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Genres You Will Love
World: World Fusion Moods: Mood: Upbeat Brazilian: Funk Carioca

By Location
United States - Kentucky

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Mundo Brew

Mundo Brew’s sound is hard to categorize. Eclectic tastes and diverse origins feed into a stew of musical flavors and accents that keeps developing in new and surprising ways.


It all started through connections to a theological school in Louisville, Kentucky where two of the band, Chris Elwood (guitar, vocal) and Brad Wigger (mandolin, drums, percussion), are professors. By 2013 they and their former student Jorge Sayago-Gonzalez (guitar, vocal) were ready to leave the cloister and play out and about, experimenting with a variety of styles.

Their backgrounds in the North American heartland, Caribbean, Brazil/Latin America, and East Africa came through their choices of covers. Bluesy, folky, country-inflected rock ‘n’ roll mashed up with funky samba grooves, sinuous R&B and soul filtered through salsa and rumba and soukous, ska and rock steady and swampy gospel swirled into a heady and peppery musical gumbo.

Joy and hope was the goal. Boundaries were the constant enemy. But this wasn’t war. It was impassioned, energetic, dynamic, militant peace-seeking and love-enacting.

And then, in the ecstasy of this creative outpouring, the original songs started to come—from somewhere. And when they landed they were, mostly, uncategorizable. They drew from this genre and that form, but there was something new and fresh to each.

And they told stories. Of pain, loss. Love. Seeking. The untranslatable Portuguese/Brazilian “saudade”: a hopeless and hope-filled longing for what is always out of reach but closer than we can ever express.

“What kind of music do you play?” people would ask. “Well. I think you’ll just have to come out and listen.”

And they came. And they heard.

Love Force

The magical moments of this developing sound led to 2016’s “Love Force,” the first album, recorded at JonyMac Studios in Nashville. From the title track’s soulful call to enlist in that great cloud witnessing to a love that breaks what holds us apart to the final Alleluias of “Alhamdulillah,” the songs and instrumentation came together to celebrate truly human moments in a world threatened by artificiality, brutality, alienation.

Consolation Café

That spirit continues in the newest release, “Consolation Café” (2018). Here the sound is even more multi-layered, the grooves funkier, the mood richly varied, and complex.

The songs (by Chris Elwood) invite the listener into a gathering place. A space of refuge. Respite from the deadness of a frazzled and divided world. Here we meet ordinary and extraordinary folk whose passions and loves find a hearing.

There’s the failed biblical Stoicism of “Sufficient Unto the Day,” rendered in an arrangement (mandolin, organ, country-gospel piano, lyrical violin and harmonica) that tugs at the heart, sounding like “an old-time country song” dug up from a time well before the era of country music.

There’s the dark but funky and whimsical “Wrong Way,” with its sizzling trumpet (Burns Stanfield), flute (Doug Yeager), and sax (Jeff Byrd) solos—distilling the 17th century Jeremiad to its essence for a four-minute commentary on American social and political disaster.

There’s a mini-suite of Central African-inspired eulogy and dance in “Shiveye,” supported by a beautiful chorus (Lorraine Stanfield, Isabelle Moshiri-Elwood, Josephine Moshiri Elwood) and rousing horns (Kim Cabrera, Burns Stanfield, Jeff Byrd).

There’s the most sublime solo invention in the modulating trumpet bridge of “Rise Up” (Burns Stanfield). It seems to say: There’s a fierceness to this call to love and resist. But still we feel a sadness, an ache, even as we call out to one another, Come. Dance with us! Even as we rise together.

And there are many other tales of wonder and woe – all culminating in a trip to the sea, guided by an achingly beautiful flute (Doug Yeager) and lyrical electric guitar (John McClure) in “Heading Home.” It’s a journey that will leave you inspired. And exhausted. But you’ll want to come back, again and again.

And next?

Mundo Brew’s odyssey isn’t over yet. They’re really just getting started.

Check out their website and like them on Facebook (links on the left of this page) to keep up to date with the latest projects and gigs and to contact them for booking.

Mucho love and peace!!!