Heading for the spotlight

July 27, 2006|by ERIN JULIUS

SMITHSBURG - A local band headed to California on Wednesday to compete in an NBC Internet talent show.

Justin Kalk, 22, Steve Britton, 21, and Luke Buhrman, 23, make their living playing live shows around Maryland as The Blue Sky Traffic. Now, the band has its chance to make it big on NBC's StarTomorrow.

StarTomorrow is a hybrid television-internet show, according to its Web site. It premieres Monday, July 31 at 8 p.m., on NBC.

On the band's MySpace page, bass player Britton wrote, "We should be on NBC July 31."

The premiere is an audition special. Each week following the premiere, fans can watch new bands and performers online and vote for their favorites.


The winner gets a production deal with David Foster, a big name in the music business, said Jeff Britton, Steve Britton's father and The Blue Sky Traffic's manager.

Jeff Britton said he saw a notice about open auditions in New York City for StarTomorrow and sent the band to New York with its compact disc.

Singer and guitar player Kalk and Steve Britton formed The Blue Sky Traffic about three years ago.

Both attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and "played all over Boston," Kalk said.

Buhrman, the band's drummer, is a more recent addition. Kalk called him and he "came out and jammed," Buhrman said.

All three are graduates of Smithsburg High School.

Kalk and Steve Britton call themselves a "song writing team" that is inspired by "everything" and have written about 30 original songs. The band's original music is "pop-rock sounding," Kalk said.

Band members cite Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Britney Spears, Radiohead and The Beatles as musical influences.

For StarTomorrow, The Blue Sky Traffic will record two original songs and two cover songs from an approved list of covers, Kalk said. Fans will be able to see the four videos on StarTomorrow's Web site. Kalk said the band is considering "Brick House" and "I Don't Want to Miss A Thing" as possible covers.

Kalk said the band draws pretty big crowds in Frederick, Md., and Rockville, Md. The band recently played at the Frederick Blues Festival and at Griff's Landing in Frederick and plans to play at University of Maryland parties this fall, Jeff Britton said.

Upcoming appearances

· Aug. 19 - Hagerstown Cinema 10

· Aug. 25 - Stinger's in Boonsboro

· Sept. 23 - The Hagerstown Suns Chili Cook-off and Griff's Landing in Frederick, Md.

The Blue Sky Traffic's MySpace address is

Fans can view The Blue Sky Traffic's videos and participate in StarTomorrow at

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