Swing Hard Records
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With influences ranging from Chuck Berry to Miles Davis to David Bowie, the music of The Andy Browne Troupe is never at a loss for words on “Zazel,” the band’s first album. Though some influences may be more apparent than others, rest assured that the Andy Browne Troupe is no tribute band to a bygone era, but rather a group with its feet firmly planted in the present and a voice all its own.
The CD takes its name from English-born Rosa Richter, who rose to fame in the late 1800s performing as “Zazel,” the first human cannonball. Known for her beauty and daring, the 16-year-old Victorian daredevil wowed audiences in the UK and US with an act that was equal parts illusion and fact. Where “traditional” aerialists relied solely on their strength, human cannonballs like Zazel and those who followed depended on mathematics and a bit of luck. When her luck ran out, Zazel faded into obscurity, but it is from her leaps of faith and departure from tradition that the Andy Browne Troupe draws inspiration.
From introspective tunes like “Sacred Cow” and “Southern Rain” to straight-ahead rock tracks like “Virginia Please” and the Peter Buck (R.E.M.) produced “My Little Stone,” the soulful wash of “Down (come on)” favored by Grammy Award Winning artist Anthony Hamilton.
The Andy Browne Troupe offers a thoughtful mix of music that reminds listeners how good indie artists can be. Andy Browne hits the mark, delivering southern-flavored music with a DIY/punk rock sensibility.
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Andy Browne Troupe fires the big guns for ‘Zazel’
Former Nightporters singer and guitarist salutes the teen girl credited as the first human cannonball
Creative Loafing ( Atlanta, Ga.)
Inspired by the 19th century exploits of a 14-year-old British girl often credited with being the first human cannonball, Andy Browne, the singer, guitarist, and songwriter best known as a founding member of Atlanta’s venerable punk-rock avatars the Nightporters, is touring in support of Zazel, the debut album by the Andy Browne Troupe.
“Zazel is everything,” Browne says. “I’m here to reintroduce her to the world and give away the keys to Houdini’s estate.”
Attendant to that admittedly obtuse effort will be Browne’s Troupers: Dean Browne (bass), Jeff Ford (guitar),Pito Monteguedo (percussion) and Shayne Cool (trombone).
In Zazel, Browne plays a dual role as a fiercely dissenting, frightfully sensitive alt-indie troubadour who meets a rabble-rousing, guitar-thrashing mad hatter for tea and a smoke before joining forces to rock the rabbit hole with clever verses and a heaping helping of Southern boogie.
Songs such as “Sacred Cow” and “Southern Rain” reflect a wiser, tamer, more introspective Browne, while other tracks, such as “Ida Lupino” and “Of Human Bondage,” render a harshly critical if not entirely pessimistic portrait of the 21st century social milieu.
Browne, first and foremost, is a rocker, raised on Chuck Berry, Rolling Stones, Velvet Underground, David Bowie, and the Ramones. His music holds a few sharply honed edges, which can be traced to the art-punk scene that spawned the Nightporters, and also bears painful evidence of life’s bruising nature, and even a knockout or two. Through it all, the Andy Browne Troupe plays seriously tight, unpretentious, kick ass rock ‘n’ roll. Their likes and kinds have been seen and heard before and it’s great to have them back.
Creative Loafing ( Atlanta, Ga.)
Andy Browne Troupe dishes out a fine collection of tunes with “Zazel”
Atlanta Auditory Association
With his hands in and out of music over the last few decades, Andy Browne is best known as the front man of the defunct Atlanta band the Nightporters. Their brand of post-punk, pop infused, indie rock was a favorite of music lovers throughout Atlanta and Athens. The band’s life span, though brief, brought about some of the best music to come out of Atlanta during the 80’s and legendary live shows that have been recaptured with a few reunions throughout the years. Fast forward through time and Browne is still writing songs, still making music. His latest project, the Andy Browne Troupe, has just released the album Zazel, influenced by the boisterous, daredevil life of the first human cannonball Rosa “Zazel” Richter. This record is much like the life of its namesake, brash, unpredictable and not afraid to take chances.
Zazel opens up with the mostly acoustic track “Southern Rain” that looks to the past while facing the present. As the song progresses the mellow acoustic tones open up into a layered musical soundscape. The track “My Little Stone” is an upbeat tune loaded with pop melodies and catchy guitar riffs. The song comes from a musician’s point of view, ranting about a woman that unfavorably compares the band to the Rolling Stones. Many of the songs on Zazel deal with reflection on the sins of the past (“Sacred Cow”) and accepting what is to come (“Any Day Now”). Browne’s writing doesn’t get much better than with the melodic “A Place in the Sun”. Sounding much like Joe Strummer’s solo work, Browne examines life trying to figure out its path. The catchiest tune on the record is the raunchy “Virginia Please”. You will be singing along and jamming the air guitar before you realize Browne is singing about a girl that seems to give it up for almost everyone in a band.
As you dig through Zazel you can’t help but wonder if Browne’s songs are cultivated from his own life as a musician. The songs are told from a person that has lived a life with its fair share of ups and downs many of them relating to being a musician. Music should illicit some form of a response from the listeners and Zazel does just that. It is not a record that will hook you from the start it will require a few spins to let everything sink in, then you can see how good it is. Go sample Zazel from the Andy Browne Troupe you will not regret it.
Close out the year with a little homegrown music. 25 Favorite Local Albums of 2016
2016-12-31 | Chris Martin
While the Atlanta Auditory Association is about all music we do try to give an edge to the local bands from the great state of Georgia. Other towns around the country get all the press for being hotbeds of music, yet Atlanta and the surrounding areas get over looked. Athens is still considered a good music town but does not hold near as much prestige as it has in the past. This is a shame because there is a wealth of great musicians making music in the great state of Georgia covering all possible genres. I highly suggest you check some of them out. To get you started, here are our 25 favorite albums from local Georgia artists of 2016.
Andy Browne Troupe – Zazel
Influenced by the boisterous, daredevil life of the first human cannonball Rosa “Zazel” Richter. This record is much like the life of its namesake, brash, unpredictable and not afraid to take chances.
I have been given the honor of reviewing The Andy Browne Troupe’s new release ZAZEL. Let me be clear, I have known Andy for many many years and I have always been a fan so that being said also know that I always listen with a pure heart and ears as you can’t fake good music, some try, few succeed, Andy Browne is anything but fake, he is the real Mcoy, always has been, an innovator and Pioneer of the what I refer to as the Golden Age of music, left of the dial original, snotty and somewhat dangerous music, This record fits the bill and opens with the familiar track Virginia Please, this record is chock full of amazing guitar sounds, great lyrics brilliant production. sliding into a tremolo laden hypnotic track and my fave track on the record Ida Lupino, another classic that seems familiar as the Cure or Lords of the New Church seems, with a swirling chorus and jangly verse that Peter Buck would be proud to have written himself, Andy Browne is a national treasure both as a songwriter and artist,, I strongly urge you to listen to these tracks and then dare I say it? BUY THIS ALBUM!!!
A Place in the Sun
My Little Stone
Any Day Now
Second Hand Clothes
Of Human Bondage
Down (come on)
Zazel Attacks (December 2016)
1. Half Moon over Tacoma
2. Six Days in Memphis
3. Jane Goodall
4. Midnight in Georgia
7. The World Is Hers (No Sweat)
9. The Immigrant
10. Los Senorita
12. My 14th Shoestring
14. Last Laugh ( The War Is Over)
Zazel’s Calling ( January 2017 Release)
1. Lucy’s Great Escape
2. Elephants & Donkeys
3. The Dummy in Me
4. Sheila’s Ghost
6. Holy Trinity
7. Breakfast for One
10. This Ain’t Broadway
Thanks for your Time..