Music to Shake That $#@! To
The Beat Chefs play danceable music of all kinds, but their sweet spot is R&B, accessible hip hop and related popular music from the 90s to the present day. Representative artists include Daft Punk, TLC, Outkast, R Kelly, Drake and Montell Jordan. That said, the band has little use for rigid categories, and if something works better to get a particular crowd dancing, they’ll play it. The Chefs can cook up all kinds of booty-shakers, ranging from 80s synth pop hits like Hall & Oates’ “Maneater” to Prince’s funky classic “Kiss” to up-tempo rockers like Tom Petty’s “American Girl” or The Romantic’s “What I Like About You.” Old-timers can usually find something they like too, as The Beat Chefs are well-versed in the repertoires of The Beatles, Johnny Cash and others. With “seasoning to taste” as part of every recipe, the Chefs regularly tailor their sets to the needs of each particular event.
Live-looping is The Beat Chefs’ special sauce, so to speak. It starts with using a foot-controlled “looping pedal” to record a short segment of music – usually a beat – as it is being performed. The pedal immediately plays back that segment in a repetitive loop, allowing the performer to record another musical segment – usually a bassline or chord sequence – and layer it over the original loop. The process is repeated, allowing one performer to layer in loops of several different instruments or vocal parts. The performer can selectively control when different loops are heard, allowing him or her to piece together various sections of a song (backgrounds to verses, choruses, etc). Typically, the performer will sing or play the less repetitive aspects of a song – such as lyrics or solos – over the looped segments. This way, one performer can create his or her own accompaniment in real time, and perform live music with the depth and polish of a fully-produced recording – all without the use of pre-recorded background tracks. As an example, check out Brandon’s and Rob’s version of Nate Dogg/Warren G’s hip hop classic “Regulate”:
Most events work best with some non-live music at various times. For example, during a cocktail hour or between live sets, it is often desirable to have pre-recorded music playing through a sound system – if for no other reason than to avoid “dead space.” The Beat Chefs are happy to DJ appropriate music for any circumstance and to offer this service without extra charge.
The Beat Chefs Party Band
Brandon will perform acoustic music as part of a wedding or other ceremony for an additional charge. These acoustic performances of original music or adaptations of popular songs are highly poignant, often leaving many goosebumps and few dry eyes. Follow this link for more information concerning Brandon’s solo/original music.
The Beat Chefs pride themselves as being the best alternative to hiring a DJ. To be sure, DJs provide a good service and are usually adequate. The band respects DJs and even emulates the things they do well. For example, The Beat Chefs are adept at hosting and MCing events, as most DJs are. Also, due to the band's use of live-looping, which often involves using one beat as a common thread to stitch together several songs into medleys, its songs flow together with limited down-time. Like with a good DJ, it’s tough to stop dancing to The Beat Chefs once you’ve started.
Brandon and Rob, back in the day.
Despite their similarities to DJs, The Beat Chefs differ in one crucial regard, which is that The Beat Chefs are memorable. The Beat Chefs get hired by clients who look beyond something adequate, to find something special.
The Beat Chefs were founded in 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin by Brandon “Easy B” Beebe and Robbie “Rage” Garza. The group quickly won over audiences with its danceable repertoire of rock, R&B, soul and hip hop uniquely performed by “live-looping” electronic drums, percussion, synthesizers, guitars and vocal elements. The award-winning duo is now a staple of the Madison music scene with regular performances at premier local venues like Tavernakaya, Genna’s, The Alchemy and The Great Dane. After years of performing as a duo, the group invited some additional Chefs into the kitchen and now performs on occasion with drummer Chad Bartell and saxophonist/keyboardist Nicholas Bartell.
The Beat Chefs can accommodate almost any budget simply by using fewer musicians. Because of their innovative use of “live-looping,” which allows a few musicians to sound like many, The Beat Chefs can gig with between one and five musicians. While a conventional full band (i.e. with dedicated live drums, bass, saxophone and keyboards) typically offers the most production value, versatility and live energy, a smaller collection of two or three musicians will often fit the bill nicely if there are budgetary or space constraints. By live-looping, Brandon can even perform by himself and he frequently does to astonished audiences everywhere.