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Blu Vudu: Having fun, picking up fans


August 03, 2018

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It’s not every day that I get to sit down with two of my favorite musicians for a drink and a story.  But if you’re lucky — or  me — you  can manage it once every couple of months. This month, I got to do just that with two local boys who just happen to be brothers and just happen to be making waves. If you’ve seen them play, you’ll understand why. It’s a pretty sure thing you’ve heard of them if you’ve been around the Statesboro music scene at all lately. Myles and Avery Willis, along with David Horton and Art Bargeron, are Blu Vudu, and it’s a safe bet they’re going places.

I first remember meeting the guys at a new year’s party for a local networking group. At the time, Blu Vudu was Myles on lead guitar, Avery on bass, Art on drums, and Chuck Hutcheson on keyboards and sax. I have to say, I immediately admired their musicianship. I was privileged to sit in for a song, and not only were they a tight band, they were adaptable. It’s always impressive when a band can step in and accompany a vocalist on a song they’ve never played before without missing a beat.

At that time, they had been playing together for around three years. While the core has always been, and will probably always be, Myles and Avery, they’ve been through a few other instrumentalists along the way. Five years in, the band has found its stride and is beginning to expand its fan base beyond Bulloch County, playing as far south as Tampa, Florida.

So what makes them so popular? Well, it could be Avery’s long locks blowing in the breeze on stage. It could be Myles’s bad boy rock star style. Maybe it’s David’s country charm or Arty B’s fun, quirky personality. More than likely, it boils down to two things. The first is their music. Soulful blues strike a chord in the heart of the people who listen, especially when the performers feel it and nail it. The second was an element they almost missed.

Myles tells the story of one night early on in the band’s existence when they were playing a local gig. Sensing the frustration, long-time friend and former Dead Man’s Hand front man and bandmate, Gerry Rushing pulled him aside between sets with a valuable piece of advice.

“Stop playing for them (the audience),” Rushing advised. “Get up there and have fun. If you have fun, they’ll have fun.”

“He saved Blu Vudu,” Myles confessed. “I was close to calling it quits, but when we started having fun, it changed everything.”

And they’ve been picking up fans ever since. With nearly monthly shows at Millhouse and Gnat’s Landing, they’ve also begun playing at The Barrel House and other venues in Savannah area. When Blu Vudu is in the house, you’re going to have fun.

Avery drops another secret of their success.

“We do all these songs that people know, but we know there’s only one Billy Gibbons, or Jimi  Hendrix, or Tom Petty. We do them our way,” he said.

Their way seems to be working for them.

So what’s on the horizon for Blu Vudu? They’ve recently really started pursuing writing their own music. This makes total sense to me. When you spend a little time with Myles and Avery, you will hear stories — stories from when they started out with their friends Wesley and Dylan Bragg to last week, playing for the bikers in Savannah. They are storytellers with plenty of stories to share, and that, along with their music chops, is what will make them great songwriters. I can’t wait to see where this next stretch of their musical journey takes them. I think we can all look forward to big things from them.

If you’re looking to see what the buzz is all about, I can promise, you won’t be disappointed. They’ll be at Gnat’s Landing on August 10 and Dingus McGee’s on August 24, or follow them on Facebook to keep up with all their shows.


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