Buzz Deluxe – Live at the Junction City Music Hall – Saturday January 31, 2015 – Toronto, Ontario

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The Junction City Music Hall conjures up images of a massive venue on the west side of Toronto’s Dundas Street. I wondered, how could I have missed it? In reality the hall is a long basement venue with dimly lit booths along the left hand side, and a bar boasting a decent collection of whiskey and bourbon to the right. The stage is set at the far end of the space. Record jackets of everything from Barry White to the Beatles are plastered over the walls. Pulling the entire atmosphere together, the music supplied by DJ Misty was a top notch assortment of roots rock and rockabilly tunes. The eight dollar beer and Jameson deal seemed like a good way to start things off, so we settled into a booth and jammed until the bands went up.

Buzz Deluxe has always delivered an amazing show. A lot of that is due to the fantastic musicianship of the band as a whole. Kerry Dale’s drumming is precise with that soft jazzy touch, and is still able to sing well while playing. The newest addition to the lineup breaks away from rockabilly tradition with a Fender Precision bass rather than a double, but Michelle Cooney looks as if she belongs there and plays awesome. It’s Jesse Dale’s guitar work and vocals that really brings the band together as he rasps about the dark side of love while wailing on his Gretsch. It’s no secret that Jesse is the driving force behind Buzz Deluxe’s career, which spans over a decade and has brought them as far as Australia. The lineup has obviously changed over the years, as has their sound- not an easy task within the rockabilly/psychobilly scene. Yet Buzz Deluxe has matured beautifully without alienating themselves from the sound that defined their early work.

They played songs from their 2009 Release Songs for the Hanged Man like “Us Against You” and “100 Percent Something.” Jesse has always had a certain flair with lyrics, and every time I hear “100% Something” I think about the lyrics towards the end of the tune, “I got forty-five minutes to make you sick / It might not feel good but it’s hundred percent / something.” I love the way Jesse leaves a little mystery within the lyrics. His dark playfulness with words adds to the band’s popularity for sure. The convergence of themes is seen best in the song “5000 Coffins” from 2013’s Miss and Tropic, where he sings: “Five thousand coffins under my feet / five thousand bodies each one of them sweet.” Another good example of lyrics that intrigue me and push me to find the meaning of the song. I was also glad to hear newer tunes like “Old Brown Shoe” and my new favorite head bopper, “Stabbin’ Party.

Written by Jarod Semple



Buzz Deluxe

“Songs For The Hanged Man” (Starving Skull Records)

CD review for Blue Suede News

David S. Faris


Sometimes less is more, and limitations can spark wild creativity. Buzz Deluxe have embraced this philosophy, and have taken a streamlined approach as a band, carving a unique identity for themselves, showcased on their newest album, Songs For The Hanged Man. The Toronto-area 2-piece is a lean, mean combo, with Jesse James Dale on lightning-sharp guitar and vocals, and Kerry Dale on a standup drumkit and vocals. The couple use their primal rock and roll instrumentation to conjure up a raw and raunchy sound without sacrificing melody in their songs. And while The White Stripes may have made a huge impact in the mainstream as a male/female, guitar/drums outfit, Buzz Deluxe are blazing their own trails, and have more in common with groups such as Flat Duo Jets, The Cramps, or Reverend Horton Heat. Their “100 proof death swing” draws influence from ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly, ‘80s psychobilly, and ‘90s grungey indie rock, with a jolt of garage punk aggression, and an overall modern sophistication.


   Buzz Deluxe have a restless energy, and are not afraid to break away from familiar territory in their musical explorations. Songs For The Hanged Man certainly benefits from this approach, and offers up several different aspects of the group’s sound. Recorded in their own home studio (“in our living room where we eat and watch tv” according to the liner notes!), and released on their Starving Skull Records label, Songs is a proud DIY venture which captures Buzz Deluxe in fine form. Kicking off with the scrappy guitars and pounding backbeat of the psycho/garage rocker “Zen”, Songs includes loud, punky thrashers (“Us Against You”, “My Bike”), fuzzy melodic rock (“Amy”), off-kilter countrified licks (“Get Hip”), acoustic songs (“Born to Move”), and the amusingly ridiculous “Chicken Dale”.


   The album’s stylistic twists and turns can be a bit jarring, but Buzz Deluxe are taking the listener on a trip to somewhere dark and dangerous, and there’s no turning back, you just have to hold on and enjoy the wild ride. A few noteworthy tracks include: “Get Hip”, an uptempo song with Kerry Dale on lead vocals, which in a strange way hearkens back to Les Paul and Mary Ford’s pioneering country pop; “Gold or White”, a standout on the album delving into an unbalanced fascination and repulsion with tequila; and “13 Days”, lyrically referencing William S. Burroughs. Buzz Deluxe make the most of their male/female vocal harmonies and guitar/drums interplay, creating a back and forth dynamic that defines their sound.


As the latest in a string of albums and EPs, Songs is an impressive collection, and if you can hunt down the Australian release on Valenteen Records, you’ll be rewarded with 2 bonus tracks. Either way, get hip to the Buzz!





MSN Entertainment writer

album review

Anne Brodie

Buzz Deluxe

self-titled


Mix lightning guitar, cornpone, and kerosene and you have Buzz Deluxe, a thoroughly impressive self-titled CD from Jesse James Dale and Kerry Lyn Dale.  The sound comes from just two musicians but it is uncommonly complex and dense.


Jesse Dale is a musical visionary, blending nearly unimaginable diverse genres into pulse racing, thematic songs.  It's an unusual word to describe an album of rockabilly but it is fascinating, careening from one hot sound to a cool one, bound by literate, clever lyrics and blazing asides, layering visceral and fantasy elements.


Buzz Deluxe is symphonic in nature, sophisticated musical storytelling with emotion and elegance.  It's kick-ass fun, even scary at times.  It tips the hat to the White Stripes, the Doors, Country Joe & the Fish, and the Eagles but remains defiantly unique.  The Dales have a great retro look-good Elvis meets Tammy and the some.  It's a rockin' package, one of the strongest and most unusual albums of the year.


(The author has worked in the media field for over 30 years and has reviewed and interviewed a multitude of major label musicians, from Wyclef Jean to Mick Jagger.  You can contact her at www.annebrodie.ca)





"Stay Slick" CD Review

Knee Deep in Squaresville Toronto Fanzine


The second release from Toronto rockabilly band Buzz Deluxe.  This is a real cool modern rockabilly album-though JD Lucks himself prefers the term "Real Rock n' Roll".

This record is full of floor stomping songs with a whopping load of great guitar work.  JD pulls a little bit of everything out of his guitars.


You like frantic rockabilly solos- he's got 'em, you want some cool jazz flavours- well, he's got that too.  Check out "I'm Not Scared" for the gypsy jazz style solo and a great smoky vocal line.


"Gordon" may be the coolest song anyone has ever written about a dog... great vocal hooks, a great shout-along chorus and another of JD's ripping guitar solos- this is a definite crowd pleaser.


Take a listen to the song "Buried Alive" for its dark, menacing swamp-stomp feel...creepy!

In short, "Stay Slick" swings, it rocks and it rolls!





New Album Review

Christian D (Knee Deep in Squaresville)

BUZZ DELUXE

“Buzz Deluxe”


The new album from Buzz Deluxe, this 15 song self- titled CD rocks! Although, I have one question - how about a lyric sheet next time?  There are some pretty clever lyrical twists here and I’d like to make sure I’m not missing anything!


Did you ever ask yourself what real Rock and Roll is?  Buzz Deluxe have the answer to that question. Ripping guitars, primal drums and a great vocal- that’s real Rock and Roll- and that’s exactly what this disc is all about. Featuring lots of new songs, and some re-recordings from the Buzz Deluxe back catalogue, they strip it all down to the basics for their new adventure as a two piece band.  No bass-with Kerry’s steady sticks on the skins, her charming backing vocals, and Jesse filling in the sonic soundscape with the Gretsch guitar and his hillbilly vocals, well, we don’t need no stinking basses!


Buzz Deluxe are still blazing through their version of rockabilly/ real rock and roll, but seem to developing their voice into something even more unique and idiosyncratic than their previous recordings.

~Christian D






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