The Baudboys
Gig Seeker Pro

The Baudboys

Band Pop

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


"Microsoft’s Baudboys entertain with music, comedy"

I’m a PC. Forget about Mac. It’s PC for me all the way.

Not just because I believe in Bill Gates, no matter how he distances himself from the lead position at Microsoft.

Not just because the Gates Foundation continues to take bold, giant strides to make the world a better place.

Not just because I worship Ben Smith, my computer guy, owner of Soho Computer Services, who only works on PCs and does the impossible job of translating computer-speak into something even I can understand.

Now, there’s another reason. Pure and simple. It’s the singing group, The Baudboys — eight guys who work at Microsoft. The original group was formed 15 years ago, and this latest iteration has been together for about four years. They are Microsofties Elliot Lewis, developer; Dave McEwen, self-proclaimed “marketing hack”; Mark Adolph and Owen Braun, both program managers; Jonathan Schwartz, architect with Windows; Paul Eng, test lead; and program managers Graham Sheldon and Ric Lewis.

Dressed in jeans, and black T-shirts emblazoned with “Geek” (all but one, which reads, “I’m a PC”), The Baudboys clearly haven’t invested much in their costumes.

“We got these from the company store,” they tell me, proudly. They don’t need costumes. Their rich, varied voices and individual geekiness carry the act.

I’d never heard of them before Oct. 18, when my Wells Fargo financial consultant, Senior Vice President Jeff Bander and his wife, Mary Bander, invited me to Kirkland Performance Center. Jeff Bander is on the KPC board and sponsored this packed-to-the-gills evening.

The Baudboys offered beat boxing, great harmonies and unique music, including a song with hilarious lyrics — a geek talking with his lover, asking her to wait just a few moments for intimacy until he racked up more points in his video game. “I think this Xbox is the greatest present I’ve every gotten ... for you,” they crooned, accompanied by the laughter of the cheering crowd.

This group has performed at major sporting events, the legendary Microsoft company picnic, and on the Microsoft campus. They’ve won some major singing competitions. Somehow, they have not performed for Bill.

He needs to hear them. Hey, Bill: it’s baudboys@baudboys.com

Only critical comment — less bantering and more performing, please.

The Baudboys was the warm-up act. Many audience members didn’t think it could get much better. But it did — when a more experienced, energetic and polished group called The Coats took the stage, to deafening cheers, and eclipsed the act before them.

The Coats, idols of The Baudboys, started performing on Seattle street corners years ago to try to make college tuition money. They’ve come a long way, winning national competitions and playing with the likes of Ronnie Milsap, Trisha Yearwood, the Beach Boys, Montgomery Gentry and more.

They have a big local following. In fact, their holiday concert at Benaroya Hall is usually sold out.
It’s not hard to see why. They have more talent than many groups who’ve made it big.

But because the music business is fickle and difficult, these guys still work in other businesses: Kerry Dahlen works in construction; Jamie Dieveney is a tennis pro in Bellevue and Mercer Island; Keith Michael Anderson does custom cabinetry, and Doug Wisness manages the group and works a variety of jobs.

They’ve churned out several CDs, all listed on their website. Their range and reach of voice and music styles are nothing short of extraordinary.

At the end of their act, when the audience screamed for more, they brought out a fellow musician, Geoffrey Castle, who, in tandem with The Coats and with his six-string electric violin, rocked the house with “Thank God I’m a Country Boy.”

Turns out Castle, who lives in Kirkland, has been playing professionally for at least 20 years, travels the country playing corporate and other gigs, has his own slate of CDs and makes his living performing music. No side jobs to keep him afloat.

Word is he’ll be playing for the Microsoft Service Awards Banquet, although he is mum about it. He’s playing at the Bellevue Westin’s Cypress Lounge on Oct. 24. Check it out on www.geoffreycastle.com.

I’m a tough music critic. Very picky. Been around it all my life. These guys, all of them, were very impressive. I’d recommend them in a heartbeat for any party, personal or corporate. They’ll rock your world. - Puget Sound Business Journal


"Voice Male … Maybe the Best You’ll Hear"

Some are in it for the camaraderie, some for the love of music, and some have something to prove.

Whatever the reason, eight Microsoft employees get together every Thursday to sing. And only sing. As members of a cappella ensemble, the Baudboys, they don’t need instruments, don’t need time to set up or tune up. All they need are their voices and each other.

Being together works so well that for the Baudboys, Thursday is the new Friday.

“I laugh more at Thursday rehearsals than any other day of the week,” said Dave McEwen, Baudboys’ bass from Developer and Platform Evangelism.

Recently the group also enjoyed unprecedented success. Competing at the Northwest Harmony Sweepstakes last month, the Baudboys walked away with second place, ahead of many professional groups.

“I certainly got the loudest applause of my life at ‘Sweeps’ – it was a defining moment,” said Graham Sheldon, tenor and vocal percussionist from Microsoft Business Solutions.

“Our goal was to get out there and give the best performance we could, and I think we did just that,” said Owen Braun, the Baudboys’ musical director from OneNote.

Most group members have sung for years. Many performed in college groups and all share a long love of music. When each discovered the a cappella group at Microsoft, something clicked for them.

“There’s a purity to the way all the voices [sound] together and the intricate harmonies you can build on,” said Elliot Lewis, a baritone from Customer Relationship Management. “I really do get a sense of camaraderie when we’re together. It enhances the music.”


From left, Elliot Lewis, Paul Eng, Dave McEwen, Owen Braun, Mark Adolph, Jonathan Schwartz and Graham Sheldon of the Baudboys celebrate their recent second-place showing at Northwest Harmony Sweepstakes. Lenny Chung joined the group after this photo was taken. Photo courtesy of Dave McEwen


The Baudboys have performed for 15 years, before a variety of audiences on campus, at high schools, nursing homes, churches and local sporting events. On May 23, they will share the stage with DISH, another a cappella group, at the Hugo House in Seattle. On July 22-23, the group will perform at the Company Picnic.

If a cappella conjures up images of a stiff half-circle of men singing show tunes in the barbershop style, then the Baudboys would definitely surprise. The Baudboys are not your grandpa’s a cappella group. Their lively set list includes jazz standards, covers of They Might Be Giants and Paul Simon tunes, original works and songs heavy on wit, a la Weird Al Yankovich. The word choreography even comes up in show descriptions.

One of their biggest hits, “Gonna Make You Happy Tonight,” is a classic, albeit tongue-in-cheek, love song. A man pledges a night of romance to his lady love – as soon as he completes the next level on his video game.

And the Baudboys want to debunk myths about the techies.

“People have very strong stereotypes about technology workers – that [we] don’t bathe regularly and [do] stay up all night playing Starcraft,” said Baudboys’ high tenor Lenny Chung, who works with Administration eXperience Platform. “People assume that if you are passionate about technology, you won’t be passionate about things like music and art.”

The Baudboys aim to be unofficial ambassadors for Microsoft at company events, public performances and even during recruiting.

“I would like to see us become known, first of all, by the Microsoft community,” said Mark Adolph, Baudboys’ baritone from Sustained Engineering, “We want to be ambassadors for Microsoft. I want Microsoft to know that we’re here, we’re fun and we’re your group.” - MicroNews


Discography

CD: Hello World (just released)

Photos

Bio

The Baudboys have been in existence for over 20 years at Microsoft, always composed of current employees. We have placed three times at Harmony Sweepstakes, winning the Northwest Regional in 2008, and placing an (unofficial) second for Audience Favorite at the national competition.