Bucko & Toad
“Listen Bucko.” “Hey Toad.” These are the childhood nicknames of Victoria, BC’s Kenn and Kelly Coutu. Together, as Bucko and Toad, the name of their country-pop duo speaks volumes about their fun-loving spirit, humour, fresh approach and upbeat music. The husband and wife team are having a blast.
“I don’t remember the last time my dad called me Kelly. Only calls me Toad.”
“My mom called me Bucko when I was up to no good,” says Kenn.
They briefly considered other band names, but, as Kelly notes, ‘No, that’s who we are.”
“I look at it like the adventures of Bucko and Toad,” explains Kenn.
And it has been quite an adventure, perhaps more so for Kelly, whose husband is a long-time musician, most notably as the frontman for the rock band Armchair Cynics, on 604 Records. He and Kelly had been together through the formation and dissolution of that band — and she never expressed any interest in following in his footsteps.
Kenn had had enough of road life and simply wanted to write country songs at home with the goal of placing them with other artists. He would ask Kelly to come sing background harmonies on the demos.
Kenn — who is drawn to the storytelling aspect of country music — then started keeping Kelly in mind as he wrote more and more. Their original songs were more alt.country at first, but when they started playing live as a country cover band, the hits they pulled out took them in a more mainstream direction.
“We saw how well people responded to them, but also how much fun they are to perform, so when we started writing new songs we wanted to stay upbeat and current and see how that went and it was lot of fun,” says Kelly.
Now, Bucko and Toad are working with producer/co-writer Tavish Crowe (Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”). The first few songs ready to release are “Summer Girl,” “These Are Our Stars” and the single, “Any Excuse.”
“That’s a song about getting into a relationship, where you’ll look for any excuse to be with that person,” says Kenn.
“It wasn’t going to be a Kenn-Kelly song at first,” adds Kelly. “It was going to be Kenn, with me doing background, but he mentions Juliet in the first verse, so we thought if he mentions Romeo in the second part, I could have a verse.”
In the end, just as Kelly’s dad calls her Toad, and Kenn’s mom calls him Bucko, it’s just good-natured fun. “This is about Kenn and I waking up every day and saying, ‘This is really fun. We are having a good time and we like what we are doing.’ When we release our original music, it’s about releasing music that we just want people to enjoy. If we didn’t have a record label and we didn’t have someone who is amazing recording our music, we would still be doing this for fun. And that’s our goal for this.”