Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow

Riverfront Nights wraps up with a funk fest

- STAFF REPORT

Latin-funk band Brownout is a nine-piece outfit formed 16 years ago as a side project by members of Grammy Award-winning Latin revival orchestra Grupo Fantasma.

Now Brownout has evolved into a musical force all its own.

Brownout’s first album, “Homenaje,” wasn’t released until 2008, but since then, the band has toured regularly across the United States and earned three Austin Music Awards. They produce music that is progressiv­e but still evokes classic influences of artists such as War and Funkadelic.

In addition to performing at events such as Bonnaroo, High Sierra Music Festival, Bear Creek Music Festival, Utopia Festival and Pachanga Fest, Brownout’s also served as backing band for artists such as Prince, Daniel Johnston and Bernie Worrell.

In 2014, the group released a series of Black Sabbath covers under the name Brown Sabbath. They received praise from Ozzy Osbourne as well as NPR and Rolling Stone.

In 2018, the band teamed up with legendary hip-hop label Fat Beats to release an album of psychedeli­c funk interpreta­tions of Public Enemy classics called “Fear of a Brown Planet.”

NPR said of the project, “Brownout’s dedication to old school is not necessaril­y about preserving a musical relic, but it’s more about creating a living, breathing brand of funk that can cross generation­s.”

The band is currently working on a new album of original works with producer Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) that is slated for release this fall.

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