The Buskers

The Buskers

 New Hampton, New Hampshire, USA

The inventiveness of jazz, the simplicity and directness of folk music, and the energy of a roots rock house party. Old school instrumentation with Kay Zee Sommer on lead violin, supported by great songwriting all around. A happy, versatile band with a great sense of humor onstage.


The Buskers have been digging among the roots of popular music since they met at an acoustic open mic in New Hampshire in 1993.

With more or less old school instruments led by the genre-blurring violinist KZ Sommer, they tap the street music tradition for which they are named, then go much further, with serious musicianship, a sense of humor, and energy to burn. Their kitchen sink repertoire ignores boundaries between jazz, folk and rock. Their sound is defined only by deep respect for the craft of songwriting and arranging, and a shared love for the inventive possibilities of improvisation.

KayZee Sommer has studied with artists as diverse as latin jazz maestro Eddie Palmieri and the Turtle Island String Quartet, played for years with the swing band Sweet, Hot & Sassy, and runs an acoustic music camp in New Hampshire every September  ( Jazz pianist, bassist and accordionist Craig Jaster has played with a variety of jazz artists, including Delfeayo Marsalis, Tiger Okoshi and the late Big Joe Burrell. Guitarist Paul Hubert has performed extensively in New England as a solo artist on classical guitar and as a singer/songwriter.

The Buskers have toured and recorded with several great freelance drummers, including Tim Gilmore, Kyle Tupper, Kyle Crane, Gary Gemmiti and Paul Knowles.


World Weary Soul

Written By: Craig Jaster

world weary, world weary soul
fell asleep on a feather bed
woke on the cold hard ground
who pulled the pillow out from under your head
and left you standing by the side of the road
no cars in sight and so far to go
oh world weary soul
the sooner we start walking
the sooner we’ll reach home

world weary, world weary soul
cruel father teaches his kids to swim
he picks em up, lord, and he throws ‘em in
and its no wonder that you’re sinking under
can’t reach the shore when the current’s so strong
if you just tread water til your strength is gone
oh, world weary soul
may your toes touch the bottom
and you find some solid ground
before too long

look out my window, the city’s covered in snow
like a blanket on the silent street below
it’s still the same grey underneath
but for once it doesn’t show

It's Gonna Rain, It's Gonna Pour

Written By: Craig Jaster

it’s gonna rain, it’s gonna pour
there’s gonna be a thunderstorm
& it won’t matter how hard you try
well, no umbrella, could keep you dry
it’s gonna rain, it’s gonna pour
there’s gonna be a thunderstorm tonight

the night is hot, the city steams
I’m feeling restless
no room to breathe
let’s get out before we overheat
I’ll meet you down on the corner of Hawthorne Street
I hear thunder in the distance
and it sounds like a drumbeat
it's gonna rain...

been a long hot summer
and I can’t take
another night like this
the spell has got to break
come on out, I wish you would
we’ll take a long, slow walk
thru the neighborhood
& if it starts to rain, well that just might feel good

a sudden breeze stirs the leaves
in the treetops
big fat raindrops fall on the sidewalk
let it rain, let it rain
let it hit like a freight train
let it come down hard
like a hurricane
oooh, I’m ready for anything
it's gonna rain...

…and it wont matter what we do
we’re both gonna get soaked through and through,
it's gonna rain...

Put The Fiddles Down, Boys

Written By: Craig Jaster

now the wedding’s over
they’ve turned up all the lights
and in that fine flourescence
you can really see
what things looks like
just the band is left, now
and that’s not a pretty sight
so put the fiddles down, boys
and let’s call it a night

god bless the happy couple
we wish them both good cheer
they just spent more bread tonight
than we’ll make in a year
we could have charged them double
well, our consciences are clear
so put the fiddles down, boys
and let’s get out of here

the bride she was a beauty
the band they all agreed
the barmaid was cute
but she was young enough to be
one of our own children
the ones we seldom see
so put the fiddles down, boys
put the fiddles down
oh I miss my honeybee

well, congratulations
we made it out the door
we pack the station wagons up
and wonder what we do it for
but we all know damn well
that we can’t wait to play some more
so put the fiddles down, boys
until tomorrow night
then we’ll pick the fiddles up, boys
rosin up the bow and play all night

Call Me A Fool

Written By: Paul Hubert

call me a fool
a crazy, crazy man
who just can't keep it cool
call me insane
a wild and desperate renegade, impossible to tame
call me a fool
as funny as a monkey
and as stubborn as a mule
I know it's true
call me a fool for lovin' you

call me a fool, tell me I'm blind
a little slow, one step behind
tell me to turn and walk away
tell me anything, but please
don't take your love away

call me a fool
I never ever got around to learning all the rules
call me a clown
dress me up and take my ear
and lead me all around
call me a fool
makin' jokes and acting like I've never been to school
because it's true
call me a fool for lovin' you

Set List

Our set list depends on the venue. We modify the set lists and choose from a huge repertoire; more than we can ever hope to play at one show. In an opera house/concert setting, we might start off with a voodoo/gumbo cover of the old Appalachian tune Shady Grove, with three-part harmony, competing solos from violin and piano; and go from there. We play mostly from our original songs (75%?), covering folk/pop, jazz and roots, with some covers of standards by the likes of Fats Waller or Louis Jordan, roots rock interpretations of Cajun or New Orleans or traditional fiddle tunes, and maybe something by Ray Charles-plus spontaneous storytelling interruptions and talking to the audience.

Or they can just play background jazz instrumentals all night (code name: T.B.B. "Tasteful Beyond Belief."). Generous to a fault, they have even once in a while played Ye Olde Requestes like "Proud Mary," (but not "The Devil Went Down To Georgia").