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music: Creating a Buzz

Brenton Hund's band, Buzby, completely changed around him this year, but he won't let that slow it down.

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In the past year, the Charlottesville-based Buzby has signed a national distribution deal with Redeye Distribution and passed management responsibilities to former Fighting Gravity guitarist Dave Triano's AllGood Management.

"We're over here shouting at the tops of our lungs 'Hey look at us' — just like every other band — and now a few people are taking notice," Hund says. "We still have yet to land a major deal, but we're at the doorway, and a lot of that credit goes to management."

Yet if someone had told Hund a year ago where he'd be now, and who with, he might not have believed it.

Earlier this year, original bass player, Todd Herrington, and drummer Joel DeNunzio decided to focus on their Richmond instrumental funk group, the Modern Groove Syndicate. Vocalist Lydia Ooghe opted to front her own band in New York. Recently, sax player Steve Norfleet decided to give it a shot with his own band, the Devil's Workshop Big Band.

Hund decided to find new players.

"If you have five partners in a law firm, it's not like you would hire another person in two weeks and have the training down perfectly," Hund says "It was difficult. ... It also takes six months before you feel comfortable onstage."

Currently, he's very happy with the results.

"They've got a lot of energy," Hund says of his new bandmates. "And they're also experienced and very talented. I feel like the music is more focused than before. Offstage they are very nice people and we all get along very well, which is probably more important than all their talent and experience combined."

While the band may have new faces, the song remains the same.

"It's still groove rock and jazz disguised in a rock format," Hund says. "The band is different but the themes are the same."

In the fall, the group plans to play clubs along the East Coast and attempt to expand its horizons.

"We'll be twisting arms to get some opener slots with regional and national bands on their tours," Hund says. "Imagine a whole bunch of bands, managers and agents all scraping, clawing and fighting for these opportunities. That's about 20 percent of how rough it is."

Before joining the fracas, however, Hund recently finished recording 15 acoustic tunes with music engineer Will Brierre. Three songs have been finished with the rest of the band and are collectively titled the "Brierre Sessions." The disc will be sold at shows, and it will serve as a means to promote Buzby to labels.

"We may treat these as preproduction for the next album and wait until we get some label support to begin recording tracks for another record we'll release commercially," Hund says.

In the meantime, one single, "Trash," will be included in a Tower Records compilation due this fall. This makes Hund laugh.

"'Trash' began as an accident while I was tuning my guitar. I played F sharp and G together and it sounded awful and dirty and good!" he says.

"I busted out some lyrics off the top of my head about a rock in a driveway I saw out in California. It describes the comings and goings, including the trash truck on Thursday, as seen by this rock — though I try to make you think it's talking about a crotchety, dirty old man.

"The song was done in about an hour and I thought everyone was going to hate it. It turns out it's everyone's favorite song. Shows how much I know..." S



Buzby will open Friday Cheers for Jimmie's Chicken Shack on Aug. 30. The show takes place from 6-9:30 p.m. on Brown's Island. Admission is free. Call 788-6466.

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