For SF WEEKLY: Black Sabbath is widely considered the pioneer of heavy metal: the band played blues-influenced music via downtuned guitars and eerie lyrics. When performed by Brown Sabbath, a Latin funk-rock band from Austin, the music becomes a new beast — psychedelic, percussive, symphonic.
The thought of such a project — Black Sabbath covers with horns — could have easily ended up a corny misfire, had it not been executed by the eight members of Brownout, an offshoot of the Grammy-winning Grupo Fantasma.
These musicians have backed artists like Prince, the GZA, Raekwon, Masta Killa, and Daniel Johnston, and performed at Bonaroo, the High Sierra Music Festival, and Red Bull’s BBoy championships, among other places.
“Unlike many bands of their era, which played covers or direct rip-offs of Black American music and made it popular, Black Sabbath played original music with obvious blues and rock inspiration,” Brownout bass player Greg Gonzalez says. “We’re just interpreting that music in our own way.”