Buskin & Buskin – A Family Affair at Caffè Lena

The love David and Sophie Buskin have for one another was apparent on the stage at Caffè Lena Thursday night. The father-daughter duo performed together as part of Caffè Lena‘s monthly pride series.

The dichotomy between the two generations was visually present in Sophie’s use of electric guitar and David’s acoustic. David Buskin made jokes about their age. They were obviously dad joke’s, such as “Sophie’s friends call us DNA and DNR. Not sure how I feel about that.”

The two began with a song that thrilled the heart, Sophie’s powerful soaring voice was complimented by David’s gentler tones. They sang about chasing after life, and who can’t relate to the rush of seeking adventure, of wanting to experience more? There was also a desire to escape from trouble, to find the excitement while dodging the “demons at your back.” 

The theme of adventure carried on with David’s comedic song he usually performs with Modern Man, “Jews Don’t Camp.” In it, he joked about the perks of living an indoorsy lifestyle. Sophie’s rejoinder was the song “Mountains.” It was written about a month-long camping and hiking trip that she took. As she told this story, she gave her father a wry look which brought out laughter from the audience. Her dad accompanied her on the piano while she played guitar and sang. 

She followed this with another song of hers, “Sweet Creature.” On her recent album, this is featured as a live track that she performs with her father. In this performance, however, David played a different role. Sophie’s performance was incredibly touching, but nobody was more touched than David. From his seat on the piano bench, he watched his daughter with awe and admiration. He was just as spellbound by her beautiful voice as the rest of the audience. After the applause, there was a moment of silence, broken when David said, “You know, I stand up there saying to myself, ‘You played that wrong. You botched that chord.’ And then, I watch my kid do that.” All of his pride in his daughter was neatly summed up in those words and in the way he looked at her.

In honor of the Pride Series, David chose to play a song from a musical that he is working on with Jake Holmes. The musical takes place in the summer of 1968. The song is from a scene where two men have slept together, and one is trying to convince the other to come out so he doesn’t have to go to Vietnam. It was a song about struggling for both social and self-acceptance. It is something that people struggle with across the board.

The duo ended with a song which David used to sing to Sophie as a lullaby – James Taylor’s “You Can Close Your Eyes”. The Buskin & Buskin performance had given us an intimate snapshot into their life together, from Sophie’s childhood into the brilliant artist that she is today.

The next performance in the Pride Series at Caffè Lena will take place on September 5th at 7:00 pm and will feature the Capital Region Pride Singers. Tickets for that performance can be found here.