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Dudley’s My Better Half Duo Combines Talents with Multiple Bands

Monday, May 06, 2013

 

The musical duo met in 1994 and married in 1998. Courtesy of Bruce Butcher

Dudley's My Better Half duo is a couple of a single, genius musical mind. It is comprised of Lisa (Wilson) Brumby and her husband Brett, two veterans of the local music circuit and great lovers of classic rock.

Lisa Brumby has lived in the area and loved music her whole life, playing in various live venues solo since 1983 and with other bands including the Tonelli Band, Wilbur and the Dukes, 9-Teen and She's Busy. She, like Brett, both plays guitar and sings in addition to performing on various percussion instruments.

"I believe that music chooses you, not the other way around - once you 'get the bug' you can't say no. There is no logic in being a starving artist!" remarks Lisa.

"I can speak for Brett as well as myself that we would be miserable if we couldn't play music, and have sacrificed all manner of comfort and security to satisfy this need. You may not be able to eat it, but it still feeds you. Sting once said, 'Music is its own reward.'"

Brett, as opposed to Lisa, is not a lifetime local. He was born in New Zealand and only moved to America (San Diego), at the age of seven. When his parents decided to move to Kentucky ten years later, he decided to go out on his own, hooking up with a songwriter/guitar player in Massachusetts, where he soon helped form the band Fertile Ground. Lisa tells the story of how they originally met in 1994.

"He and his new band, Fertile Ground, were networking - trying to connect with artists that were already established. Fertile Ground had made a bit of a splash that year performing Brett's originals in Worcester. One night Brett came out to a bar called G. Willikers in Shrewsbury where my group, She's Busy, was playing. We had been around for several years developing a regional following as recording artists. Brett ended up joining us in She's Busy after Fertile Ground disbanded, and our partner of five years, Rob Adams, decided to leave the group."

Brett and she have been married since 1998, have a daughter, and presently work in three bands: She's Busy (Lisa, Brett, sister Selena, sometimes Rob Adams, and other rotating players, including Lisa's brother Ken Wilson on bass), Brumby (Lisa, Brett, Chuck Fisher on bass, Ron Ouimette on drums), and Sage (Lisa and Brett with RI songwriter Betsy Listenfelt, and often with percussionist Julie Woods).

The duo mostly plays  classic rock from the sixties and seventies, with choice selections from the eighties and nineties, but also throw in some newer, contemporary songs as well as their own originals. They like to play what they deem simply "really good songs", and songs they know they can perform well. This can extend to any genre.

"That's really important for two reasons: one, we will have a lot of fun and two, we won't suck!" promises Lisa.


Their love of music has gone beyond simply playing it. They even have their own recording studio, the Cave, in their home that they use regularly to record their own music and that of others. They just recently released a six-song EP, recorded in the Cave with Betsy Listenfelt, as part of Sage.

Prior to that was a disk called Songs From the Cave  as Brumby in 2009. But even before the famous Cave,  She's Busy released three albums: Different This Time, 1996; Thinkin' Out Loud, 1994; and Strange Bedfellows, 1992.

"Music is meant to be shared," remarks Lisa.

"Those of us with musical gifts are supposed to give it (hence the word 'gift')! We feel tremendous joy when people connect with us through the music that we play. As artists, we express all aspects of our lives through music. We expose a lot of ourselves in our songs - and even though some of the references may be personal, the themes are universal. Human beings all share the same experiences, so people relate to our songs."

And of course it helps, in both collaborating in the studio and performing on stage, that the duo has such an intimate relationship.

"Fans often say that Brett and I have a great chemistry on stage. I get that. No one is having more fun than we are! Even so, we delight in making people laugh, dance, smile, etc. When you can be successful at achieving this isn't that just the greatest job ever? " says Lisa.

Brett and Lisa perform together somewhere in the area, between Worcester and Providence, every weekend, either as a duo or with one of their groups. Brett also performs solo and hosts two open mics in local Worcester-area venues.

For more information on the My Better Half duo and to see their full performance schedule please visit their website here or find them on Facebook. Look for them at Point Breeze in Webster on May 11, Greendale's Pub  in Worcester on May 24th and Cigar Masters in Worcester on May 25th.

 

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