Blue King Brown - Back to nature

Political, tribal and positively uplifting, they'd also be; ‘a vintage instrument with a percussive sound', if Blue King Brown had the chance, or so perceives Carlo Santone.


"[It would be] wooden and worn in with some political statement scratched into the side of it, and we'd only let Fela Kuti play it," he adds.


Well if this is any indication of the bands strong political ideas, this is just a minutiae taste of the passion and depth that underlies this outstanding five-piece.


"It's really important that people listen to what we're saying and understand where we are coming from, they can agree or disagree but we're speaking truths and are well informed and we want to share what we know and help bring about positive change, if people are going away from our gigs discussing these issues then that's a positive step forward," Santone says.


Seeing many of both Australian and International acts performing on a day to day basis, Carlo agrees that there is an underlying appreciation for similar artists on the scene,


"It's great that there even is an Australian blues roots and reggae scene. There's a lot of soul in roots music, it's not about glitter and gold that's what I like, it's music for music's sake not hype or rock star attitudes and there's some great Australian roots acts really rockin' it at an international level," he says.


One of the more recent alternative music and cultural festivals, the Woodford Folk Festival, were fortunate to have Blue King Brown playing almost daily. With the expression of speech "beginning on a high note" quite literally the band kicked off 2006 with thousands upon thousands of New Years revellers at the Folk Festival's ‘New Years Revolution' Concert. Natalie (Lead Singer of BKB) and Carlo also had the pleasure of directing the event. This was all in addition to the chaotic nature of their tour schedule. The festival showcased other Blues and Roots musicians including; Ash Grunwald, Eric Bibb and Those Bloody McKennas. At this stage in the bands collective career he describes the festival.


"It would be at the top of the list ( of favourite festivals), we had an awesome time there over the new year period, great crowds, massive shows and just an all round great festival, if you've been to a Woodford before then I don't need to go on about it, if you haven't been to Woodford your missing out on by far one of Australia's best festival's, it's a very unique experience and you should go to the next one!"


Carlo and Natalie's other percussion act ‘Skin' has expanded the bands repoitre and brought an immense amount of dedication to Blue King Brown. Evidently their experience from both acts and their contributions individually are leaving permanent prints on the alternative music scene. After also having had the opportunity to play with performers John Butler and Michael Franti, Carlo remarks on the effect such experiences have had on his own path as a musician.


"It's great to play alongside these people, they've all done amazing things for the music scene/industry, it's certainly inspiring and pushes you to play as well as you can. It's great to connect with musicians that are on the same wavelength too, there's an amazing community of musicians out there, It's a lot of fun to hang out with them," Santone says.


Though in the way of inspirational musicians, Carlo believes that there is one man that stands out above all others as being a motivating source in his career.


"For Natalie and I, hanging out with one of Australia's best percussionists Greg Sheehan has been really influential, he's an amazing guy and has always been really supportive of what we do. He's a real inspiration for sure," he says.


Blue King Brown is one Australian act to keep an eye out for, whether they are headlining, supporting, or its members are playing separately or with their side percussion act Skin, it's all guaranteed to get you movin' and a groovin'. Their positive and informed roots/afro-funk/soul activism through music, combined with their passion for freedom of speech and expression is what sets Blue King Brown apart from the rest. Carlo leaves us with his own motivational affirmation of, "Stay true to yourself and the rest flows." Well said Carlo, and may Blue King Brown's music continue to flow to our music loving ears and our beat loving feet.

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