For the Louisville Music COVIDiary  today, we have a song submitted by Louisville jam/funk/bluegrass/soul band Hot Brown Smackdown. They normally would be playing at venues across town for their faithful followers but like all musicians and bands, that has come to a screeching halt due to the shutdown of concert venues from the Corona Virus pandemic. They’ve been busy recording new songs for an upcoming full album and will be releasing singles throughout the summer. We talked with drummer/lead vocalist Arthur Geissler about what and how they are doing and about their new song “Hit The Ground”.

This was the fourth song we wrote together as a group.  Musically it’s another of our efforts to marry Kentucky “grass” elements with elements of other genres we draw inspiration from – like funk/rock/jazz etc.  Lyrically, I think it’s fundamentally about choosing one’s battles and compromises.

Covid-19 has thrown a bit of a wrench into our release plans – we had planned a large album release party and some festivals/touring but obviously that can’t happen right now.  So, with how many music lovers there are in this city who suddenly cannot attend their beloved concerts we figured the next best thing is new music you can enjoy while being healthy at home, so we decided to make the best of a bad situation and release a new track every few weeks over the coming Summer months.  The full album will be available late Summer/early Fall, no exact date yet as we’re still optimistically holding onto hope of a big album release party.  Circumstances are requiring us to play it all by ear right now, but I’ll let you know of new releases before they happen and any info on a release party if 2020 decides to afford us that luxury!

Hot Brown Smackdown band members are as follows:

Arthur Geissler: drums/lead vocals
John Blum: banjo

Patrick Schroering: mandolin/vocals
Anthony Le: guitar
Justin Cecil: bass
Myron Koch: saxophone

“Hit the Ground” features special guest keyboardist.  A friend of ours, Idris Frederick. 


Welcome to The Louisville Music COVIDiary, a web series that highlights our City’s amazing and talented musicians as they deal with the effects of the COVID19 Pandemic. Because of the forced closure of our music venues and other places for artists to perform, many musicians are left without much needed income and disconnected from their audiences and each other. In this series, we have asked musicians to send us their homemade music videos as a way to stay connected in this strange and uncertain time.

If you’d like to participate please upload your video to Youtube then send the link to Laura Shine at lshine@wfpk.org.

Laura is the WFPK Assistant Program Director and afternoon host.