compliment but we wish we could play the guitar just like him. Stirring stuff, indeed. If you will excuse us, we have to put the CD back on, pick up our air guitar and play along once more. Just the kind of music to remind us all that it is a good life!
Robin Trower, Randy California, Frank Marino, Randy Hansen, Eric Gales, even Stevie Ray Vaughan to an extent, the list of Jimi Hendrix imitators goes on. It would be too easy and an injustice to list Gary Brown of Bushmaster in with those names for while the spirit and the sound of Jimi Hendrix looms large over the "Drowning On Dry Land" CD Gary Brown and Bushmaster have actually taken that sound and updated it and dragged it kicking and screaming into the 21st century and made it their own. Much like the Band Of Gypsys at the end of Hendrix's career (and just before his untimely demise) Bushmaster funk up their rock sound much like a fitter, trimmer Buddy Miles. They've actually come the closest I've heard to imagining where Hendrix would have gone with his sound had he lived. Despite the many Hendrix references Bushmaster is their own band and it is a very fine band at that. And hats off to engineer Ronni Santmyer for a high quality recording emphasizing the funk and r & b in Bushmaster's brand of rock. While vocally Gary Brown may be "a bit pitchy in spots, Dawg" you're really not here for the vocals anyway but for that guitar. And can Gary Brown play! YEEEAAH! Far beyond paying homage to his hero Gary Brown is a fiery, emotive guitarist who really can light up a recording with his playing. If you're looking for a new guitar hero look no further. Gary Brown is it and Bushmaster is your band.
Coconut Times - Coco Nights - June 26, 2009 by Brenda Golden ... The Steer Inn is proud to bring back an incredible guitarist, Gary Brown "The Bushmaster." Talking with Gary the last time he was here, he told me that so many influenced his playing but his two major idos were Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Brown started playing at the young age of 12 in palmer Park, MD, where he was next-door neighbors with a name that is legendary in the boxing world, Sugar Ray Leonard. Brown says, "he really mad a name for himself, didn't he, but my head was always into the music." I'd say Gary Brown has made a name for himself too. Over the years he has developed his own effortless flashy style and has recorded three CDs, one recorded live and titled Live & Blue, and the other, Drowning On Dry Land, both full of his original material. You'll be impressed, as I was, at the huge talent that is Gary Brown "The Bushmaster," live at the Steer Inn. ...
Pennsylvania Musician - CD Review - Jan 2009 by Bushmaster - Live & Blue
Based in Carlisle, Bushmaster is the blues band brainchild of Washington, DC-born guitarist and singer Gary Brown. The group's latest CD, Live & Blue, captures highlights from two Carlisle area shows, and features live performances of Bushmaster original songs and blues classics. Through the disc's course, listeners will learn that Brown easily knows his way around a guitar fretboard, and that he channels not just blues influences, but rock and funk as well, into his own distinct style and flavor. Instrumental interaction is a constant highlight on Live & Blue, as Brown and his band mates; bassist Jay Turner, and drummers Mark St. Pierre and Joe Schrum; mix it up and play off one another to create some dazzling musical magic. This interaction especially shines on the funky album-opener "Night Shift," the instrumental "Nappy's Boogie," and the nearly 12-minute Jimi Hendrix-flavored blues-rock workout "Good Life." Brown communicates with his guitar, conveying sullen emotion and feeling with his performances on Sonny Boy Williams II/Muddy Waters' "Have You Ever Been Mistreated (Nine Below Zero)" and his own slow blues original "Thousand Miles from Nowhere." Brown and Bushmaster sound like they're having fun on the funky and playful read of Albert Collins' "Lights On, Nobody Home" and Roy Alfred/Ray Charles' "I Got News" (featuring David Ison on rhythm guitar and vocals); as well as the spirited blues-rock of "Drowning on Dry Land" and the upbeat shuffle "Four Times Better." The disc finishes with a bonus track performance of Elmore James' "The Sky Is Crying." Recorded and mixed by Paul Wegmann and mastered by Brad Blackwood at Euphonic Masters in Memphis, Live & Blue sounds genuine as it retains the rough edges and imperfections without sounding squeaky clean. Listeners will hear these tunes as they were performed, and experience the nuances of these performances as they happened. Live & Blue offers honest and gritty live blues, and is an impressive live document of the talents of Gary Brown and what he and Bushmaster bring to the live stage. (The CD can be obtained through Bushmaster's Myspace website, www.myspace.com/bushmasterblues.)
Whenever we get a new CD from and artist we're unfamiliar with and that artist happens to be African-American, I do experience totally different feelings from those I'd have if the artist were from a different racial/cultural group. I hope and pray the artist will be serving up a very enjoyable disc so that he/she will be able to (a) make a living from playing The Blues, (b) keep the Blues Heritage thing going especially with the massive number of deaths we've seen in the last decade, (c) set an example to Black (and White) youth that there's a music much more meaningful and positive than most Rap/Hip Hop. In most cases the CDs we do get from young Black artists (Leo Key, Kemp Harris, Billy Jones a.o.) are very rewarding and entertaining and Bushmaster is no exception. Recorded live in an Ohio venue that's not listed on the album insert, the first track. "Night Shift", emphasizes bandleader Gary D. Brown's lyrical strengths (Hard to keep your nose clean woman face-down in the dirt") while he blazes Buddy Guy-style licks on his guitar and employs teasing doses of wah-wah and distortion and/or boosters. Drummer Mark St. Pierre (on 4 tracks) and bassist Jay Turner round out this hot little Power Trio (with various guests). "Have You Ever Been Mistreated" is a tour-de-force that should have deejays and Record Label A&R folks going gaga. Imagine "Electric Ladyland" and "I Was Walking Through The Woods" merged with sparks flying everywhere. "Nappy's Boogie" is downright astonishing for its' intensity and stunning talent level and for those guitar freaks who love their Hendrix overdrive the closing cut, "Good Life" with Brown and Dayne Shannon on guitar is something out-of-this-world and guaranteed to straighten your hair. This is a totally mid-blowing album and if Bushmaster had been around in 1972 I'm sure George Clinton would've been recruiting them for Funkadelic. On that note, someone somewhere has to see/hear the incredible potential exhibited and sign these guys up. They are far too phenomenal to be toiling on the bar circuit in relative anonymity. Especially when one can easily picture them playing to thousands of screaming fans in Switzerland, Holland or Japan. 5 Bursting Bottles for a mind blower of an introduction. Guitar magic abounds on this totally high-octane steamroller of an album. Quite possibly the Finest Blues/Rock union of the last decade. Makes you wish you were there!
... A. Grigg
Gary Brown, frontman for the blues-rock band Bushmaster, recently sat down with the Sun-Gazette to talk about his 30 years as a guitarist, his work with the band and his upcoming visit to Williamsport.
Bushmaster's discography includes "Consider the Source," "Drowning on Dry Land" and "Live & Blue." They will perform at 10 p.m. Jan. 30 at Rumrunners Pub and Eatery, 341 N. Market St.
Jackie Szymanski: First of all, I'm curious about the name "Bushmaster." Where did that come from?
Gary Brown: Well, No. 1, it's the name of a snake that I'm into. I'm into snakes and the bushmaster is a type of pit viper. It's also an analogy for being deadly as far as taking care of business, you know. If I set out to slay a group of people, musically, that's what I'll do.
JS: So, who is "Bushmaster," you or the band as a whole?
GB: Well, it refers to the band, but since members come and go and I'm the only constant in the band, I guess it's more of an alter ego of mine.
JS: Where are you originally from?
GB: I'm from Palmer Park, Ma., outside of D.C. It's also the home of Sugar Ray Leonard.
JS: Who are the members of Bushmaster?
GB: There are three of us on tour: the drummer, Chuck Fuerte, who is Maryland-based like me; Vinnie Hunter on bass, who's from Harrisburg; and myself.
JS: Where do you get ideas for songs? What are you inspired by?
GB: Life. Social injustice. My continual surprise at man's brutality to other men. I'm actually kind of a politically inclined sort of person, so I derive inspiration from those things.
JS: Can you describe the band's sound to me?
GB: I would call us funky-blues-rock.
JS: What has been your favorite venue?
GB: Let me see. Delmarva Bike Week in Berlin, Ma., for the Harley-Davidson people - that was awesome! We haven't played in Williamsport yet, but I've heard good things about it. Basically everywhere I go is my favorite place to play.
JS: You've played guitar for more than 30 years. How did you get your start with the instrument?
GB: Just like everybody else did. It was to help in social situations. All right, I'm going to be honest here: it was to get girls. It then became a lifelong friend. But any guy who says he started to play guitar for any other reason than to get girls is either crazy or lying. I just want to keep it real.
JS: Who are some of your personal influences, musically?
GB: George Clinton, of course! Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, of course, Freddie King - well, all the Kings: Freddie, Albert, B.B. - all three Kings!
JS: If your music was going to be featured on a movie soundtrack, what sort of film would it be?
GB: It would fit into a variety of settings, but I think it would be a good soundtrack for a movie about struggle. Struggle or drama, because most of it was birthed as a result of struggle and drama.
JS: Can you give me an example of one of your songs that was a product of struggle?
GB: "Hard Word" or "Drowning on Dry Land." Both are about seeing the inequalities in society - barriers and obstacles we have to overcome and goals we have to keep struggling for.
JS: What is your ultimate musical goal? When you write a new song or get on stage to perform, what do you hope to achieve?
GB: Well, it's catharsis for me and, as far as everyone else, enlightenment. If that sounds a little arrogant, I'm really not some sort of great god who thinks he can enlighten everyone, but maybe everyone can have a little catharsis together and a little enlightenment together. I basically want everyone to be bathed in good vibes. I hope that doesn't sound too '60s!
JS: I saw on your MySpace page that you want to be a part of a benefit for the Haiti disaster, could you tell me a bit more about that?
GB: I just would like to be able to do my part to help the people who have done so much for our country. Because of the Haitian resistance driving out the French, we were able to significantly increase the size of our country with the Louisiana purchase.
That was a direct result of the Haitian defiance of French authority. It's a little bit of history that most people don't know but I, personally, feel that I owe them a debt for that.
When Jimi Hendrix inexplicably died in London on Sept. 18, 1970, fellow musicians and fans collectively mourned the passing of the man many considered the greatest electric guitarist in the history of rock music. The singer/songwriter’s legacy lives on in the hearts of many — some more than others. Namely, musician Gary Brown, a Washington, D.C. native who strives to keep Hendrix’s spirit alive, not just in his music, but in his everyday life.
“Hendrix was, is, and always will be a huge influence, and not just musically,” says Brown, front man for the band Bushmaster. “I find him and his music to be phenomenally integrated. By that I mean, that when you listen to Hendrix you don’t get black, you don’t get white, you get all the colors of the rainbow. He was a man of peace and a force of nature who will never go out of style.”
The 47-year-old Brown has played guitar for more than 30 years and has been performing professionally since 1992, when he joined with fellow musicians Paul Withers and Jay Turner to form Bushmaster. The trio performs throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Locally, Bushmaster have played at Spanky’s and BJ’s on the Water in Ocean City, the Steer Inn Tavern in Taylorville and during Delmarva Bike Week events in Salisbury.
Brown says the trio plays both cover songs and original compositions, but he prefers to perform his own music for fans.
“When I’m inspired, music and lyrics just flow through me,” says Brown, who credits a variety of sources — life experiences, politics, relationships — for inspiring his material. “The key is to stay inspired, [though it’s] sometimes easier said than done.”
Bushmaster have released three albums, two of which are available at the band’s shows: “Drowning On Dry Land,” a studio album with all original tunes, and “Live & Blue,” a live blues album with about half originals and half covers.
“I have a very wide range of people who enjoy my music, and on those occasions when the whole club is rocking out and singing along, I’m in heaven,” Brown says of his fans. “I [play music] full time, and my goal is to take it as far as I can and reach as many ears as possible.”
The Sentinel - Bands to rock in Mizik for Haiti Benefit - Feb 4, 2010 by Lisa Clarke For the past few weeks, the tragedy in Haiti has dominated news outlets and sparked an outpouring of concern from across the world, leaving many people looking for a way to help. In Harrisburg, helping out is as simple as having a good time this weekend when The Harrisburg Music Development Corporation presents a benefit concert, Mizik for Haiti.
The HMDC, a nonprofit whose intent is to promote the performing arts in the local community, has assembled a full schedule for the event that will include a half-day of performances with a different act taking the stage hourly.
“We encourage charitable organizations to use our space for events like this. It’s a good organization and we are really excited to be able to do a fundraiser of this magnitude,” says Maennerchor president Jonas Hair. “Twelve hours and 12 bands is really a serious event and we are hoping that people come out and support it.”
All the proceeds from the event will go to Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti, a Pittsburgh-based organization with one of the few fully functioning hospital facilities in the earthquake ravaged nation.
“They wanted to make sure that they were giving to a charity so that the money went directly to those in need, ” says Hair. “It’s one of the few fully functioning hospitals down there, and people are traveling miles and miles to get to this place.”
The formidable lineup of performers was assembled by well-known area artist and musician Jeff Lynch, who has long been involved in developing Harrisburg’s music scene.
“Jeff Lynch is a big behind the scenes guy, a mover and shaker when it comes to live entertainment. He has taken a big role in this, and has really stepped up in helping to organize a lot of the musicians,” says Hair. “What we have here is a really great showcase of blues, jazz and even chamber music coming in to play here. All the bands are really excited about doing this as well. You have a little bit of everything going on with this.”
Author and actor Chet Williamson will host the event. Acts slated to perform represent a wide range of include headliners The Cornlickers, as well as The Greatest Funeral Ever, Daniel Gaisford and Julia Maclaine, Steve Rudolph, Jeff Stabley, and the Don Carn Trio, Fatback, Dr. Mo and the Humblers, Blue Elephant with guests Rose Hudson and Don Johnson, Nate Myers & the Aces, Mitch Ivanoff and Lee Carroll, Gary Brown, Fullshot, and Mark Santanna.
“It’s going to be a crazy event,” adds Hair. “It’s not only going to be an opportunity to hopefully give graciously to a charity that is in need, but it’s also an opportunity for people to see a lot of the different music that is available in this area as well.”
Mizik for Haiti will run from noon-midnight Feb. 6 at Der Harrisburg Maennerchor, 221 North St. in Harrisburg. Admission is by $20 suggested donation, $10 minimum donation. For more information, visit www.tuesdaybluesday.com. For more information on the charity, visit www.hashaiti.org. Donations are tax deductible.