Brute Band and Show was formed in 1970 (formerly called the Abstracts). It was comprised of five singers and five musicians with various musical backgrounds; including rock, jazz, classical, pop, and gospel. The group was handpicked after holding auditions by Norris “Brute” Little whom the group was named for. A few members were suggested by the existing musicians. Five artists were from Baltimore including Michael Nelson guitarist, Cornell Eldridge percussionist, Tim Hall pianist, Sharon Frye vocalist, and Saundra Winfield vocalist. The remaining five artists were from Washington D.C.; Eric Lockett vocalist, Sheila Adams vocalist, Ronald “Iceman” Wallace vocalist, Kevin Merritt bassist, and Andre’ Proctor drummer. While the band’s sound could be described as funk rock, their vocals were soulful and at times classical. Brute band enjoyed being theatrical and loved choreographing scenes on stage to outrageous funky rhythms with undertones of soaring rock guitar licks. The band’s percussion breakdowns could transfix the crowd as they played cowbells, blocks, congas, tambourines, drums, and timbales. The band really believed in putting on a real show.

Andre & Kevin

Under Norris “Brute” Little’s management company, Charisma Productions, the band received dance instruction and guidance for giving a professional stage performance. The singers received formal vocal training from the late, renowned Fredrick Wilkerson who also trained Roberta Flack. The band rehearsed six days a week for two years before they began performing local concerts. A short while later they started touring the United States appearing with such acts as Earth, Wind, and Fire, the Barkays, Billy Preston, Roy Ayers, Grover Washington Jr., the Commodores, Herbie Hancock, Patrice Rushen, Graham Central Station, George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelics, Gil Scott Heron, the O’Jays, the Emotions, the Silvers and other renowned artists. They’ve recorded with such artists as Hugh Masekela, Roy Ayers, Edwin Birdsong, Eddie Drennon, and Gil Scott Heron/Brian Jackson production team and others. Brute band also wrote, produced, and recorded some of their own songs.


While at home in the Maryland D.C. area, Brute Band and Show enjoyed performing with such local greats as Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers, Experience Unlimited, the Young Senators and many others. “Music is a universal language. It touches the souls of all mankind. Music can lift the spirit to a higher consciousness as it soothes the mind, body and emotions. It miraculously rekindles the desire to go forward in times of trouble. It can mark moments in time and is one of the most pleasurable forms of entertainment.”


Sheila Adams
Former member of Brute Band and Show

Aug 05, 2014 | Category: Bands | Comments: none