On Friday Aug. 30, I had the pleasure of attending a concert performed by Geneseo’s own living musical legends, the Buzzo All-Stars—their last show of the season at Village Park. You wouldn’t expect it from a group of dudes whose ages might range from 50 to 70 years old, but this concert had an amazing amount of energy. Al “Buzzo” Bruno and his all-star band are a five-piece blues-rock group consisting of Ron Rubadeau on drums, Tom Rubadeau on bass guitar, Ray Miller on electric guitar, Larry Jackson on harmonica and hand drum and Buzzo on trumpet.
All five members sang lead vocals throughout the set, but Buzzo and Miller were the main vocalists. At this particular concert, the group played nothing but covers, mostly consisting of blues and 50s and early 60s pop.
To kick off the show, Buzzo walked up to the microphone with his trademark “BUZZO” printed hat and Mardi Gras beaded trumpet and thanked the crowd for coming. The band started with an instrumental warm-up piece before diving into its second song, a much livelier tune that really got the show going.
Each band member took a solo to showcase his skills. Although I wouldn’t consider any of the Buzzo All-Stars to be masters of their craft, all had a firm grasp of their respective instruments, and they were all completely in sync and in control.
Miller then announced that Buzzo would be attempting something that had “never been done before in public,” something that was “mathematically impossible.” Buzzo walked into the center of the stage, pulled a second trumpet out of its case and began playing two trumpets at once. It was a novelty performance, since he does this at every concert, but it was fun nonetheless. Buzzo said that he first got the idea to play two trumpets in 1957.
Buzzo was the star later in the performance when he showcased his vocals. His voice is an energetic, gravelly and growling monster that felt reminiscent of Captain Beefheart, a performer near and dear to Buzzo. He made jokes about how people think he can’t sing, and although his voice isn’t traditionally beautiful, it’s amazing and unique.
The show remained interesting for the two-hour duration with guest musicians playing a few songs. Buzzo also left the stage to sit with the crowd during a group jam. When I left the park, I felt enlightened after seeing a living legend perform.u