At first glance, back in 1979, the Denton, Texas, based outfit was, in shorthand, pegged as a New Wave polka band, a courageous if not almost oxymoronic endeavor during that particular rebirth of the cool. Yet it clicked and launched a stunning run that has now catapulted it into the new century. Over the last 26 years, Brave Combo has collected a dizzying array of descriptive musical pegs, boldly going where few bands have gone before, and even fewer could (or would) dare to venture. Succeeding in its first mission, Brave Combo is America's premier contemporary polka band, and a Grammy winning one at that. In the same breath, to name some but hardly all of the colors found on Brave Combo's musical palette, one can describe them as a groundbreaking world music act, a hot jazz quintet, a rollicking rock'n'roll bar band, a Tex-Mex conjunto, a sizzling blues band, a saucy cocktail combo, a deadly serious novelty act, a Latin orchestra, and one of America's dance bands par excellence. It's all in a night's music for Brave Combo, often in a synergistic fashion that includes everything from klezmer surf rock to rocking cha cha to what The Washington Post calls "mosh pit polka," as well as to the hokey pokey and the chicken dance. And zyedeco, acid rock, Muzak, bubblegum, cumbia, classical, and the twist, to still not exhaust the list....Samples of their music are available here and here. I have called them the best post-apocalypse Texas calypso polka band.
Be sure to check out the short film, A Christmas Caper that is included with DVD release of the movie, Madagascar. The ten minute short starring the animated penguins from the movie uses Brave Combo's version of "Jingle Bells" over the closing credits.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Brave Combo America's finest fun contemporary polka band.