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BrownBoot gets an attitude adjustment with Exile on Main Street - 5/31 @ the Middle East

Posted by Jonathan Donaldson  May 30, 2012 10:08 AM

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Anyone who has seen BrownBoot knows that the rock & roll combo does have a certain looseness and swagger that gives then that hard-to-come-by "Stones vibe." The Boston 6-piece, who recently were featured in the Rock n Roll Rumble, even performs spot on Faces covers from time to time with just the perfect amount of charm and slop. It's a surprisingly hard balance to strike. These songs can't just be copied note for note. It's a spirit thing.

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So it's no real surprise that BrownBoot were asked to contribute to the For the Sake of the Song series performance of the Rolling Stones' classic double-album Exile on Main Street tonight at the Middle East, which will also feature the Lo-Fi Angels, the Matt Borello Band and Exile on Elm St (Tom Bianchi, Danille Miraglia and others). To call BrownBoot 'ringers' in this instance might be an understatement, but maybe it's not. I talked to BrownBoot guitarist Rodrigo van Stoli (also of Bang Camaro) about it and this is what he had to say.

JD: So, is this going to be a note for note thingy?

RvS: I don't believe in playing Stones' tunes note-for-note. They don't even do it themselves! We are going to do our take on these tunes, but considering our influences it will be pretty close.

JD: Is BrownBoot the only band doing this?

RvS: Nope, four bands--each band doing a side. We do side one, the best one of them all!

JD: Compared to a lot of records being made today, Exile is a record that really doesn't have a whole lot going on in terms of chord changes. It's not really 'pop' music.

RvS: If the melody is strong, all you need is one chord. And love.

JD: So how long did it take to get side one of Exile together? Did you have to make any accomodations?

RvS: Three practices. And yes, we don't have a sax player. Matt Sullivan, the guitar player, and Joe Kolwalski (keys) are covering the horn bits. (Actually, we do have a sax player, but he has to play bass!)

JD: What makes Exile songs 'good enough,' or stage ready, I should say?

RvS: Attitude. And not getting caught up in the minutiae. The details that we know and love were probably accidents, for the most part.

JD: Did you learn anything?

RvS: Words!

JD: It has words? When I hear "Tumblin Dice" i just hear "esh a ka na tormin/ na ka do ra lormin."

RvS: Pretty much. If you read the lyrics that are out there, you stick yourself in a box.

JD: They get into some witch-doctor, New Orleans, Van Morrison territory on that one.

RvS: Mick doesn't enunciate anything. Old Mick is great. These days he actually pronounces stuff.

JD: Why do you think that so many people rate this as the Stones best album? It doesn't seem very adventurous at all, compared to their previous work.

RvS: This record is them kind of surrendering to their gods. I think bands reach a point where they are comfortable enough in their shoes to just play music, instead of necessarily making a statement.

JD: My understanding is that they had become dysfunctional and weren't spending enough time together at that phase to write classic 'pop' songs, like "You Can't Always Get What You Want."

RvS: I would argue that 'trying to write pop songs' is more reactionary than instinctively spitting out blues riffs.

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For The Sake Of The Song Presents: The Rolling Stones' Exile On Mainstreet
featuring: BrownBoot, The Lo-Fi Angels, The Matt Borello Band, and Exile on Elm St.
Middle East, Cambridge
Thursday, May 31
8:00pm
$10.00
18+

Also, see BrownBoot with the Dick Valentine Band (Electric Six)
TT the Bears
Thursday, June 14

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About the author

Jonathan Donaldson is a Boston-based musician, writer, and second-generation music junkie. An Ohio native who moved to Boston in 1998, Jonathan's musical loves include R&B, psych, punk, bubblegum, country, electronic, More »

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