Brave Combo is 26-year-old (!) “hot jazz quintet, a rollicking rock’n’roll bar band, a Tex-Mex conjunto, a sizzling blues band, a saucy cocktail combo, a deadly serious novelty act, a Latin orchestra, and one of America’s dance bands par excellence.” [see their bio page] But they kick ass for many other reasons, too.
For those of you with short attention spans, fine… you can skip the rest of my brilliant commentary and go directly to Brave Combo’s music.
A variety “dozen sampler”(tm) I recommend: Breslau, Canto a la salsa, Down at the Friendly Tavern, High Bounce Polka, Hokey Pokey, My Tears are Nothing, No Work Today, Spaghetti Twist and Twirl, Swing it Baby Swing, The Hustle, Three Ducks Ondo, Waltz in C Minor,
Aside from the fact that this band is made up of great musicians that play a huge variety of contagiously fun music, it’s damn cool that they’ve made decent-quality one-minute segments of a ton of their songs available on the Web, no? In fact, their Web site is informative, entertaining, and pretty comprehensive—a sad rarity for band sites, IMHO.
Here are other things that highlight why Brave Combo is an amazingly kick-ass band:
- They were featured on The Simpsons and have also won a Grammy.
- They have made their full songs available online… from Yahoo Music Unlimited (172 songs!) to iTunes to emusic (live performance: 25 downloads free*!).
- Their live performances are a hell of a lot of fun (and affordable: under $15!), but surprisingly their CDs manage to capture much of the energy and enthusiasm.
- At the risk of being poo-poo’d by cynics, they honestly believe that spreading good music around can contribute to world peace.
- They love dancers and they do a fine job encouraging people of all ages to get up and shake their booties.
- They’re nice, unpretentious folks who clearly appreciate and respect their fans.
Unfortunately, they don’t seem to tour that extensively outside of Texas [see their itinerary]… but if you can possibly catch them live, do!
Edited to add (a few minutes after posting this entry):
emusic… great idea, noble quest (catering to independent bands and the smart folks who love ‘em)… but dudes, what’s with the “We won’t show you our catalog until you sign up.” I understand your motivations, but that’s still just rude.—-
One of my favorite Brave Combo songs is “The Mystery Spot Polka”… but alas, it’s not on their music clips page :-(.—-
* Credit card / trial required. Yours truly, a sincere but selfish bastard, get free downloads if you sign up 😛