The Fizz Fuzz, a band with local ties has recently released a new album project, “Deserts, Mountains, Oceans.” The effort also features several well-known musicians from the Greater Cincinnati area.
The eight-song album features Steven “Dandy” Brown (a Ross High School graduate), native Cincinnati drummer Steve Earle (founding member of Afghan Whigs) as well as a guest appearance by Mike Reeder of Mike’s Music.
“I grew up in Hamilton and spent the first 20-plus years of my life there. Then, I just started moving all over the place. I ended up getting a record deal with Capitol Records in the early 1990′s, and I used that money to invest in a recording studio down in Clifton, and I ran that recording studio for about a decade,” said Dandy Brown.
Later, Brown had a friend in Southern California, who encouraged him to move to the desert. Although he has lived in California for more than 20 years now, he still has family in the area. Two years ago, Brown returned home and did a handful of shows in Hamilton and Cincinnati.
The Fizz Fuzz, a blues-rock band based in Santa Rosa, Calif., unveiled “Deserts, Mountains, Oceans” this spring, which was followed by a UK tour in March.
“Deserts, Mountains, Oceans,” is now available on Spotify, iTunes and YouTube. “Deserts, Mountains, Oceans” was recorded at Oxygen Studios (Verzuolo, Italy) and in the Slush Fund Recordings in Athens, Georgia. The album is a follow-up to the band’s debut, “Palmyra,” which came out in 2020.
Brown, a producer, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (guitar, vocals), and his wife, Dawn Brown (guitar, vocals) make up the core of The Fizz Fuzz, along with Earle on drums and Gabriele Carta on bass.
“Over the years, Steve and I have done a whole bunch of projects together, and he continues to play with us today,” Brown said.
“Deserts, Mountains, Oceans” also features guest performances by Reeder, Mark Engel and Keith Murphy.
“The Fizz Fuzz is a rock band,” Dandy Brown said, “We are pretty much a kickback to 1970′s style rock n’ roll.”
Dawn Brown added that the band’s sound is “Indy Rock that wobbles back and forth between the 1970s and 1990s sounds.”
In addition to recording music, and touring, Dandy and Dawn have full time, “day” jobs. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they spent time recording new songs for “Deserts, Mountains, Oceans.” They also enjoy playing tennis in their free time.
“For our second record Dandy and I worked as writing partners on each song. From song to song, one of us would come up with a structure and the seed of a song, and we would fill it out,” said Dawn Brown.
Then, they would turn the songs over to other members of the group and they would add their parts to it.
“It was a very composite team effort on the second record, and I think it’s much more representative of our individual tastes coming together,” Dawn Brown said.
“A lot of stories come into our writing, and experiences we’ve had both good and bad. Loss and things like that come into it. I think on the new record, we tried to not have so many songs about pain and there are more songs about optimism and how we’ve grown from certain situations,” added Dandy Brown.
The opening track, “Statues” is an example, “Lyrically, there was a lot of pain involved in that story, some troubles that my youngest daughter was going through, but in the end, I think there’s an embracing message that we’re always here for you, and we’ll never cease to love you, no matter how painful things may get,” he said.
The song “Mad Jimmy” reflects on worrying about friends but trying to look out for one another and keeping people together.
“It’s about looking out for one’s that you love,” Dawn Brown said.
Dandy said the title of the album, “Deserts, Mountains, Oceans” is also thematic.
“It expresses not only physical places that we’ve experienced over the last few years together, but also the emotions that are reflected in those types of environments,” he said.
For more details about the album, and upcoming shows, visit dandybrown.com.
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