Black Market Brass perform in The Current studio

Black Market Brass perform their tunes "Gloom" and "Half a Cig" live in the studio of 89.3 The Current. (MPR/Nate Ryan)
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Black Market Brass perform in The Current studio (full session + interview)
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| 00:23:20
  • Black Market Brass perform in The Current studio (full session + interview) 23:20
  • Black Market Brass - Gloom (live on The Current) 05:27
  • Black Market Brass - Half a Cig (live on The Current) 05:22
  • Black Market Brass - Mob Rules (live on The Current) 04:58

"If you see us live, we're going to be playing tunes right off the bat, just right after each other, nonstop," says Black Market Brass guitarist Mitch Sigurdson. The band didn't sway from that approach for long when they visited The Current's studio for a session hosted by Mark Wheat.

Black Market Brass — comprising Sigurdson; Hans Kruger, guitar; Cameron Kinghorn, trumpet; Sam William Harvey-Carlson, keyboards; Ryan Splinter, trombone; Murphy Janssen, drums; Cole Pulice, baritone sax; Charlie Bruber, bass; Jared Jarvis, tenor sax; and David Tullis, percussion — are getting ready to celebrate the release of their album, Cheat and Start a Fight, with an album-release party set for Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Turf Club in St. Paul.

"Cheat and Start a Fight comes from a drum phrase," explains percussionist Tullis. "In that context of that, it means someone who kind of polices the boundaries of what's right and what's wrong. So for us, we play like we do in this room. Our album is just us playing in a room. We're not cheating."

The album was recorded at Secret Stash Records' new studio near Loring Park in Minneapolis. Black Market Brass approached the recording sessions as they do their live shows, but they were careful to respect the recording medium for what it is. "At the end of the day, we had to come to terms with the fact that the record is its own thing," Pulice says, "and [we] kind of need to approach it that way to make sure that it can be as good of a product as the live show is a good product, instead of diminishing one in the interest of the other."

Following the album release, Black Market Brass have a number of tour dates planned, including shows in Madison, Wis.; Duluth, Minn., and Chicago. In November, they'll go further afield, playing dates in San Antonio, Texas, and in New Orleans.

Although Sigurdson says the music of Black Market Brass incorporates elements of psychedelia and funk, all the band members agree Afrobeat rests at the heart of their sound. Tullis even describes how one of their tune's titles, "Half a Cig," comes from what linguists dub the law of hobson-jobson. "The song I took it from is a Nigerian Yoruba Bata drum song, and so the melody kind of follows the drum lines, and that drum song is called 'Afasegbojo,' and if you say 'Afasegbojo' [repeatedly], it becomes 'Half a Cig'."

Afrobeat bands are, by nature, large groups, but experience has helped Black Market Brass figure out what works best at gigs. "While we're onstage, different people in the band have different roles in terms of making sure that everything goes off without a hitch," Pulice says. "Everyone has a place as a cog in this big machine."

Listen to the complete session using the audio player above.

Songs Performed


"Gloom"
"Half a Cig"
"Mob Rules"
All songs are from Black Market Brass's album, Cheat and Start a Fight, released Sept. 16, 2016, on Secret Stash Records.

Hosted by Mark Wheat
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Michael DeMark and Lisa Urman
Visuals by Nate Ryan
Web feature by Luke Taylor

Resources

Black Market Brass - official site

Secret Stash Records

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11 Photos

  • Black Market Brass
    Sam William Harvey-Carlson of Black Market Brass performs in The Current studio (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Black Market Brass
    Jared Jarvis of Black Market Brass performs in The Current studio (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Black Market Brass
    Cole Pulice of Black Market Brass performs in The Current studio (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Cameron Kinghorn of Black Market Brass
    Cameron Kinghorn of Black Market Brass performs in The Current studio (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Murphy Janssen of Black Market Brass
    Murphy Janssen of Black Market Brass performs in The Current studio (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Black Market Brass in studio
    Cameron Kinghorn and Sam William Harvey-Carlson of Black Market Brass perform in The Current studio (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Charlie Bruber of Black Market Brass
    Charlie Bruber of Black Market Brass performing in The Current studio (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Hans Kruger of Black Market Brass
    Hans Kruger of Black Market Brass performs in The Current studio (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Black Market Brass
    Percussionist David Tullis of Black Market Brass performs in The Current studio (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Black Market Brass
    Black Market Brass perform in The Current studio (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Black Market Brass
    Black Market Brass perform in The Current studio (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)

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