BUD BUCKLEY: Drawing strong comparisons to Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler, Bud Buckley has come on to the indie acoustic rock scene by blending thoughtful fingerstyle acoustic guitar with thoughtful vignette-style lyrics.
His second CD, It’s About Time, was released at the end of 2007 and brought more of the same musical stylings after his debut release, Feel My Love, in 2004. Overall, however, the 10-track CD has a more mature, refined tone. “Can’t Leave My Mind,” features intricate strings precisely mixed while Bud’s thoughtful lyrics depict an endearing relationship. In it, he sings, “You blow through my hair even when it’s still/I feel you in everything you’ve touched/You seep into me against my will.” His track “Underground” offers a true acoustic rock sound ala John Mellencamp with a humane message as he sings, “The air is getting filthy so we’ll call it nice and clean/The rivers run with mercury and the fish are turning mean.”
“To me songs are more about the words and the vocal delivery. I’d like to think that my lyrics speak to our humanity, our wins and losses, our draws and each of those is equally valuable. I also strive not to use clichés either lyrically or musically. Damn hard to do in this day and age and still be at all intelligible.”
Reviewers have glowed about the release. Creative Loafing called Bud’s music “…a sincere set of acoustic folk rock, elevated by mature arrangements.” Among a slew of other positive comments have earned Bud a positive reputation. “Bud Buckley makes the kind of music that I want to hear when I listen to the radio, and that's why I don't listen to the radio,” claims Chris Propfe of MusesMuse.com.
Hailing from Venice, Florida, Bud has also lived in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. Bud spent most of his adult life in the Woodstock, New York, region. A self-taught guitarist, he taught elementary school students . It was then he met his mentor Helen Avakian, a resident Flamenco guitarist at Bard College and multi-talented singer/songwriter, who educated him in fingerstyle guitar. She was a driving force in challenging him to write and worked with Bud’s wife, Cathy Lewis, to connect him with voice instructor Leslie Ritter (of the duo Leslie Ritter and Amy Fradon).
“Helen set me loose and my musician friend Davis Turner on Amelia Island, Florida, coaxed me to perform. I started doing open mic and bars and coffee houses and started getting steady gigs and eventually had enough material to record two CDs,” says Bud.
His college education in journalism and experience as a feature writer and columnist lent him strength in the songwriting department, though Bud admits that he had help from others to create the tracks. Bud penned all of the songs on his album with some co-writing input from former student Kathy Feeney. Author James Braha, one of his guitar students, co-wrote “Meltdown” while he was teaching him.
“Writing is my first strength, certainly. But I love the process of striving to become better and better at writing music. The same is true of my performance skills. I like to think I get better all the time. I certainly work at it,” says Bud, who plays harmonica as well as guitar.
Bud’s music has been featured on compilation CDs such as Moozikoo’s Best of Indies and Indie Music for Life, Positively Music BenefitCompilation and Quickstar’s Chill Out. His song “Crowded Memory” has been placed in a public service advertisement in California for a drug rehabilitation facility. He is entertaining several licensing and co-publishing deals with different music libraries. “I have to be patient about that. There are many offers to use me and abuse me, but I’ll wait for an honest offer to come along.”
HELEN AVAKIAN can play any style of guitar but her Masters Degree is in Classical Guitar from New York’s Hunter College. She also serves as the resident Flamenco guitarist at Bard College, an institution known for it’s more notorious students, Donald Fagen, Walter Becker and Chevy Chase. She has opened for Mary Chapin Carpenter, Marshall Crenshaw, and the New York Philharmonic among others. She has appeared at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, on WNYC and WQXR New York city radio, and on PBS television. She shared the stage with actors Vanessa and Rachel Redgrave as the guitarist in their production of "Sarah Bernhardt Comes to Town.” She is currently finishing her third folk/rock album. Her last one won "Favorite Recording" from Rhythm and News Magazine. She also is on a classical CD with her composer/classical guitarist husband Terry Champlin, who teaches classical guitar at both Vassar College and Mannes College New School for Music in NYC. Helen produced this CD and her impeccable taste and pristine ear is evident in every measure. Together with her husband Terry, she provides ethereal classic guitar as well as a tinge of flamenco and some Brazilian Samba on this album. Her background singing here has been called reminiscent of Damien Rice’s own Lisa Hannigan. Bud describes Helen as his dear friend and musical dominatrix. She is releasing her newest CD."I Love The Moon," in June 2008.
TERRY CHAMPLIN (see also above) contributed classical guitar and drive by production tips for the album. His advice was indispensable. He has written widely for all mediums, from orchestra to solo classical guitar. His music has been performed in Korea, Japan, Mexico, Greece and throughout Europe by such groups and artists as David Starobin, Evangelos and Liza, The Woodstock Chamber Orchestra and The Highlands Symphony. His music has been described as “haunting,” “celebrating the human potential . . . you want to hear it again the minute it’s over,” and “beautiful, inspired, and honest.” Originally educated as a theoretical physicist at MIT, Mr. Champlin then took up music, studying guitar with cellist Luis Garcia Renart, violinist Mark Sokol and guitarist Alexander Bellow. He studied composition with David Loeb and Robert Cuckson. It is a little known fact that Champlin was the original house guitarist at Woodstock’s famed Joyous Lake Cafe’.
DENI BONET joined the studio band for six songs and about 18 tracks. She lit the place up with her inventive on-the-fly arranging, her fiery red hair and her outrageous personality. She is a Lilith Fair performing artist, a singer/songwriter and classically-trained violinist who quit the classical world early in her career because she hated having to wear black and sit still! Deni has either recorded or performed with REM, Sarah McLachlan, Chris Whitley, Cyndi Lauper, Daniel Lanois, Gravity Kills & Robyn Hitchcock amongst many others. She was an original member of the cast of the nationally syndicated radio show, MOUNTAIN STAGE; singing and performing in her own right and accompanying guests on the show - anyone from Richard Thompson to the Indigo Girls to Warren Zevon to Allen Toussaint. Deni left the show to pursue a solo career, with a mission to prove that there is more to the violin than concertos or hoe-downs! She is releasiedher third CD, "Last Girl On Earth," this in April 2008.
SCOTT PETITO owns and operates NRS Studios outside of Woodstock, NY. He plays bass, piano and B2 organ and some acoustic and electric guitar on the CD as well as adding some production of his own. He is totally responsible for the first class mix you hear o this album. Scott grew up near Woodstock, NY, studied at Berklee College of Music, and is the award-winning producer/owner of NRS Recording Studios. Scott's live and recorded performance credits include The Band, Rory Block, James and Livingston Taylor, Mark Knopfler, Keith Richards, Allan Ginsburg, Happy & Artie Traum, The Dolphins, Bela Fleck, Howard Levy, Tom Paxton, Michael Franks, Stevie Wonder, John Sebastian and hundreds more. He is also bassist for the seminal poetry/rock group, "The Fugs". As a producer, Scott's records have earned Grammy nominations, Top 40 AC Singles, European Gold Singles and frequent placement on radio charts. Scott has composed and produced musical scores for film and TV - BBC, CBC, Discovery, Disney, CBS, PBS, Lifetime, Weather Channel - and numerous corporate clients (BMW, Estee Lauder, Kraft Foods, AT&T, Revlon, Wired Music Services).
BETH REINEKE, is Scott’s production assistant but much much more. She served as a vocal coach at times on this project and provided back-up harmonies with Helen. Her performance and recording credits are quite impressive. Here are a few: Beth has performed on a regular basis with Leslie Ritter & Scott Petito and is currently appearing at some Christine Spero Group. shows. Beth has Performed Live with: Rick Danko, Happy & Artie Traum, Jay Ungar & Molly Mason, Helen Avakian, Bob Warren,Tom Pacheco, Steve Seskin, Jonn Hamlin, Reggie Harris, Steve Cramer, Melissa Holland, Sarah Bonsignore and Billie Rainbird. Some Recording Credits: Rick Danko, Steinar Albrigtsen & Tom Pacheco, Kate McDonnell,Tom Pacheco, The Fugs, Pete Seeger, Billy Bragg, Ani DiFranco & Steve Earle, Nancy Walker, Ben Murray & Siobhan Quinn, Michael Franks, Robbie Dupree
CHRIS CAREY played perfect drums only hearing the tracks once. He’s an expert session musician. He records and performs with Sarah Pedinotti and the Raptors and also recorded with Helen Avakian, which is how I met him. Chris was only in the studio one day. That’s what a work horse he is! He played his eyeballs out. He was fed, he made everyone laugh. A LOT. Then he played his eyeballs out some more. Bud is eager to work with Chris again.
LAUREL PISTEY played Cello on “I Still REmember (How That Feels)”. Laurel was one of Bud’s former students. He met her when she was in Kindergarten when she came to read to his fourth graders. Precocious even then, she is a wonderful cellist majoring in performance at The University of Illinois.
KATHY FEENEY co-wrote several songs on this album and the last as well as a few still unrecorded. She served as the inspiration and official muse on some others. Another former student who Bud has known since she was six years old. She learned to read his mind and finish his sentences. Handy skills for a co-writer. She is a college student at Swarthmore College in Philadelphia, home of Bud’s birth. Speaking of birth, Kathy was born within hours of the death of Bud’s brother. Once or twice he has slipped and called her “Jack.”
JAMES BRAHA co-wrote the song “Meltdown.” That is, it was his song that Bud absorbed and forced himself on. As his guitar teacher, he took advantage of him. James isn’t usually as angry as this song would lead you to believe. James, in fact, is so mellow that he has written five books on Hindu Astrology that are considered to be the best in the field. Meltdown came about after a stock partnership deal went very sour. James makes his living now investing in precious metals. It’s all in the stars so Bud traded him a Taylor guitar for part of a gold mine. He loves this guy so they won’t be writing Meltdown2.