At a recent show in Washington Square Park, they caught the attention of Chris Barron from the Spin Doctors, who jammed with them to a "Buzz" version of "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong."
It would seem that fans have caught onto the groovy beats of this foursome, who packed a New York club to hear songs from their latest album "birdfishtree" at the CD release party this October.
BuzzUniverse, who have been together for six years, first formed in 2000 with members Alex Garay (guitar, percussion), Freddy Moises (saxophone, flute, guitar), and Dave Migliore (drums). Greg McLoughlin (Bass) completed the Buzz line-up in 2003.
For three years the four versatile musicians have worked on perfecting their sound, which is an eclectic blend of genres. Although their base is rock, they are influenced by many different sounds including, Latin, folk, jazz, and funk.
While that might seem like a lot for some, the group has worked together to make the different elements sound cohesive.
According to Garay, who writes most of the music, it still is a collaborative effort. All four come up with arrangements and have input on the music.
"We have no egos at all," said McLoughlin. "We work together really well."
This group effort is evident in their vocals, which are shared, and their melodic four-part harmonies. "We play as a band," said McLoughlin. "There is no real leader or over the top soloist that is taking the spotlight."
A little more funk
The band's first album "musik for abstract citizens" was released in 2004 and featured 10 songs, each focusing on a different genre. On it, the band switched effortlessly between funky jazz, a Latin number, and even a swing song.
Their latest CD "birdfishtree" is the band's second album and was recorded in part at the Machine Shop in Hoboken. It has 14 new songs, including 13 originals and one cover "This Ol' Cowboy," which they make their own.
The songs are a smoother, creamier blend of musical elements. It shows the result of four seasoned musicians honing their craft. The songs merge effortlessly into each other, much in the way that their sound has matured to capture the different genres and make it into something new.
The album gets a jump-start with "Hour," which is an upbeat rock tune that gets jazzier with the band's signature saxophones. Just when you think it can't get any funkier, in comes a Latin beat and followed by a fabulous guitar riff. Next is "Lovelight Babylon," which seems to be slightly mellower until the chorus kicks in. The backup female vocalists add to the interest of this tune. "Mama Down Blues" is funky, jazzy, bluesy song that wouldn't sound out of place at a country hoedown or a jazz club.
Another track that deftly balances genres is "Up the Mountain," which is a foot-stomping rousing song. It sounds a little like country rock, with little bit of jazz and funk thrown in for good measure.
BuzzUniverse plays out 5 to 10 times a month when they aren't practicing new material. According to McLoughlin, the true "Buzz" experience is at a live show where the music takes on a life of its own.
"We always have special guests," said McLoughlin, "that way you never know what to expect. It opens it up."
One of their guests is Brian Ciufo who plays baritone sax regularly with the band. For now, they are focusing on touring for the new album and have two upcoming shows in the area. Early next year they plan to record a live album of the CD and hope to play again in Hoboken.
"We're hoping to come back to Hoboken," said Garay. "There is so much potential here."
Whether you see them live or hear the new CD, their sound is truly their own. Just when you think you've heard it all, they thrown in a new combination mid-song.
And even if you don't know what exactly to call their sound, their groovy, funky, jazzy rock is sure to get you dancing.
BuzzUniverse will play at Donegal Saloon in Kearny on Dec. 8 and at Ace of Clubs in NYC on Dec. 14. Their CD "birdfishtree" is available at Tunes in Hoboken or on I-Tunes. For more information, visit: www.buzzuniverse.com.