Before I produced Buster Brown’s debut record in 2008 (yes, from Buster Brown and the Get Down), we were fellow musicians in a weekly showcase called Live at the O.T.T. (as in Old Town Theatre in Alexandria, Virginia USA). This was 2006. A blistering performance of his opus Problematic Michelle spurred me to think bigger with his talent. I was planning a music event series (H3Festival) to be staged at one of the top 25 music venues in the United States (Jammin’ Java) over a number of nights. I wanted Buster as one of the lead acts. He accepted.
After performing several shows, we stepped it up another notch. I offered investment from ESTMKTG on a live recording and studio master to act as Buster Brown’s debut record. His backing band would help to fill out the sound, along with a series of post-production touches (as is standard with many major label live releases). I would act as executive producer on the project and provide all of the marketing support (art direction, packaging design, copywriting, publicity kit, whatever was needed). the result of this effort was 2008’s 1.21 Jiggywatts Live!
Here’s the live record I produced for Buster Brown and the Get Down:
What happens when a Broadway sensation trades in his tap shoes for a pen and a jam band? Witness the mind-numbing arsenal for yourself on Buster Brown and the Get Down’s explosive debut, 1.21 Jiggywatts! This hour-long live recording showcases an electric, all-star quartet on the rise. The passion and talents of frontman Buster Brown will amaze — complete with guitar riffs that bob your head, lyrical rants and storytelling that make you laugh, and (of course) world-class tap dancing.
Do you enjoy different styles of music? If you do, then be prepared to fall in love with Buster Brown and the Get Down. His debut explores old school rap, hard rock, funk, acoustic, reggae, and jazz. It’s the perfect soundtrack for a road trip or daily commute, or to break the ice at your next get-together. It is the kind of record that delivers instant classics and beckons the question “Why haven’t I heard of these guys?”
From Jiggywatts’ first track, it’s easy to hear how this “band next door” charms its audiences. I Know Nothing, a romp that revisits the playful mayhem of the Fresh Prince of Belair or Young MC, is a thrift store find amidst today’s roughneck hip hop. It’s followed by perhaps the record’s finest track––the dark yet romantic rock anthem, Turn Back Time. The band is at its peak dynamically on the funk workout of Problematic Michelle, or the blues/swing epic Brown’s Motel. A “green” rock tune, Necessary, embraces the acoustic warmth adored in Dave Matthew’s songwriting. A jazz ballad, Don’t Cry, chills with a simple sentiment.
This record ushers in a brilliant new songwriter and showman, and introduces one of the better backing bands in the business. It leaves you wondering if Buster isn’t somehow the long-lost lovechild of Ruth or James Brown. It’s there on the music’s surface with Buster Brown and the Get Down — in so many powerful and endearing ways.
Here’s a Washington Post video feature that flashes Buster Brown’s guitar work.
Here are a few live videos — an duet, a tapdancing showcase, a news show performance.
Buster Brown’s Eastern Motors commercial. Step aside Alex Ovechkin.