|The Brass Uncle Band is a new roots-rock trio from Baltimore, Maryland. John Petr (guitar, harmonica, voice), Duke Cave (drums) and Chas Marsh (bass, Fender Rhodes, voice) met on a construction site in 2005. After a semi-legendary, all night, beer-soaked jam/rehearsal, they were convinced by their fellow revelers to form the BUB. The band’s name refers to a brass statuette, Uncle Beefheart, who serves as a doorstop (and bottle opener) at their rehearsal space.
While the group co-writes/improvises their music, John Petr, the band’s poet, singer-songwriter, usually brings the idea that becomes the song. John is a relatively happy guy, but his lyrics range from larceny to murder. every day misery to flat out disaster. Musically, the Uncles are confirmed genre manglers, mixing the influences from Tom Waits and Ray Charles with the Black Crowes and Zero Seven. On stage Chas starts a gospel-tinged cowboy ballad on piano, John lurches into a two minute, Ramones-style assault, and Duke slams into an extended prog-rock jam - all within a ninety minute set. The result is an ordered chaos, the kind of show that keeps all but the most inebriated BUB fans up on their seats.
Their new CD, Three Mobtown Gallons, expands the power trio , adding Hammond organ ace John Ginty (Citizen Cope, Robert Randolph) on five songs, a horn section, and B.J. Lazarus (Smooth Kentucky) on mandolin. Petr’s crooning, growling baritone, supported by Chas’s sandpaper tenor provides the sonic glue. Instrumentally, John’s barking Stratocaster floats on the thump and grind of Chas’s Warwick basses, and the all-out bombast of Duke’s drums and percussion.
The new eleven-song record has been called, “ a raucous, slice of punk Americana” and “ a grimy, hand wringing revision of the American Dream” and Brass Uncle’s performances a “full blast semi on two wheels”. Fans say “why does all your music make me feel like drinking” and call them B-more’s premier swamp-rock trio