UGLY BOOGIE began as a group of haphazard recordings by Brady Alvarez and Daniel Schraer in the summer of 2008. During this time, Brady, Daniel, and other close friends would often congregate in the evenings at Daniel’s house to create furious acoustic jams. Pots and pans, organ, piano, guitar, banjo, harmonica, washboard, spoons, ocarina, washtub bass and eventually accordion were all included in these early recordings, which culminated in a record called MAGIC MURDERBAG. Sam Murray created the artwork and contributed select percussion and vocals on this album, and the three friends hand-crafted album covers using construction paper and spray paint. Alas, very few of these were made, and when summer came to a close, Brady and Daniel had to leave San Diego and return to their respective colleges.
Yet this CD provided the inspiration for more focused songwriting, and as both Brady and Daniel became more familiar with bluegrass and klezmer music, they began to record new songs even while living in different cities. Over the course of 2009 and 2010, they regrouped with Sam whenever possible and laid down the tracks that would eventually become their first full length record, STONE TO FLESH. This eclectic group of home-recordings was made in several locations throughout Los Angeles and San Diego. Vivid imagery, extreme emotions, and a seemingly unlimited array of instruments characterize the songwriting on this record, which often switches genres so quickly that it is difficult to know what label to use.
In late 2010 the duo returned to San Diego permanently and joined forces with Monica Daniels, Kyle Dramer, and once again Sam Murray to produce a full acoustic band. Now with three part harmonies, clarinet melodies, and electric bass, Ugly Boogie finally could expand outward from being just a recording project, and quickly garnered a loyal following in San Diego. After three all acoustic shows in 2011, John Robertson joined the band as a drummer, and Ugly Boogie began to form a fuller and more powerful punk-inspired sound. Unfortunately it was also at this time that Sam Murray picked up and moved to New York to follow his other artistic passions, and the five-piece lineup of Ugly Boogie was finalized. They’re next record would be produced in the home-studio of local musician/producer Brian Karscig, and feature the open and earthy sounds attained by Karscig’s vintage microphones. This new EP, TRAIN OF THE DAMNED packs a punch in only six songs, but lays the groundwork for the next recordings of the many songs that Brady and Daniel have written. Ugly Boogie is now a fully-fledged gypsy bluegrass punk band, still schizophrenically switching styles and instruments in mid-set, and writing songs of apocalyptic visions, reincarnation, and loves lost and found. Their shows are known for the drunken screams of their loyal fans, and the twangs, beats and toots of horns and strings. Everyone who sees a show agrees... its time to get ugly.
TRAIN OF THE DAMNED available for just 5$ at: