Thursday, October 7, 2004
It’s probably not a great idea to play a Snoop Doggy Dogg joint at a Bach Festival or to perform faithful covers of Simon & Garfunkel’s catalogue in front of an amped-up crowd waiting for Metallica to hit the stage.
Luckily, the flamboyant eight-person cover band from Hayward called Busta-Groove allows their crowd to dictate their evening’s set list. With a repertoire including a wide range of tunes from Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” to Will Smith’s “Getting’ Jiggy With It,” Busta-Groove is pretty much ready for almost any type of crowd.
“We always have songs on standby,” bassist Jeff Lyons says. “We keep an eye on the crowd.”
For instance, the folks in the Central Valley have different musical tastes than those attendees at a Silicon Valley computer programming conference. “Modesto loves Metallica,” Lyons says. “That’s where we break out Metallica.”
The seeds of Busta-Groove were sown when manager Joshua O’ Hara put together a Motown and disco cover band called Bay Boogie, which played at corporate events, clubs and weddings. By 2001, the band added new members, got a new look, updated its sound, and changed its name to Busta-Groove.
Now, Busta-Groove is an extremely busy band that has performed at this year’s opening day for the San Francisco Giants at SBC Park and a handful of casinos including Oroville’s Feather Falls Casino and Brooks, California’s Cache Creek Casino. Just last weekend, Busta-Groove played Manteca’s Pumpkin Festival, Modesto’s International Fair, and a club in Modesto—all in one day.
Having two female lead singers and two male lead singers allows the band to effortlessly go from a song like Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools” to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.”
“We basically have four lead singers, and they all have microphones,” Lyons says. “We cover a lot of bases.”
So what should people expect from Busta-Groove’s first appearance at Sly McFly’s?
“It’s gonna be on that night,” Lyons says. “We’re gonna see what they can take.”