The Budos Band is the quintessence of Staten Island Soul. Their exciting new afro-influenced take on instrumental music has been captivating listeners from turntables as well as bandstands across the nation. Eleven pieces in all, their group consists of drums, bass, guitar, electric organ, two trumpets, baritone saxophone, and a percussion section employing bongos, congas, tambourine, guiro, clave, shekere and cowbell. Their music has been described as “compelling”, “unbridled”, “psychedelic”, “innovative”, and above all “soulful.” However, like many majestic things, their sound had humble beginnings.
The core of the band met as youths while all participating in an after school jazz ensemble at the Richmond Ave. Community Center, in Staten Island, New York. It wasn’t long before their common hunger for the rougher stripped down sounds of Soul Music brought them together for late night ferry rides into Manhattan, where they would sneak in the back door of the No Moore Club downtown to hear bands like Antibalas, the Sugarman Three, and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. It was there, in that basement hothouse packed with only the hippest James Brown fanatics and Fela Kuti disciples, where the kernels of instrumental Afro-Soul were first sown into the fertile minds of these talented young men. Kernels which would later germinate and grow into the roots of their strong unique sound. After meeting resistance from the band director about the direction they were trying to take the music, they left the Community Center to form Los Barbudos, (spanish for “the bearded ones”) a name which was later trimmed to The Budos Band after one of the boys shaved. With the recruitment of a few horn players from the neighboring borough of Brooklyn, the band began to practice regularly, exploring the outer cosmic boundaries of afro-beat and soul music from the safety of their tiny concrete rehearsal space on Sand St. As they learned and grew together, their music matured, expanding and settling into a groove as deep and as broad as the Hudson Bay itself. By the time they had arranged a chance to play for a Daptone A&R man, their sound had hardened to a diamond. They were signed on the spot and scheduled to go into the studio immediately for a recording session where they would proceed to cut their first full length album in the better part of three nights.