Click here for details on 5 new shows just announced for the spring, including the return of the great Johannes Langkilde from Denmark on March 8. At all gigs, we'll be joined by our fantastic new drummer Mike Metzger, who's just back from performing at the Super Bowl. Seriously, you can see him in his fancy red uniform behind Pink in all those pictures of her singing the national anthem. So start making plans to come join us. See you there!
We've scheduled a series of shows at our favorite venues in and out of DC, so check out the shows page for details. I always love gigs at this time of year because Aura lets me play Week 52 whenever I want (my tribute to the spooky and romantic week between Christmas and New Year's in Washington DC). If you want to start getting into the Week 52 spirit, you can scroll to the bottom of our music page for a primitive but charming living room recording of this seasonal masterpiece.
I'm working in Scotland this week, and on Wednesday evening, I'll be flying to Copenhagen to visit Johannes and hopefully persuade him to come back to us soon. Apparently, he's now a best selling author in Denmark (seriously!). So if you can read Danish, I highly recommend buying his new book and telling me what it says.
This month, we'll be working on fully integrating our great new drummer Mike Metzger who really shined at last week's gig. We'll also be working more with David Klein on sax, and I'll be teaching our songs to a new trumpet player who'll be joining us at gigs in December. And we have plans for recording again soon...
Thanks to all the new people who showed up at Villain & Saint on November 2. We hope you'll come downtown to check us out at Sotto soon.
Join us on Saturday, September 16 at Sotto on 14th Street (6:00 – 8:30 pm) for an acoustic version of Band Brulee. We're sort of between drummers right now, with Lex just leaving for Austria and Mike still recovering from a broken hand. We hope Mike will be joining us by the end of the month, but for now, this is a chance to see a quieter version of Band Brulee with no drums. When we've played gigs in the past without drums, you can really hear how solid Andrew is on the bass. Without drums, he gets to emphasize the percussive and rhythmic aspect of his instrument a little more, and it's quite cool to hear a little of that rockabilly upright bass slap make its way into our songs. So come join us Saturday night - see details by clicking on the shows page.
And if you just can't wait until Saturday night, Aura and Lou will be playing a secret open rehearsal at our favorite farmer's market in Riverdale on Thursday September 14, starting around 4:00 (assuming the possible thunderstorms skip Riverdale). I think it's still tomato season, and regardless, Rodney's ice cream is in season 12 months per year. So come join us.
Our amazing multi-instrumentalist Johannes Langkilde will be interviewed on Danish National Radio tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday Sept 6). He'll be playing at least one previously unreleased song from our most recent recording session, maybe two songs. I think he'll start with "Lemonade Fridays." So if you're in Denmark, check it out!
In anticipation of the weather our event at Running Hare Vineyard has been changed from Saturday to SUNDAY (September 3) from 1-5 PM. We hope you'll join us for a perfectly sunny afternoon.
First, the good news: Brûlée is back from summer break and will be playing SUNDAY afternoon from 1-5 PM at a brand new venue for us - the gorgeous Running Hare Vineyard in southern Maryland (150 Adelina Rd, Prince Frederick, MD), with fine wines and craft beers about an hour from DC. Vineyard Pizza will have their wood fired ovens up and running, or pack a picnic of your favorite treats. The $10 cover charge includes a wine tasting. Bring kids if you have 'em, and we'll bring Dave Klein on sax!
Now for the bad news: Austria has won the battle for our beloved drummer Lex (for now!), and this will be his last official gig with Brûlée for the time being. Lex founded this band with us, and we're not quite sure how to even imagine a post-Lex band (The best approach might be to simply drink a lot of Running Hare wine). The drums will soon be in wildly capable hands (as soon as those hands heal from his summer boating accident), with the fabulous Mike Metzger planning to join us full time starting in October after some serious physical therapy. But we will so miss Lex's irrepressible and irreplaceable genius, and he's a big part of our little family, so we hope he knows we're always here when he needs his band or his friends.
Back to the good news, before we get teary: You can spend the SUNDAY of your Labor Day weekend with us as we celebrate the dwindling days of summer and send our drummer off with the best darn sets of music we've ever played.
As our longtime listeners know, this band likes to travel. Since most of us travel with at least one kid these days, we're tied to the school calendar, which means we usually hit the road for summer break. For the next two months, Brulee will be gathering information for new songs from California, New Mexico, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Austria, Kenya, Vermont, and Rock Creek Park. We already have lots of shows scheduled starting in September, so watch the shows page for details. And we'll continue to work on recording and mixing during our stops back in DC, so maybe we'll have a new CD to share by the end of the year. Enjoy your own summer adventures, and we'll see you in September!
Our keyboard/harmonica player, bluescaster, and (most importantly) friend Johannes Langkilde flew back to Denmark on Sunday. It's now impossible for us to play these songs without imagining his sly riffs, endless enthusiasm, and witty virtuosity. We hope he'll manage to find his way back to us soon. For now, we're so thankful that he's ben a part of the Brulee family for the past two years, and his seat in the band will always be open for him whenever he returns or passes through Washington DC. Johannes, we hope you know how much you're missed back here!
We'll try to carry on without Johannes for two final shows before our annual summer break: Wednesday (with special guest David Klein on alto sax) at the great summer jazz series in Riverdale and Saturday down at Gemeny Winery. See our shows page for details, and come join us. We could use a little extra support this week...
We’ve booked lots of shows for April, May, and June from downtown DC basement clubs to rural vineyards of northern Virginia. So join our email list to be updated with the details, or watch the shows page of this website.
If you’ve heard us play in the past year, you’ve probably been dazzled by our keyboard player Johannes Langkilde. It looks like we only have a few more months before Johannes has to return to his fancy anchorman job back in Denmark. We are quite broken up about the whole thing because Johannes is a dazzling musician, a key part of the Brulee family, and a good all around guy. I think I’m still in denial about my friend leaving, and I’m holding on to the fantasy that some miracle will keep him here in the US. We’ll be playing as much music as possible with him before he goes, and we’ve been working on recording so that we can capture some of the great work he’s done with our songs. And I need to add some photos with Johannes to this website to document his time with Brulee.
Our beloved drummer Lex is again living in Austria until May 15. While he’s out, the drum seat will be filled by the great Mike Metzger, a total pro from the president’s own Marine band. Mike’s already played one gig with us, and he’s truly amazing. We have to find some way to keep him involved after Lex returns because we’ve grown quite attached to him in a very short period of time.
Some come join us for a rather eventful spring in Bruland.
New gigs have been announced! Click on the shows page for details, and please come out to see us. Now, a quick review of recent months:
You may remember that, back in June, we predicted a 5-month musical hiatus for Brulee while we all took turns leaving the country for a while, particularly Lex who (FINALLY!) returns from Austria in mid-November. We were wrong. It’s actually been quite busy! Here’s a review of a few recent events in Bruland:
A REALLY big gig: You’ve probably heard us talking about our beloved new-ish keyboard/trumpet/harmonica player Johannes Langkilde. Johannes tells us that he’s sort of a big deal in Denmark, and occasionally, we have to believe him. For example, the Danish Ambassador (a great guy named Lars who can really rock a Strat through a pair of Marshall Amps) asked if Johannes could put together an R&B band for a gala at the Smithsonian Castle to celebrate a visit from the Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark. Johannes started with the core of Brulée (Aura, Lou, Andrew, and Johannes himself) and then added a second singer, a drummer to replace Lex, and a three piece horn section. The drummer and horn section were borrowed from the president’s own Marine band. Seriously, Barack himself gave us his horn section for the evening. It was a super-fancy black-tie occasion as we busted out horn-laden R&B covers for a dancing prince and princess. I got to live my dream of playing Earth, Wind, and Fire's "September" with a full horn section.
Adding to the surreal evening, the Danish Embassy flew in the princess’ favorite singer-songwriter from Denmark, a young and wildly talented guy named Mads Langer. We got to back him up on a two songs, and it was quite a thrill, especially when he busted out an unexpected impromptu Prince cover in the middle of one of his songs.
Recording: We finally returned to Bias Studios early in the summer start recording for our next CD (or digital download if you’re more modern than we are). Like last time, we are working with the great Mike Monseur, an extraordinary studio engineer who is uniquely well-suited for our quirky musical style and strong personalities. Three moments from the recording sessions stand out to me as particularly memorable: (1) When all five of us (including our new-ish keyboard player Johannes) sang back up vocals simultaneously on Week 52, (2) Mike coaching me through the rather precise ukulele work on Part-Time Island Girl, and (3) Mike telling me that my guitar solo on Irresistible was totally inappropriate and sending home to come up with a new idea.
Some small gigs: With Lex out of the country, we’ve focused on some smaller gigs, and it’s actually been a great experience to focus on a pared down version of our music for a while. We played a couple of trio gigs, and Aura and I played a duo show with Andrew joining us purely on vocals (like, singing his basslines!). And last weekend, Andrew and I played an evening of guitar-bass jazz duets at a fundraiser for the Democratic Party of Virginia. The evening included a truly inspiring speech from Hillary Clinton’s national political director.
Now we’re more than ready for our beloved drummer Lex to return. So come join us for some shows this fall and winter to help welcome him back.
There will no gigs for a while as we're going our separate ways for summer travel that will take band members to Scotland, California, Tonga, New Zealand, Austria, Japan, Denmark, and Alaska.
We've done some recording recently, so some of us will be making occasional trips to Bias Studios for some mixing and overdubs, And I promise to update this website regularly with lots of new photos and videos, plus live, studio, and home recordings. So keep checking back over the summer. And we’ll have more shows scheduled in the fall. I promise.