Black Venom - The Budos Band

from the album The Budos Band III (2010)

The best time to listen to Ethiopian Soul Music is when your chillin' with your Ethiopian Soul Friends.  The obvious way to make these friends is to catch a flight to Addis Ababa and start mingling. However, that is not really necessary.  Ethiopian Soul Music can be readily found in many cities, like Boston, New York, and DC.  It is joyous music that attracts a pretty cool mosaic of followers.

The first wave fully blossomed in 1969, by taking a foundation of African polyrhythms, adding a scoop of Fela, a little James Brown, a pinch of 60's American Soul, and generous heap of unbridled Ethiopian happiness together to create a wonderful sound that has stood the test of time.  Check out Ethiopian Groove on iTunes Essentials for a great sampling.

The current wave has added elements commonly found at jam festivals: hippies with congas, wayward horn players, and a few guys who don't wear shoes.  The music is all about establishing and maintaining the beat and the groove.  From there, soloists do their thing as the band slithers on its serpentine journey.

The Budos Band hail from in and around Staten Island, New York. They play a loose version of the genre.  I can picture some of my long-haired musician friends joining the jam.  Black Venom is one of the standout songs of this 2010 release.  This hard jam showcases muscular horns and eerie keyboards trading jabs over a funky vibe. The trumpet solo is a highlight.

Click Here to catch a live performance of this song from the 2010 Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle.  The festival is sponsored by KEXP, one of America's finest radio stations.


  1. Black venom from a caucasian pursuation: can you say "Talking Heads!"
    Albeit demigraphically displaced, you just can't deny that when the power of soul sets itself to erupt the results are a mixture of instrumental pleasure.


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