In the late 70s and early 80s, the Buster Brown Band was the house band of the Popsicle Toes, a club on Greenville Avenue in Dallas, which is also the namesake of the now released album.
The band around guitarist Jim Casey and keyboardist and singer Kelly McNulty gathered some of the finest musicians on the scene during this era, such as Roger Burton from the Bee’s Knees, Jim Casey and Ringo Starr’s drummer Gregg Bissonnette.
The band caused quite a stir with both black and white audiences in the Texas metropolis. According to contemporary eyewitness and accomplished liner note writer and Grammy award winner David Ritz, the Buster Brown Band played so funky that they were fired from some “white” clubs at the time.
Inspired by some of the best soul, AOR and funk artists, the band recorded demo songs over several years. Unfortunately, the album the band planned to record in Detroit never took off and numerous demos disappeared into the archives.
The fact that the demo album is finally getting a proper release after all these years is thanks to the Parisian label Providenciales Records.
“Baby Don’t Lie” starts the album with a beautiful and soulful AOR introduction, while the following tracks, “Day Or Night”, “Endless Possibilities”, “Shock Proof” and “Say It” complete the LP with their infectious soul and funk touch. There is even the first version of “Baby Don’t Lie” as closing track, which was recorded 5 years before, in 1977.
The hoped-for and deserved big breakthrough of the Buster Brown Band did not happen. Kelly McNulty later teamed up with his friend and writing partner Eric Tagg to form the Tagg/McNulty Band. Other band members of the Buster Brown Band later collaborated with artists such as Lee Ritenour, Ringo Starr, Harvey Mason, The Isley Brothers, Smokey Robinson and Kenny Pore.
“Popsicle Toes” is a contemporary document that not only impressively illustrates how good the Buster Brown Band was, but also gives insight into the vital funk and AOR scene in Dallas of this era. Listening to these songs, you won’t believe that the band didn’t make it big in the early 80s. This album is a real treasure chest for all music lovers and genre archeologists.