(From left) Sherwood Lumsden, Geoff Paisley and Matt Young are Hey Buster. Photo by Kathleen Wilker
Hey Buster is a three dad band writing and singing “wonkytonk-folk-a-rockabilly-booger-peedancing tunes” for the whole family.
The musical adventure started when Geoff Paisley of Wellington West and Sherwood Lumsden of Preston Street took extended parental leave with their now five-year-olds.The dads are old friends but it wasn’t until they signed their young children up for the same Kindermusik class that they realised they both loved to sing.“We found ourselves having a competitive harmony sing off,” says Lumsden whose roots in the Ottawa rockabilly and country music scene go way back.“So the next time our families got together, we picked up our guitars and started playing for the kids.
Wellington West’s Matt Young, whose background in musical theatre has guided the band in developing harmonies to the tunes all three dads have written, was the first member of Hey Buster to write an original song.“When Matt showed up after one of our family swim dates at Plant Pool with “Lice Twice,” remembers Lumsden, “I knew we had a band.”
All of Hey Buster’s songs are inspired by things their kids have said or done.“Peedance” was born on a play date when all of the kids refused to stop playing long enough to pee.“It was driving us dads crazy,” remembers Paisley, “So we started singing about it.”
While Hey Buster’s tunes all have deep kid appeal, they are intentionally written and performed to appeal to and entertain both the adults in the band and the adults in the audience.“A lot of children’s entertainers are hard for parents to listen to and enjoy,” says Lumsden.“We wanted everyone to have a good time.”
How do these busy dads make time for Hey Buster?“We practice from 9:30pm-11pm on a Friday, after the kids have gone to bed,” says Paisley who welcomes the chance to hang out with friends and enjoys the creative outlet Hey Buster provides.“The only way this band could meet more of our needs as dads looking for a fun night out is if we practiced on treadmills,” says Paisley, an athlete who loves to ski and cycle.
After a successful summer of performing at street parties and local playgroups, Hey Buster has just released their first CD.
The CD Release Party and Family Dance – where kids and adults were $5 each and grandparents were free — was held at Patrick Gordon Framing, on Sunday December 5, 2010 with a full band of Lumsden’s old musician friends, hired for the occasion.“The full band is recorded on our CD, but we hadn’t actually met them or performed with them before,” said Young who had fun singing with a full band to an audience of old friends and neighbours.
Like Paisley, Young is a primary school teacher who loves making kids laugh and helping parents relax.