Butcher Brown made its long-awaited debut on NPR Music‘s Tiny Desk (Home) Concert series with a performance released on Wednesday. The Richmond, VA cross-genre quintet delivered a four-song set spanning the group’s career as well as highlighting its versatility.
Kicking off with the instrumental “Sticky July”, Butcher Brown opened up a vast musical landscape atop a restaurant rooftop in the group’s hometown of Richmond. With grooves that are too funky to be jazz and too jazzy to be funk, Butcher Brown defies classification and takes active joy in continuously throwing listeners for a loop, just as keyboardist DJ Harrison does in “Sticky July” just as the rhythms begin to get too familiar.
Following a quick break where de-facto frontman Tennishu takes a moment to thank everyone’s moms and dads for helping them get here, Butcher Brown drops headfirst into the stank face funk of “Camden Square”. Following the original plunge into funk, the group collectively eases the throttle back for a breezy jazz glide as the baton gets passed from musician to musician while the sonic floor gently begins to loosen under listeners’ ears and fans are set adrift.
On the following “#KingButch”, Tennishu sets down the sax to take the mic head-on and display his lyrical prowess. All the while, the slapback R&B groove from the rest of the band sounds like it could have served as a sample on any foundational, early 90s hip-hop cassette. With no ceremony, Tennishu drops the vinal verse of “#KingButch” as the band rolls straight into the Steely Dan-tinged, laid-back landscape of “Tidal Wave” to close out the concert.
Watch Butcher Brown make its debut on NPR Music’s Tiny Desk (Home) Concert. The band was also featured on Live For Live Music‘s year-ending “Best Psychedelia Albums Of 2020“ list.
Butcher Brown – Tiny Desk (Home) Concert
[Video: NPR Music]