Local 913, Episode 55: The Buckle Downs
“I showed up, just sang a couple songs and next thing you know, I’m in the band! It was kind of, I don’t wanna say an accident, but I didn’t really mean to get into a band. I didn’t think I’d be good enough to do that.”
That’s Kiki Brown, front woman for prog-psych-rock band, The Buckle Downs talking about accidentally auditioning for the Pittsburgh group. As a vocalist, Brown’s roots lay in R&B and gospel, starting at her church in Warren, OH:
“When I got into high school, I met a whole bunch of like-minded people. We did a lot of gospel, a lot of R&B. That’s what we listened to back then. We didn’t really listen to rock or anything alternative. [We were] doing a lot of church gigs and talent shows. When I got out of high school, there wasn’t any opportunity to do music until I got to Pittsburgh and I’ve only been here for six years. I was really reluctant; I was a background singer and happy staying in the back! They really pushed me to become more than that.”
Kiki Brown also sings in the Pittsburgh band townsppl, which has more of an indie folk influence. Joining this ensemble, The Buckle Downs, marked a change in style for Brown, who was not exactly familiar with prog-rock or 60’s psych-rock:
“I’d never even heard of it until I got with these guys. I had no idea what it was [and I’m] still figuring it out. I love it! I’m used to R&B and gospel, but this is kind of more comfortable for me. I can use some of those elements from R&B and gospel in it, which is kind of fun to fuse together and figure out how I like it to sound. What they bring to the table is something that I don’t know. That’s one of the reasons I love it. It’s always something that I’ve never done before. I like to challenge myself, I don’t like to stay safe and do the things I already know.”
For more on The Buckle Downs and their new release, The Rivers EP, go to thebuckledowns.com.