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Tony Brown & the Faithful

Members: Tony Brown, Attis Jerrell Clopton, Sonya Perricone, Jenna Rycroft, Josh Sadlier Brown, Malcolm Burn, John Medeski, Ryota Sugawara, Claire Finley, Danielle Ponder.

The latest: Brown and company's new disc, "The Black Art," is out now, and can be sampled and purchased via www.tonybrown.bandcamp.com.

What's next: Tony Brown & the Faithful, with guests Swati, perform at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25 in the GCC Stuart Steiner Theater, Batavia. Tickets are $12, $5 for students, $3 for GCC students.

Why?: Western New Yorker Brown is a virtuoso musician and songwriter with interests ranging from soul, blues and classic rock to post-punk, R&B and garage rock. His eclecticism is both aggressive and purposeful throughout "The Black Art," and is born out of what Brown describes as "frustration with the categorization of music" on the contemporary landscape.

Brown met his sonic match in the form of Grammy-winning producer and Daniel Lanois protege Malcolm Burn, who has worked with the likes of Chris Whitley, Patti Smith, Emmylou Harris and the Neville Brothers. Jam band, soul and jazz veteran John Medeski performs on five of the album's tracks as well. The result is an album that moves with grace and ease through whatever style Brown might feel like exploring at the time. In lesser hands, this might come off as a bit scatter-shot and mish-mashy. But Brown and Burn are not lesser hands.

Check out: Stream "The Black Art" through www.tonybrown.bandcamp.com. Learn more about Brown and "The Black Art" via www.tonybrown-music.com; www.MySpace.com/tonybrowntunes; or www.sonicbids.com/tonybrownmusic.

-- Jeff Miers

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