Wednesday, March 23, 2011

music issue 2011 - Bunny Day and the Mercy Buckets

Bunny Day and the Mercy Buckets, as a name, tells potential listeners a couple of things. First, that they’re not your average rock band – indeed, there’s little that is rockist about them.

You might guess that they’re goofy, quirky, weird. They are, if you think that “normal” music means Jamie Foxx or Nickelback.

Also, if your skills include knowing some freshman-level French and/or enjoying puns, you might assume that this group is not only whimsical but also French-inspired. Their influences include diverse sources like polka, indie rock and, yes, French cabaret and chanson music.

“We've been really good friends for a long time, but we’d never lived in the same city before,” begins Lacey Guthrie, who plays accordion. “We had been courting each other musically. I would go to Lexington and do cover songs with her. Amy moved here, and we decided that it was just gonna happen.”

Now they write their own songs. Banjoist Amy Lee said, “We're good at writing when we're hungover. Sometimes it's together, sometimes it's not. It's hard to write without each other.”

Lee was inspired to begin playing her banjo after an Avett Brothers concert. Scott Avett let her play his instrument briefly, and “I decided that, ‘This is awesome, I want this for Christmas.’”

Guthrie began playing her instrument on “kind of a whim. I already played piano, and I thought they sound really sweet, so I went accordion hunting.” Recently, she bought a saw at Home Depot after hearing one played in an Ugly Casanova song. “I went online and found clips of old men playing them. They were really adorable, so I just learned from that.”

They recorded material for an EP last fall at the now-closed club Skull Alley. Guthrie said, “It was surprisingly difficult. We had some Bulleit bourbon, which we used for percussion.”

Now that the duo are neighbors, it will prove hard to keep them apart.

Lee said, ”If we had a falling out, I would never do music again. I would kill my banjo. I would light her accordion on fire. That's how I feel.”

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