Local Musician Makes Magic on the Harmonica
When Brody Buster was 7 years old, his mother, Jan, placed a harmonica in his young hands. He soon taught himself to play and discovered a talent and passion that has blossomed into an amazing musical career.
Brody brings the harmonica to life. Listening to him sing and play the blues is pure joy, and his love of performing reaches out and inspires all who hear him.
“My mom was in a band called Cotton Candy in Kansas City, and played with Sonny Kenner, both blues bands,” he says. “She hadn’t played for a few years when I started playing because she had let it go to be a mom. When she saw I could play, I would sit in with Sonny Kenner, and the first time I ever played was at the Levee.”
At 8 years old, he had already played in blues clubs in Memphis on Beale Street, and at age 10 appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and opened B.B King’s Blues Club in Los Angeles. King once called him, “the greatest harmonica player of our time, despite his age.”
As a pre-teen, he was invited to perform at the famed Montreux Blues and Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland, with Quincy Jones, Isaac Hayes, Oleta Adams, Phil Collins and others. Brody has also performed with such greats as James Cotton, Keb Mo, Chaka Khan, Robert Downey Jr. and Richie Haven.
He was a regular, popular performer at the Kansas City Blues and Jazz Festival and the old Grand Emporium as a teenager, and made a move to Long Beach, California, when he was 17, where he continued to play. At 20, he felt homesick, so he returned to his roots in Kansas City. He plans to go back to California someday to play some shows.
He attended junior college to become a certified EMT but wanted to keep playing music, so he soon formed the Brody Buster Band.
“I have a family of firefighters, but when I discovered I could make a living at making my music, I did it,” he says. “Music is what I love.”
He spends days taking care of his two young children, Jaycee, 3, and Ziggy, 6, and then plays his music at night at a variety of venues across the four-state area.
“I played in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis last February with bands from all over the world. I won six or seven rounds to make it to the finals, and ended up winning the best harmonica player award,” he says. “Winning that award has jump-started my career. I am going to Montreal, Canada, to play with the Montreal Jazz Fest and have national tours booked all summer.”
What drives this talented mouth harp player?
“Anything I do, I do 100 percent, no matter what it is. Music comes easy for me, and I like the people I meet and the lifestyle. It works out good for me with my kids, and I get to spend a lot of time with them,” he says. “I started the one-man band in 2014 out of necezssity to earn more as a working artist. I didn’t realize how popular it would become at the time and am glad that I can pull this off.”
If you want to escape into blues heaven and hear some of the best harmonica tunes in the world, go see him.
“Catch me around Kansas City!”
Visit BrodyBuster.com to find out when and where to see Brody play.