Best Real R&B - Brooks Long - Baltimore City Paper "Best Of Baltimore 2014" 


In the days when American society expressed racial divisions in a more shameful and less ashamed fashion, almost all music recorded by and marketed to African-Americans were considered "Race Records". (Like the history of everything else, the history of the term is complex and dealt with the times in which it existed. This article gives a good perspective: http://www.pbs.org/jazz/exchange/exchange_race_records.htm) Basically, the term encompassed all the recordings popular with black folks at the time. In the mid 1940s, a writer for the Billboard Music charts named Jerry Wexler (a hip white dude who would leave to become an executive for Atlantic Records, produce the most legendary recordings of Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett and apparently skim some royalties off the top) felt that the chart classification "Race Records" was rude and replaced it with the term "Rhythm & Blues," a term he made up. So until the Hip-Hop era, "R&B" was more or less code for Black People Music and for whatever music was selling in Black America at any given time. As much as I wish it would, the approach I take isn’t really lighting the black music world on fire right now, but it did some twenty to thirty years before I was born. In the year 2014, in the era of Beyonce and Kanye, does that make me real or fake?
 
It has taken me a while to give a proper response to Baltimore City Paper’s naming me “Best Real R&B”. In fact, I haven't even addressed it on my own site until now. I suppose I had to figure out how I felt about it, then figure out which of my feelings I would share with you and the manner in which I would do so. This always takes some time. Why does all communication have to be such a process? Why can't I just talk? I’ve never been able to do it. In this paragraph alone I've backspaced at least 25 times.
 
And that's the thing. Every artist worth his or her salt spends a lot of time and energy trying to find the best way to reach out to you folks. Brooks Long & The Mad Dog No Good sure does. It's a very individualistic process involving a million different internal decisions that you don’t need to know about, a million mostly dead-end pathways we’d rather you didn't go down with us. I don't mean that to be harsh. You know how when you get a DVD of your favorite movie and you're super-excited to watch the behind-the-scenes, then you fall asleep after five minutes, wake up and somehow it’s not your favorite movie anymore? You don't need to know the magician's process, we just hope you see the magic. But I can't help feeling that anything that distracts from the magic disrespects the unseen process. Issues of legitimacy are a big distraction.
 
I was ecstatic when a friend told me I was named “Best Real R&B” in the City Paper (though I was very disappointed that Ian and Dan were not mentioned as they ABSOLUTELY deserved and I was puzzled that they mentioned “Baby Gon’ Be Funky,” definitely my most obscure track. Really? That one?). But it was back down to earth for me when I heard Bosley, a fantastic white Baltimore artist, was named “Best Fake R&B.”
 
Oh damn. Race Records, right? Sho’ ya right.
 
I know, I know. I can hear you saying "Just take the compliment. Bosley's too successful to care. He's a great act, with a great new album, getting great recognition. And under those “Real” and “Fake” labels, they actually have in-depth, nice things to say about both of you." I hear ya. Could it be that a publication would dare sprinkle provocative language to intelligent analysis just for the attention? That’s probably why I've been reading the City Paper since I was 13. It's their job and they do it well. But I think part of my job is to make sure my communication with you is as pure as possible. Please don't press play on my music waiting for something "real" to happen. Questions of authenticity and legitimacy distract from actual things I'm trying to express to you. Some of my biggest influences were once and sometimes are still labeled as inauthentic. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. Que sera, sera.
 
It's complicated. When I need to simplify, I try to remember the only thing I know for sure about music: “All music," Walt Whitman wrote, "is what awakens from you when you are reminded by the instruments”. And so I guess what I'm finally trying to say is thank you. Thank you so much for coming to our shows, thank you for buying our CDs, thank you for spreading the word about us to your friends and family, thank you for checking out this website. Thank you to all those who have supported the band and felt our music worth connecting with, including those at the Baltimore City Paper who have undeniably raised our profile through their witty provocations.
 
Be somebody. 

"Spaceman" Ian's New Video - Stairsteps 

Hot damn, hot damn. My musical-brohiem Spaceman Ian Trusheim put out an amazing video TODAY of his wonderful composition, "Stairsteps" shot by Roy Heisler and recorded by Shea Springer at Sweetfoot Studios. It already has 630 views!!!!!!!!!!! (Correction - 5,246 as of 5/21/14)

I feel like 6 million isn't unreasonable. Do you?



-Catfish

February Newsletter ( January 31st too!) 

Watch out, na!

Missed us? We took time off the stage for most of January (not the 31st, Annapolis!) I'd love to tell you we we're hibernating, but ain't nobody got time for that. We've been learning some tunes, booking some very exciting shows (see below) and I've been doing some home recording I'll have to show you soon. So Happy New Year everyone! I predict a damn good one for you and me. Let me tell you about what's happening from now until the end of next month. Very exciting stuff.

-THIS Friday,1/31 - Metropolitan Kitchen and Lounge - Annapolis, MD, 9pm, $5
Traveling down to Annapolis with two fantastic bands, Fractal Cat and Freedom Enterprise. How you feel about that, Naptown?
Metropolitan Kitchen Show Facebook Page



-Saturday, 2/8 - Soul Saturday @ The Ottobar - Baltimore, MD, 9pm. $10 tickets, $12 at the door. 
Thanks so much to the many people who came out to Friday the Funkteenth last December. God, that felt good. There's no secret to it, I just crammed the best, funkiest music I could on the bill and it worked. Hope it works again because this lineup is just as powerful. J Pope and Funk Friday, Rufus Roundtree and Da B'more Brass Factory, and Kentavius Jones? Mad Dog No Good Is gonna have to bring our A-game just to keep up. Head to www.The Ottobar.com or hit me up for tickets at brooks@brookslong.com
Soul Saturday Facebook Event Page
-Thursday, 2/13 - Rockwood Music Hall - Manhattan, NYC, 12am (2/14, technically), $5 donation asked
Ol' Catfish is one fortunate brother. So, this will be my first show in NYC and it's at one of the most sought-after gigs in that whole Big Apple up there. Much love to Sheriff Ariff for making that happen. His great band will be following my solo acoustic set. So, you coming my NYC people? Any out-of-towners wanna roll up? And you know it will be Valentine's Day by the time I hit, right? Mmmhmmm.

- Saturday, 2/15 - G. Love Official After Party @ The Legendary Dobbs - Philadelphia, PA, 7pm, $10
... and the good times keep rollin. Me and the boys are pumped play with... I mean PLAY the G Love After Party at Dobbs in Philly. See, hometown hero G. Love (of "Cold Beverage" fame) will be playing at the Theater of The Arts earlier in the night and we'll be apart of that show's after party at The Legendary Dobbs on South Street. The whole thing starts at 7pm. We go on at 11pm. Will he perform directly after us??? I can neither confirm nor deny because I've been asked not to.
G. Love Official After Party Event Page

-Saturday, 2/21 - Birthday Ball Friday @ The Fishwhistle - Chestertown, MD, 10pm No cover
My C-town and Washington College people, I know you know where the ball is but do you know where the party is the night before? I'll give you one guess. The Fishwhistle. Sorry. I forgot was supposed to let you guess.

Also, my MDers (btw, just because you live in Maryland that does not make you a doctor) remember April 13th we'll be playing Concert For The Chesapeake with The Great American Canyon Band and The Herd Of Main Street. The whole thing will be broadcast on Maryland Public Television and 89.7FM WTMD Towson University Radio. Don't miss it.

-Catfish

New Single - Ain't Never Had A Good Time 

*UPDATE - The first review is in! http://miclifemagazine.com/2013/11/20/quick-listen-aint-never-had-a-good-time-brooks-long-and-the-mad-dog-no-good/
HERE'S ANOTHER - Mobtown Magazine Track Review - Be sure to Like them on Facebook!



Watch out, na! Ol' Catfish and the gang whipped up a new one for ya with some big ol' help from some of our favorite local artists. "Ain't Never Had A Good Time" features Adam Scott-Wakefield of Old Man Brown on smokin keys and Adam, J Pope (J Pope & Funk Friday), Jenny Leigh, Janice B, Rufus Roundtree (& Da B’more Brass Factory), Terrelle Scott, and Molly Fitzgibbons on background vocals. And guess what? From now until Saturday, you can go to http://brookslong.bandcamp.com and buy the song for only 50¢. Half of $1. Half of a half of $2. Please don't ask me to do more math than that. Just get the track!

P.S. - If you dig it, express yourself on my Guestbook. Be somebody.
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