Buck Twenty

Local Country Music Band Takes the Stage

Story by Michael Seguin
Photography by Ben Dartnell 

It starts off traditional, all acoustic cords and familiar beats. Then it gains momentum, the rhythm dragging you along behind it. Finally, just when you start nodding along to the beat, the chorus kicks in—and then, you’re helpless. You’re somewhere else.

It’s difficult to capture something as wordless as music in print. 

And local country music band Buck Twenty is a sound that’s meant to be experienced, not described. 

Songwriter and vocalist Mike Ure describes himself as a late bloomer when it comes to music. That said, the seeds of his lifelong passion were planted at any early age. 

“Growing up, I worked at my Mom and Dad’s store, Ure’s Country Kitchen out in Harrow,” Mike recalls. “We always had country music playing on the radio. In addition, Dad had a firewood business. Whenever we were stacking wood, we had truck doors open and the radio blasting.” 

When asked what it is about the genre that he thinks finds so arresting, Mike mentions the stories those sounds tell.

“I’ve always been drawn to the lyrics,” Mike explains. “It’s all about family and love. They’ve always drawn my attention.”

Buck Twenty are left to right: Aidan Johnson-Bujold and Mike Ure.

Mike first started performing in high school. And, like all artists with over a decade of experience, the exact moment the trajectory of his life changed continues to elude him.

“I don’t remember exactly how it happened,” Mike admits. “I played football for a while, and then decided it wasn’t my thing. So, for some reason, I decided to take guitar lessons. I eventually started singing as well.”

After a while, Mike surprised himself. He was actually pretty good.

And what’s more, he soon discovered something else: that nothing spurs inspiration quite like the sound of applause.

“I eventually posted a video of myself singing on Facebook,” Mike recalls. “I went to school the next day and everyone said, ‘Oh my God, Mike! I didn’t know you could sing!’ Or: ‘That was really good!’ I kind of fed off that. I thought, ‘This is kind of cool! People are kind of into this!’ It was probably only 20 likes, but still!”

After graduating high school, Mike started performing around Windsor as a solo act. He eventually enrolled in TopBlip, an online music competition where the winner would open for YouTube Star, Tyler Ward in Toronto. 

And that’s where the trajectory of his life shifted again. 

“A musician named Aidan Johnson-Bujold was there,” Mike states. “He and I were aware of each other before that through our work, but we’d never really spoken. We had a mutual friend who we worked in the studio with. Aidan would come in and play guitar on my songs. I’d come in the next day, hear his work, and always be impressed.”

After the competition, Mike approached Aidan and asked if he wanted to perform with him at the Tyler Ward show, a sold-out show at the Sound Academy in Toronto. 

“Afterwards, we were sitting around our hotel room just looking at each other,” Mike recalls. “And I said, ‘Are we a band now?’”

And thus, Buck Twenty was born. 

The two began performing around Windsor and Essex County. And over the next ten years, the two have only spread their wings. They have released a Top 40 Billboard Single, came in second place in the 2020 Unsigned Only Contest and received four 2021 CMAO nominations (Single of the Year, Duo or Group of the Year, Rising Star, Music Video of the Year). They have also performed for the Easter Seals for six consecutive years.  

When asked what it was about Aidan that has led to such a fruitful partnership, Mike’s answer has less to do with the guitar and more to do with character. 

“He’s just a fun guy!” Mike explains. “He brings a lot of energy to the recording booth and the stage. He’s just a fun person to hang out with. And at the end of the day—yeah, talent is important—but our whole band is a good group of guys. That’s what you always want to surround yourself with.”

For his own part, Aidan describes their band as: “I couldn’t ask for a better partner,” Aidan states. “Well, maybe one who snores less, but Mike is a great partner and a terrific friend. I think we work so well together because we both try to have as little of an ego as possible. I know I couldn’t do it without him.”

“We’re an old married couple at this point,” Mike laughs. “We get along really well. There is a business aspect to our relationship. But underneath it all, there is a true friendship between us. And I think that’s what’s made us so successful together.”

That said, despite all their success, when asked about a favourite venue, the two turn their gazes closer to home.

“Last year we played the Harrow Fair,” Mike recalls. “It’s something I’ve always dreamed of doing. And last year we played in front of two thousand people. It was a packed house. The promoter said it was busiest Friday night they’d had in years. Friends and family came out to see us. It was like one big high school reunion.”

“I remember feeling really nervous before the show,” Aidan recalls. “I think I felt like that because I didn’t want to let down all these people who had been supporting us since the beginning. I wanted to show them that they had put their support in the right people.”

And now, when asked what advice he would give to younger aspiring musicians, the two offer some words of encouragement:

“Don’t be afraid to be different when it comes to music,” Mike stresses. “Be sure to work on your craft. Perform as much as you can. Get out there and get that experience. And don’t give up! It does get hard at times, but always keep at it. It’s fun. It’s an outlet for you to express yourself.”

“It’s a really long road,” Aidan admits. “Be prepared for the process to take a long time. Years longer than you think it’ll be. Very few people ‘make it’ quickly and don’t strive for that. Work on your writing as often as you can, play as much as you can and remember who you are making music for: your fans!”

And once again, Buck Twenty’s sound is best heard rather than heard about. The two have several shows lined up throughout the summer. 

“We’re going to be playing in Amherstburg on Canada Day,” Mike states. “And on July 30th, we’ll be at Gravenhurst Live on the Barge. We’ll also be at Cindy’s Night Market in Kingsville on August 11th, the Two Creeks Campground on September 3rd and in LaSalle for the Last Call for Fall festival on September 9th.”

More information the band is available at

Add comment