Cherry Hill band takes its act, literally, on the road

Deez2Guyz perform down neighborhood streets in the township.

Photo by Kristen Dowd: Michael Thompson (in back)performs on guitar. Scott Graser performs on drums. His nephew Sean Graser (in pink) joined the band for the day to play guitar.

You might have heard them before you saw them. The music may have reached your ears and you wandered in your front yard to see where it came from.

And there they were: a pair of musicians being slowly pulled on a trailer bed down your street playing feel-good music.

It’s an appropriately odd sight for the odd times we’re living in. Band mates and Cherry Hill residents Scott Graser and Michael Thompson have taken their Deez2Guyz act on the road — quite literally. The pair are performing on a slow-moving tractor that is traversing neighborhoods on weekends in  Cherry Hill.

“We’re spreading free smiles one block at a time,” Graser said.

Smiles, joy and laughter have been the defining characteristics of the band since its inception. The longtime friends have known each other for nearly two decades, but around 11 years ago, Graser called Thompson and encouraged him to come over for a jam session. 

Graser had an idea to start a two-man band, and he thought they should jam together to see how it sounded. The pair laughed after every song. By Friday of that week, they were performing at Kaminski’s Sports Bar & Restaurant in Cherry Hill.

Graser said the band mates perform a wide variety of cover music with one central theme: music that makes people smile. From Billy Joel to Bruno Mars, their set list runs the gamut. Graser is on drums while Thompson is on guitar, and both contribute vocals.

This is typically the time of the year when Graser and Thompson are booked solid with gigs. In addition to Deez2Guyz, the pair are also part of a 13-piece wedding band that averages about 70 performances a year. As a result of the pandemic, all of their performances scheduled for the last few months were cancelled.

Graser teachers choral music at Rosa International Middle School, while Thompson is a full-time musician. With everything canceled, the pair got together just to jam and have some semblance of normalcy. They decided to start performing on Facebook live once a week, and from there, a neighbor suggested they make their act mobile.

With that, Thompson and Graser were borrowing a trailer bed and generator and tuning up to hit the streets. The trailer is pulled at around 5  miles per hour to ensure the pair’s safety, and Graser posts a map of the streets they’re headed down ahead of time to let people know where they’ll be.

On May 24, they took their act outside of Jefferson Stratford Hospital to perform for health-care workers during the shift change. Graser said it was an incredible experience, with everyone appreciating the fact they brought some cheer. 

While they’ve only played around Cherry Hill thus far, Glaser and Thompson have also received requests from neighboring towns and plan  to make their way to other nearby communities. 

Thompson said his favorite part of the experience has been seeing people’s reactions when they arrive. For those who don’t know they’re coming, there’s a look of surprise, and people come to their front doors to see what’s going on.

Thompson said the overall reaction has been nothing short of positive, and people seem to appreciate their arrival. Some have danced in their driveways as the duo played. 

By the same token, the experience has brought the pair joy. Thompson said playing music gives him a sense of normalcy and is what he knows best.

“We don’t know what else to do but go make people happy,” he added. 

To learn more, visit Deez2Guyz on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Deez2Guyz