Pictures of view

Buster Blue

Buster Blue, from left, is Ryan Miyashiro, Bryan Jones, Cody Shadle and Jay Escamillo.

Buster Blue, from left, is Ryan Miyashiro, Bryan Jones, Cody Shadle and Jay Escamillo.

Photo By David Robert

Buster Blue plays a holiday show on Dec. 23 at 7 p.m. at Walden’s Coffeehouse, 3940 Mayberry Drive. Free. Call 787-3307, or visit for more information.

Buster Blue, the band that thinks in photographs.

“Jay and I were thinking of names for the band when I saw this image of an old man in boots,” says Bryan Jones, the 19-year-old vocalist, guitarist, banjoist and accordion player of this band. “I usually think in pictures anyways, so I just thought of what his name must be. Logically, of course, his name was Buster Blue.”

Joining Jones are Jay Escamillo on percussion, harmonica, guitar and vocals; Cody Shadle on trombone and vocals; and Ryan Miyashiro on the ukulele, piano and vocals. Inspired by the great Tom Waits, as well as by The Eels and Neutral Milk Hotel, these four friends come together somewhat humorously, presenting themselves as playful while toying with one another and their audience in a way that seems to ease everyone into the groove.

Sounding like a mix between folk and indie, these guys aren’t terribly sure into what genre they’re trying to fit. “I honestly don’t even know if it’s folk that we’re playing,” says Jones. “I’ve really been into New Orleans funeral marches lately, and I think that will be a big influence for a couple of our newer songs. Although, I will say that eastern European music and old spirituals have become a huge influence on our songwriting lately, too.”

Some people say that band camp is for losers, but Buster Blue has proven otherwise, as it was just this type of organization that brought the group together in the first place. “We all grew up together,” says Jones. “We’re from Gardnerville and went to the same schools for most of our lives. We were all involved with the music departments down there and became close because of it.”

One of the best things about Buster Blue is that each of the members has a huge desire to learn every instrument they can without choosing a particular one as their major claim to fame. Also, Escamillo mixes things up and makes the band inimitable by playing drum beats on an old guitar case, while at the same time playing a tambourine, making the tunes sound that much more original and well thought out.

As a new band that began to form in April, Buster Blue kicks a significant amount of ass in terms of building an extended fan base and fooling around with their musical abilities, while still holding out hope for future rockstar aspirations. “Like every other music idiot on the planet, I’d like to tour with the band,” says Jones. “I’d also like to make mass amounts of money so that I can fill a swimming pool with it and dive into it every evening.”

This band strives to impress their listeners with spunk and originality. “We are here to fight crime and rid venues of boring acoustic music,” says Jones. “Folk music once had a purpose. I think when people think of folk they think of old men singing about their cats. I think of the people that started it and how passionate they were about it. I’m not talking about the crappy hippie folk of the ‘60s. I’m talking about the people that got dirt on their guitar strings before playing. I really want to kick music in the face with a Buster boot.”