By Sheryl Aronson
On Friday night, January 20th, The Lucky Strike Bowling Alley/Concert Club throbbed with the pulsating funky music of The Brandon Brown Collective, consisting of a twelve -piece band. This musician has been playing with top artists since the age of 19, which included Isaac Hayes, The Jacksons, Stevie Wonder, and currently he plays with pop star, Fergie. However, Brandon Brown headed his own group this evening and showed off some original tunes that wowed the crowd.
The performance started with the opening act, The Truth Band that roared with wild, psychedelic, rocking music and vicious guitar antics. The audience jammed the dance floor bouncing and bopping. Brandon said, “These musicians have all played with major musicians from Lil Wayne to Lady Gaga to Ariana Grande. Their sound is like rock/soul.”
When The Brandon Brown Collective hit the stage, the curtain remained closed as the crowd heard a super funky intro skyrocketing off…then the curtain raised and the group stood frozen with their fists in the air. The first song, ripped open with Mackenzie, the lead singer, surging forth with smoking vocals. Branden Brown on the bass and Stanley Randolph on the drums, dashed off voluminous rhythmic beats to keep the funk sizzling. With a wa wa sound on the keyboard, song two, opened up freely and the two female singers, Toni Scruggs and Queen Neia, contributed their sleek background voices. Song three featured Mackenzie showcasing his James Brown screaming vocals and flying foot work. The percussion player, Stacey Lamont Syndor walloped the congas like a demon as the band built to a climatic frenzied mood. An outer limits guitar solo rocked furiously then the song slowed down and fell into funk-filled halt.
Two guest female vocalists entertained the audience as well with original songs by The Brandon Brown Collective. Emi Secrest sang and danced to a catchy, driving tune called “Get High.” Kiki Kyte rolled out powerful vocals on “Honey,” while Brown and Randolph jammed steadily with hard driving rhythm and the horn section blasted a wicked groove.
When the Collective tackled the hit song from the Spinners, “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love,” the full force of the twelve-piece band transported this oldie but goody into another stratosphere of turbo funk. The crowd had now flocked to the stage and the vibe in the room pulsated with a party atmosphere. They also turned out a jazzy improvisational rendition of “Superstition” which featured fervid scatting vocals from Mackenzie and a torrid thunderous drum solo from Stanley Randolph, Stevie Wonder’s drummer for the past ten years. He exhibited cannonball power combined with expert finesse. Stunning!
A surprise guest showed up later that night, who had just been honored at the She Rock, NAMM Convention… bass player/composer extraordinaire, Esperanza Spalding. She had been invited by Kiki Kyte. The two women are friends and have worked on music together. Esperanza took to the stage with Kiki and they lent their back up singing skills and dancing moves to Brandon K. Brown’s original song, “What You On.”
The Brandon Brown Collective’s performance at the Lucky Strike on Friday, January 20th, rolled out a good time by all. Brandon K. Brown commented, “I’m excited about people hearing my original music and all these songs we’ve been working on have a lot of good energy and inspiration.”
The Brandon Brown Collective Band Members:
Brandon K. Brown – Bandleader/Bass
Stanley Randolph – Drums
Kyle Bolden – Guitar
Noah Hernandez- Guitar
John Whitt Jr. – Keys
Stacey Lamont Sydnor – Percussion
Mackenzie – Lead Vocals
Toni Scruggs – Vocals
Queen Neia – Vocals
“The Smokin Horns”
Peter Ortega – Sax
Chris Gray – Trumpet
Chris Johnson – Trombone
“Come Back Home”
“You and Eye”
“What You On”
You can purchase Brandon K. Brown’s single, “What You On” on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon.
Brandon Brown Collective Celebrity Musician Band Members/Celebrity Affiliations:
- Brandon Brown-Bass (The Jacksons/Fergie)
- Stanley Randolph-Drums (Stevie Wonder/Christina Aguilera)
- Kyle Bolden-Guitar (Stevie Wonder/KING/The Jacksons)
- Jairus Mozee-Guitar (Lalah Hathaway/BJ The Chicago Kid)
- Stacey Lamont Sydnor-Percussion (P. Diddy/Lalah Hathaway)
- Dae Dae Haddon-Drums (Gwen Stefani)
- Eric Ingram-Bass (Ariana Grande)
Photo Credit: Sheryl Aronson/The Hollywood 360