"A mix of Bruce Springsteen, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton combined, "Revolution Rhapsody" provides a few battle anthems for the next political uprising. Bushmaster, led by blues guitarist extraordinaire Gary Brown, starts the record off on a bold note, attacking racism head-on with "Cumberland Blues" and that was only the beginning. Playfully denouncing Arizona's racial profiling statute with his song "Arizona Shame on You", no doubt is left in the listener's mind which side of the political and moral spectrum Bushmaster falls. Taking on classism in addition on songs like "River Flow-Splash!" and "War on the Poor", Bushmaster shines a critical lens on the socioeconomic structure of the "haves" and "have-nots" in the world. Will venture to guess he might not clink beer bottles with Santorum, Gingrich or Romney any time soon.
Riffing in between providing outspoken social commentary, it's clear Gary is a master of his instrument, bringing Jimi's "Voodoo Child" style back to life on "Victims of Nostalgia" and Stevie Ray's "Tightrope" style on "We All Fall Down". Not every song is political, as he also discusses his wife on a few tracks like the Booker T and the MCG's "Green Onions" sounding "BallNJack". On "Phony People", Gary provides a universal kiss-off for all as I'm sure we've all known phony people in our lives. Overall, you get the sense the album is a respectable sociological case study from a real Blues brotha who isn't afraid to stand up for what he believes in and go against the grain. Bushmaster might be the one to "knock the bully right off his feet". Rating: 8/10" - Carlita, Music Emissions, 3/13/2012, http://www.musicemissions.com/artists/albums/index.php?album_id=14715#userReviews
"The Bushmaster has done it again. Guitar axe Gary Brown and his band have just finished another great cd. He’s real honest and doing his thing. Brown is not abandoning his musical roots and he has got an important message to say.
You can hear the spirits of Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding, Stevie Ray Vaughan, James Brown, Hubert Sumlin, among many others, shining their light and if you don´t talk after the last track of the cd you can hear the big ones in the sky give it up for the Bushmaster.
Every time I play this cd it gets better. Although the first time I listened to it was good already. This music is like a big painting; I always hear new things, yet I also feel at home with familiair guitar licks. I also like the rhythm changes, like ‘River flow –Splash!’ and 'Trudi', it reminds me a bit of ZZ Top.
This cd won’t get out of my cd player for a longtime. I’ll play the tracks in my radio show, and maybe one day the Bushmaster will be in my studio to show the Dutch people his music in person. Gary Brown is a great artist and has got great members of his band." - Bertwin Bijleveld, radio show ‘Blues and Friends’, The Netherlands, 3/1/2012, http://bluesandfriends.come2me.nl/
"Talk about capturing the Zeitgeist—as the Occupy movement spreads across the country, and class inequality finds a place in mainstream political discussion for the first time in decades, guitarist Gary Brown and his cohorts have come out with a blast of populist fervor laced with unapologetically revolutionary overtones. Most of what’s here is less blues, as such, than hard-driving rock and pop with a bluesy tinge, although occasionally, as on 40 Acres and a Mule (similar to, but not exactly like, the Bobby Rush song) Brown sets his lyrics to a pounding blues shuffle. Victim of Nostalgia is likewise derivative (of the Meters’ Cissy Strut), but it’s for a reason: Brown satirizes a retro-hipster, draped in a “big brown hat and that weird poncho,” who’s more interested in living in the past than working for a better future. Brown’s high-energy anthems of outrage and liberation are effective on their own terms, but he hits hardest when he hits most gently. The meditative, Brit-rock tinged Nothing up Your Sleeve (“How many of God’s creatures did you show mercy to?”) both conveys a strong message and lets us take it in on our own terms. Arizona Shame on Ya, imbued with an appropriately Latinesque beat, boasts lyrics that even some sympathizers of the immigration cause might find overly literal and rhetorical, but Brown and his compatriots half-speak, half-sing it with an ominous intensity. This disc’s greatest strength is also probably its greatest potential weakness: although it’s musically solid for the most part, and in places considerably more than that, whether or not you like it will ultimately depend on whether or not you agree with its political sentiments." - David Whiteis, Living Blues Magazine, Feb. 2012 issue, pg 50., http://www.livingblues.com/
"When I closed my eyes I had visions of Jimi Hendrix dancing through my head. His is very much like what I believe Hendrix would be playing, were he to have lived this long. From blues/rock very reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix to slow and sultry ballads, down home, back in the alley traditional blues to an almost folk style, this cat has his bases covered. On rare occasion the band would get a bit in the heavy side for my liking but I am willing to overlook these small ”transgressions” in light of the overall album. All tunes were penned by Gary Brown who also plays all guitars and a good deal of the vocals. This piece addresses a number of current political and social issues and does a nice job at getting his point across. Is this piece a good choice for all of our readers, probably not, but if you are feeling adventurous, you might just like what you hear. Call it blues-rock/Americana, Revolution Rhapsody stirred some feelings deep inside that had been lying dormant for quite some time. My view on Jimi Hendrix has always been that he had the heart and soul of a bluesman and that, given time he would have followed that path. As for Bushmaster, Gary Brown, his influences are many and varied and he essentially wears them on his shirt sleeve. My overall impression of this disc was that I liked it immensely. Given, there were moments that were a bit on the heavy side for my liking but for the most part I found this one very much to my liking. While not for the most part blues, there was enough blues influence to keep my interest. The musicianship was exceptional, the songwriting delightful and to be honest, for just a little while I felt young again." – Bill Wilson, Billtown Blue Note, February 2012, http://www.billtownblues.org/cdreviews2012.html#cd12bush
"Traditional Blues purists suffer from a safety syndrome that can occasionally stunt their ability to grow past the security of “tradition” and accept evolution as a naturally occurring artistic process. On Revolution Rhapsody , the newest release by phenomenal guitarist/songwriter Gary Brown these concepts of S.O.B.S.(Same Old Blues Sh**) are thankfully evolved and transmuted into a CD that flows with blues-tinged rock, heartfelt soul, and funky beats; showing that Revolution and Evolution are the twin babies of CHANGE. This album showcases Gary Brown’s depth, humor and concept of social justice. Politics and Music don’t mix? Really? That depends on your historical knowledge (read: perception) of just how powerful a social force music has been in the U.S. (and the world). As a result of musicians who have been bold enough ( many of whom have paid the price of this sort of artistic courage),to speak their minds openly and reflect injustice through song, we all see the wisdom and embrace change.
This is what separates technicians and entertainers from ARTISTS.
This entire Cd flows like a river of soul and D.C. funk, both reflecting the blue sky on the surface, and the murky depths of self-evaluation under the surface of anything that is precious or worthwhile.
Stand-out tracks (Subjective evaluation) are : Victim Of Nostalgia, War On The Poor, 40 Acres and A Mule, Trudi, ( a joyful musical expression of love for Mr. Brown’s life partner-and the hardest working woman in show business-Trudi Brown).
..and this reviewer’s personal favorite -the deeply moving and soulful-Nothing Up Your Sleeve:
hands down one of the best reflections of hope for humanity ever written by this fine artist.
You want FUUUNNNNK? Listen to River Flow-Splash!
Lock-Jaw Rock? : We All Fall Down. (“where you tryin ta take us? We been there once before, and now we're here ta tell ya ,ain’t goin back no more..”) Uh-huh.
A special acknowledgement of ‘ in- the-TOTAL-FUNKY- pocket ‘great percussionists, bassist and vocalists on this album. Simply put It KICKS. Gary Brown’s vocals and guitar mastery have never been better. The production on this Cd is exemplary.
In music-(as in life)-“It ain’t where you come from, it’s where you go..” (Rock on with yer Bad self Gary Brown.) Go buy it and TURN IT UP. IF you like your music ALIVE and HOT-don’t miss this cat LIVE at a venue near you. WORD." - MYSTR Treefrog, Blues Musician
"With a sound that flows from the Deep South, it’s surprising to find out that the blues band Bushmaster, featuring Gary Brown on guitar and vocals is from the Washington, DC area. Their new album entitled “Revolution Rhapsody” has a great guitar, blues-rock sound that is the perfect setting for Brown’s vocals.
The album begins with “Cumberland Blues” and while you instantly notice how good Brown’s songwriting is, it doesn’t compare to his guitar playing. Bushmaster gets their funk on for “Victim of Nostalgia,” before heading into the swamp-style blues of “Arizona Shame On Me.” Brown uses a classic blues guitar riff for “Ball ‘N’ Jack” then lets his guitar do the all the talking in “Sidewalk Strut.” The song “War On The Poor” can easily be a radio hit with its perfection combination of words and music. Bushmaster rock out on “River Flow – Splash!” and also show their softer side with the six-minute “Nothing Up Your Sleeve.” The album closes with a funky remix of “Victim of Nostalgia” that adds more electronics to the overall sound of the song." - J.P. Goldman, JP's Music Blog, http://jpsmusicblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/cd-review-bushmaster-and-g...