Brownsville Station - History of the Rock and Roll Band

Brownsville Station is lighting up the music world again. Led by core members Michael Lutz and Henry “H-Bomb” Weck, the boys are back on the road thrilling crowds with an intoxicating mix of Brownsville classics and brand new music from their recently released CD Still Smokin’. “Over the years we’ve had tons of offers,” says Lutz. “Our criteria was two-fold, to do something in a big way, and to have something new to offer.” From the downbeat, Still Smokin’ possesses all of the punch and personality that crowned the band as undisputed kings of party rock. Crunchy guitars, combustible crash cymbals and anthemic choruses are the heart of 13 songs that are infused with an irreverent sense of history and a sly, engaging self-awareness.

Brownsville Station might be more popular now than ever before”. Brownsville Station, augmented by new players Billy Craig, Arlen Viecelli and Brad Johnson, is unleashing an adrenalin-fueled show that is thrilling fans and adding new ones with every performance. And now it is official: The Kings of the Party are Still Smokin’

“It’s been a few years since we’ve been out there,” says Michael Lutz,” And we have not been out there, we have never been out there, prostituting the name. It’s become obvious to us over the years from the amount of airplay we continue to receive around the world and the overwhelming response to Still Smokin’ in the United States that there is a whole movement.

After much discussion the two friends convened over the Brownsville Station archives. “It was probably my third trip up to Ann Arbor from Memphis,” Weck recalls. “We’d finished our day and popped a beer. I said, ‘I’ve got a melody, a hook and four pages of lyrics.’ Michael jumped on guitar and we wrote our first song in 30 years. We stopped the archival project and said, ‘Man, this is meant to be.’ It was like falling off a log.” The result is the 13 tracks (12 brand new songs and the updated version of the band’s classic “Smokin’ In The Boys Room”) on Still Smokin’.

Meanwhile, Michael Lutz opened with his own state of the art studio, Tazmania, in Michigan where he was producing a slate of records for major label clients on Atlantic and Epic/Sony Records. Lutz also played with the band NoMercy and co- wrote songs and toured with Ted Nugent who proclaimed Michael “...a master of catching the moment on tape.”

While the band recorded their streak of hit albums at Studio A in Manhattan’s cavernous Media Sound, Criteria Studios in Miami and a mansion in upstate New York, they created their music much more organically. Henry Weck, who was learning the craft of recording from the band’s legendary producers Doug Morris, Eddie Kramer and Tom Werman, captured over 500 hours of that creative process. “I moved the tapes around the country with me”, says Weck, whose post-Brownsville career included producing and engineering gold and platinum albums for Blackfoot and other ATCO and Atlantic artists both in the states and abroad.

The band famously played to over 350,00 fans in Puerto Rico for the Mar y Sol Festival, but “Smokin’ In The Boys Room,” co-written by Lutz and the late Cub Koda, took the band to the top of bills at the famous Madison Square Garden and massive rock festivals around the world. Brownsville Station’s camera–friendly antics were featured on television shows like “In Concert” and “Midnight Special” but they drew the line at appearing on “American Bandstand” when the show requested that Michael Lutz change the form-fitting outfit that was his trademark.

First joining the band on a tour with John Mayall and Alice Cooper as a drum tech, Weck was firmly on the drum throne within days. When Driggins departed, Lutz moved to bass and the triumvirate was a lean, mean rock and roll machine. “Back in those days if you had a top 50 single that was something – we had six top 50 singles,” says Lutz.

When T.J. Cronley departed for the Air Force, Brownsville Station enlisted the backbeat prowess of Henry “H-Bomb” Weck, a drummer from Van Wert, Ohio. Weck’s band, Ohio Power, had shared a half a dozen gigs with Brownsville Station in Ohio and Michigan. Michael and Cub thought their original four- piece line-up was irreplaceable, until they witnessed Henry play at the Michigan League in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “We said, ‘Man, this could be a Brownsville Station guy,’” Michael remembers.

Brownsville Station’s electrifying live intensity fed the fire. “You have to remember that we were brought up in a high energy environment,” says Michael Lutz, “with the MC5, Ted Nugent and Bob Seger.” It was a connection with Punch Andrews, Seger’s manager who also handled Michael’s high school band, which led Brownsville Station to a major label signing with Warner Bros.

The members of Brownsville Station first met in Ann Arbor, Michigan doing what young rock musicians did back in the late Sixties - hang out in the local music store. Michael Lutz (vocals, bass, guitar), Cub Koda (guitar, vocals), Tony Driggins (bass) and T.J. Cronley (drums) barnstormed across the heartland delivering their music to legions of fans ready to ignite the flame of rock and roll.

Rambunctious showmanship and riotous party anthems, propelled by a string of hits, including their signature “Smokin’ in the Boys Room”, Brownsville Station® blazed a relentless road from the Midwest to Madison Square Garden and back again, earning this much-loved band a notable niche in the pantheon of rock music 

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