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Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2006 | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2006
Band Rock Indie




"Buddy - Weak Currents"

Sound it Out # 71

Buddy is an evolving collection of Los Angeles musicians, the singer & songwriter of which is a man named Buddy. Buddy’s songs are full of brilliant turns of phrase and suffused with beauty, longing, and sadness.

In live performance, the band feels like a group of tight friends coming together to support someone they love. Often, six or seven musicians cram onto the stage behind Buddy the singer to become the larger “Buddy” - the greater expression of a man who appears genuinely surprised and grateful that people enjoy his music. Buddy is now on tour with a stripped-down (and equally powerful) version of the band, and you should go check them out in your town.

Buddy has a new album coming out on August 19th called Last Call for the Quiet Life. The sound is lush where his previous work was spare, and it features lots of lovely vocal harmonies. It’s his best work and I’m proud to premiere the first single “Weak Currents” and offer you a free download. Grab it below. You can also pre-order the record on iTunes if you dig it. - boing boing 10,000 + streams

"Artists Pay Tribute To Elton John, Bernie Taupin"

NEW YORK -- "It was hard to choose one," said Shawn Colvin, before performing "Sacrifice" at a tribute to the songwriting team of Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Wednesday night at Carnegie Hall.

No kidding. John and lyricist Taupin have one of the biggest and most varied catalogs in the business, and it's almost impossible for a tribute concert -- even a generous one like Wednesday's, which featured 20 artists doing one song apiece -- to do it justice.

There was no "Daniel" in this tribute, a benefit for the UJA-Federation of New York's Music For Youth initiative. There was no "Someone Saved My Life Tonight." No "Candle in the Wind." No "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me." No "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." There just wasn't enough time.

Also, artists didn't restrict themselves to monster hits. So Page McConnell of Phish, for instance, tackled "Amoreena," adding a touch of cocktail-lounge suavity, and Aimee Mann sang a graceful, slightly melancholy "My Father's Gun." Folk-rock visionary Roger McGuinn turned in a loose, upbeat "Friends," and jazz singer-vibraphonist Roy Ayers funked up "Bad Side of the Moon."

John didn't attend, but Taupin did; he was introduced, from his balcony seat, at the start of the show, and waved. One imagines it was quite a night for him, listening to such an eclectic batch of artists bring new shades of meaning to his words.
Roger McGuinn plays "Friends" during the salute to the songwriting team.
David Broza opted for one of the best-known John-Taupin compositions, "Your Song," and put an odd twist on it, turning this humble love letter into a bold, flamenco-tinged declaration. The singer-songwriter known only as Buddy offered an equally adventurous, and more satisfying, overhaul of a John-Taupin classic. Singing "I'm Still Standing," he sounded fragile and wounded at first, but ended with a cathartic raveup; it really seemed like he had triumphed over something. Colvin interpreted "Sacrifice" in a gentle, coffeehouse-folk manner, and the group Fools For April treated "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" in much the same way. But most artists tried for something more dramatic. Phoebe Snow turned "Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)" -- a John Lennon tribute written shortly after his death -- into an explosive soul-gospel epic, and Lizz Wright smoldered in torch-song fashion, on "Come Down In Time." Raul Malo brought a near-operatic sense of intensity to "Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word," while Ryan Shaw added some dazzling vocal runs to "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues." Jill Sobule, sumptuously backed by the Ethel string quartet and keyboardist Steve Gaboury, sang "Levon" with an irresistibly uplifting sense of joy. The evening's biggest trouper turned out to be new-wave survivor Howard Jones, who didn't get upset when his electric keyboard issued blasts of static as he tried to sing "Tiny Dancer." He just shrugged, exchanged smiles with his guitarist, walked over to the grand piano at the side of the stage, and started over. His version was straightforward, but still magical, with the crowd helping to sing the song's soaring chorus. The show-closing slot went to British Invasion stars Peter & Gordon -- Peter Asher and Gordon Waller, who recently started performing together again after a 38-year break. They reinvented a relatively new John-Taupin song, the stately "I Want Love," with their lush harmonies, making it sound like one of their own hits. This was the fourth Music For Youth benefit that has taken place since early 2006; the previous ones saluted Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Joni Mitchell. No date has been set for the next in the series.
Jay Lustig may be reached at jlustig@starledger.com or (973) 392-5850. - Star-Ledger


"Buddy writes some of the prettiest, catchiest melodic pop songs I've heard in a
long time. Be the first of your friends to discover him."
Elise, SOMAfm Indie Pop Rock.


On his debut album, "Alterations and Repairs," Buddy -- Humberston is the last name, "but that's kind of a mouthful," he allows -- delivers crisp, date-movie pop in a tenor so gossamer you fear the next finger-picked note might puncture it, though it never does. His on-the-beat vocals allude to life-changing events, reflecting the period after he moved to Los Angeles from Portland, Ore., and wrote much of the material.

"It was a time I was breaking free of a few things," he says.

And, as it turns out, attaching himself to others. When he played his first show at the Hotel Cafe in 2004, he befriended the doorman and sound guy -- both of whom now play in his band. He cites the venue's fraternal feel in helping build his confidence.

"When I did finally work up the courage to get out and do the solo thing, it was amazing to be welcomed like I was," Buddy says. "It means a lot when people you respect come up to you after a show. ... There are so many people, and so many talented ones, it can be kind of overwhelming and intimidating."



Say A Lot is a heartbreakingly beautiful song by this singer named Buddy.

...we've been playing Say A Lot non-stop. It is GORGEOUS.
- perez hilton


Actually, BUDDY, as he calls himself, is a native Oregonian who does, proudly, I assume, call his music "Wimpycore." With a sincere, Ben Gibbard-like voice and extremely infectious lo-fi indie melodies, BUDDY is part of that Hotel Cafe crowd in LA (Cary Brothers, Ian Ball, etc) and is truly an artist to watch in 2008 (all you have to do is hear SALT POINT from his '05 EP- just try getting it out of your head). He recently put out his first full length, ALTERATIONS AND REPAIRS. - WTMD Radio


"Last Call For The Quiet Life" (2014)

"Campfire" EP (2012)

"My Left Your Right" Single featuring Meiko
The Big C - Soundtrack LP (2011)
Perfect as Cats -- Cure Tribute LP (2008) ManimalVinyl
Alterations and Repairs -- LP (2007).
More of the Shame -- Single (2006)  
Buddy -- ST/EP (2005)

Radio spins: regularly played on KCRW, WFUV, SomaFM, KUSF. Featured on NPR's "All Things Considered".

Streaming: Spotify, Pandora



Sometimes to find the real beginning of something you have to begin again. That’s how it was for Buddy on the Los Angeles indie pop group’s second album. After the release of the band’s debut album, Alterations and Repairs, in 2007, the musicians were riding high, encouraged by the response to the music so far. Formed by Buddy, a Portland-born musician who relocated to Los Angeles in 2002, the band evolved from an acoustic project to a full-fledged rock outfit. It was an aesthetic that the group, which came together in 2006 when Buddy was asked to open for Tommy Stinson but couldn’t play guitar with a broken arm and needed a backing band, honed during their live shows on stages around LA and on tour across the country for several years. So when Buddy began writing material for a second full-length the musical goals felt fuzzy, the lines between acoustic singer-songwriter and rock band blurred. Buddy and his band recorded an entire new album in 2009 and, after touring with Gomez in 2010, determined to scrap it.

“The first record came together very naturally,” Buddy says. “But on this second record I felt like I was not as sure of myself or what I was doing. I felt like I was riding this wave of energy but not really sure how it felt at the end of the day. I liked the record but it didn’t feel authentically me. I think we had an identity crisis. It was a hard decision to put it aside because we had spent a ton of time on it, but there was something missing. I had a responsibility to really stand behind something and focus on the longevity of the project. It should be the best we could do and this wasn’t it. It was really risky. It stopped everything.”

Buddy spent the next year feeling lost, uncertain how to proceed with the band, unsure of where to take the music. He was searching for a new beginning, one that felt organic to him as a musician. It turned out that collaboration was the key to hitting the restart button. Five tracks from the unreleased album did eventually emerge in 2012 as the Campfire EP, but Buddy needed a new inspiration for his second album. In 2012, Buddy and Will started writing and recording together in Los Angeles. It was a harmonious partnership, with Will leading the charge on much of the album’s production. The songs were bigger and fuller, propelled by more electronic elements than Buddy had previously employed.

 “Buddy’s songs are very personal to him and he puts so much of himself into them,” Will says. “So I understood why he felt like it wasn’t working but at the end of the day I think we still learned a lot from it. It was really nice to get in and work together. It was late nights. We would just show up every day. We wrote over 30 songs. We could sift through those and decide what would work. It was simple and really easy. These songs represent Buddy really well and show how he’s grown as a songwriter.”

The album itself, Last Call For The Quiet Life, reflects Buddy’s struggle and reconciliation with himself over the past few years. For him, the songs are a sort of confessional therapy, a place to channel the issues and ideas that plague his mind. One song, “Anchor,” even began as a poem Buddy had written, which was a new method of songwriting for him. The album’s title is derived from a line in the album’s first track, embodying the idea that you never know how long the window of opportunity will be open. The music itself embraces a more up-tempo rock vibe that reflects Buddy’s live performance, each instrument layering together to create a buoyant but introspective indie pop vibe.

The disc features several guest musicians, including Michelle Branch, Cary Brothers and Holly Conlan, who lend their voices to the soaring melodies. The duo finished recording the album in early 2013 and went to Seattle in February and March to mix the record with Phil Ek at Avast Studios. The album was mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound in March 2013 in New York City. The final album is a strikingly evocative collection of songs that represents the musicians who made it. From shimmering opener “Weak Currents” to sparsely wrought closer “Scrap Metal,” Last Call For The Quiet Life contains the ups and downs of existence and relationships and family, and the highs and lows of finding yourself in your own life. Each note resonates with its own emotion, creating an overall narrative of what it means to find the right beginning. Or, to let it find us.

“When you start something you don’t know where it’s going to go,” Buddy says. “The whole record felt like solid footing right away. It wasn’t anguished over. We just did what we both do. I needed to feel scared and not know where it was going. I had to learn to just let it happen and let it keep unfolding. When you do that, suddenly you have these songs and they all go together.”

Band Members