A Special Feature Interview with Brody Buster after he wins “BEST HARMONICA PLAYER” at the 2017 International Blues Challenge, Brody also takes a second major accomplishment as placing second in “BEST SOLO/DUO” category. Brody Buster, One Man: Many Voices.
The Big News
Brody Buster took home “Best Harmonica Player” at the 2017 IBC (International Blues Challenge) on February 4 at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, TN, beating out a very competitive field of talented music acts. The Lawrence, KS resident, who fronts Brody Buster’s One Man Band as well as the Brody Buster Trio, also won second place in the “Best Solo/Duo” category at the IBC, where he was representing the Kansas City Blues Society.
“Winning best harmonica player is great, but winning second place in the solo/duo category is also important to me,” states Buster. “I have been playing harmonica my whole life but for to place second in solo act category is huge for me because I have only been doing this One Man Band thing for about three years. My guitar playing and my drumming have come a long way in three years. I think winning these awards will help my career, but more than anything I think winning these awards validated all the hype from when I was a kid, ‘I am no longer a novelty sideshow oh wow look at this kid’ act. Now I am appreciated among real musicians, and after doing this for twenty-five years it feels good!”
Brody Buster’s unique and extensive experiences in the music industry have been a bit of a whirlwind, to say the least. As a tow-headed 9 year old, Buster was heralded by Blues legend BB King – who made the pronouncement after pulling Buster onstage during the midst of a full house at a sold out concert- as “one of the greatest harmonica players of our time, despite his age, believe it or not.”
Since those days of sitting in with BB King and appearing on Entertainment Tonight and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno as a young phenomenon, Brody has grown into a formidable front man, band leader and songwriter in his own right. Over the past few years, since forming The Brody Buster Band, his continued development as a vocalist, guitarist and writer have earned him his deserved and still growing reputation as one of Kansas City’s “Can’t Miss” live acts.
Brody traveled to the International Blues Competition in Memphis this February 2017, as Brody Buster’s One-Man Band, representing the Kansas City Blues Society after sweeping through the local blues qualifying competitions to earn the crown of Kansas City’s representative in the solo/duo category. He went on to capture first place in the “Best Harmonica Player” competition while finishing as the runner-up in the “Best Solo/Duo” category, resulting in recent multiple offers to perform at Blues festivals throughout the U.S.
Brody Buster’s One Man Band performs regularly around the Kansas City Metro vicinity, with weekly residences at The Westport Saloon, The Intercontinental Hotel, and The Brick- in addition to a monthly show at The Jazz. The Brody Buster Band also continues to play shows both locally and regionally.
The Brody Buster Band are a hard-charging blues rock trio consisting of Jimmy Lacy on bass, Colby Earleywine on drums, and Brody Buster on guitar, harmonica and vocals. They burst onto the Kansas City blues and rock scene in 2011 with their full band release of originals on Will Die Young, (October 2011). Together with last year’s release of his Brody Buster’s One Man Band, (March 2016), Buster has evolved as much as his music, growing into a cutting-edge, relevant and ascendant solo and ensemble act, with an unlimited future ahead
IndiePulse Music was able to speak with Brody on his music and more, we find that this amazing artist, Father and unique individual is among the serious artists that gives homage to their influences, beginnings and a sense of humble measure that is missing in the music world today.
IPM: You were once a 12-year-old star, featured on Entertainment Tonight, Jay Leno Tonight Show, and more. What do you recall most about that time in your life?
I don’t remember too much from then. I don’t think anyone really remembers that much when they were twelve 12 years old. I do remember the musicians I spent hours in vans with. I remember some of my regular gigs such as BB King’s blues club universal studios. I do remember dating a girl from my apartment complex named Cara she was in the acting game doing commercials and a few sitcoms. All in all it was a wild ride for a kid the music business is like a roller coaster it goes up and down and back up and down.
IPM: Which brings us up to the present, where you recently won First Place for Best Harmonica Player at the prestigious International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Do you see this as a game-changer for your career?
At the International Blues Challenge I won two awards. I got second place in the solo category. I also got the best harmonica award. I think the second place solo award is most important to me. I have been playing harmonica my whole life but for to place second in solo act category is huge for me because I have only been doing this One Man Band thing for about three years. My guitar playing and my drumming have come a long way in three years. I think winning these awards will help my career, but more than anything I think winning these awards validated all the hype from when I was a kid, I am no longer a novelty sideshow oh wow look at this kid act. Now i am appreciated among real musicians and after doing this for 25 years it feels good!
IPM: Whereas you were once completely blues-oriented, how would you describe the music you perform and record these days?
The music I play these days is actually a little more blues than the music I did three years ago. I have two albums out currently. “Will Die Young” is an all original album recorded with my trio it has a more heavy rock sound but is still blues in its core. The one man band record has a few covers and a few originals. The one man band starts a party but is definitely more blues than anything I have done currently. The Blues is changing and I am glad to be a part of it.
IPM: Who do you count as the most important influences in your career to date (musicians, promoters, etc.)?
Eugene Smiley is my main influence in music he taught me how to do most of this. My mother gave me my first harmonica, and BB King gave me recognition in witch to build a career in music. Those are my Big Three.
IPM: Has getting married and having children changed the way you approach your music career in any way?
I am not married I am actually a single father. I split custody with their mother 50 / 50 so i get to see them all the time and it actually works out pretty well. Having Kids most certainly changed me. when i was in my teen and twenties i maybe partied a little too hard too often after having my son I cleaned up my act and got serious about making money playing music I worked super hard the last 7 years and am doing the best i possibly could for my kids. The goal was to make a living playing music because there was no real money making pizza and without a real education music has been and always will be my best option. I have two kids my son Ziggy 7 and my daughter Jaycee who is almost 3.
IPM: While you’re Kansas City-based, you’ve performed on both the West and East coast in the past. How do you compare the live music scenes in each of these regions?
I have not been doing the coasts that heavily these past few years, but I plan too. I will say this; the scene in the Midwest is great. The cost of living is low and there are plenty of gigs for musicians to play, I also feel the people in the Midwest really do love the music more. If you ask me KC is the perfect place to be.
IPM: What are some of the more compelling topics you are writing songs about these days – any songs about our new President?
As far as writing I have always been about love and loss and heart break. Emotions are what makes music in my opinion and I really only get emotional about these things. I have hard time writing unless I really feel it. I do have a song called 2029 on my one man band record that deals with an end of the world type of scenario but in a way that is almost positive in my opinion. As far as the new president and our whole political system as a whole I have not written anything but plan to because it is almost impossible not to feel strongly about that
IPM: Most memorable gig you’ve ever had, in a good way, and also, the worst show you’ve played?
Most memorable show for me is playing at the white house for President Clinton. Worst gig I ever played I was a private surprise birthday party in independence Missouri. The girl never showed up and there was no beer they were extremely religious. It was like I walked into a time warp or something. Honestly it was hard for me to pick the worst show; I have played some weird stuff on the list… I have played a shoe store also did a gig at a Nebraska furniture mart. That was actually my drummer’s first show with the band.
IPM: If you weren’t playing music, what would you be doing for a living?
I would be making pizzas at Papa Kenos in Lawrence, Kansas.
IPM: Website and social media links that people can visit to keep up with Brody Buster at?
Brodybuster.com we are also on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram just search the Brody Buster Band or search Brody Buster’s One Man Band.