Wednesday, November 9, 2011

04 Nov 11

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's ranching at home on the range with Buffalo and "the herd". On Friday night, she made another appearance at Martyrs' to join this "herd" of fans to see Donna The Buffalo (NY) perform live on stage. Opening for this roaming Buffalo band was the lively acoustic/rockabilly/county duo Kris Nowak and Wavey Dave of Cornmeal. This pair kicked off the night's entertainment with classic covers like Everly Brothers' Wake Up Little Susie and Buddy Holly's It's Alright to a selection of originals such as Scattered Brain even though someone in the crowd kept requesting for Lynyrd Skynyrd towards the end of their performance. Fans can see this duo again when performing with the rest of the band, Cornmeal, at Martyrs' on November 27.

Donna The Buffalo wants everyone to know that they are "...original danceable excessible memorable postive..." as well as able to rhyme four out of five words during the first question. Before their Martyrs' headlining set, SouthSide spent a few fun minutes inside the band's coach bus for an exclusive On The Town interview with Tara (vocalist/multi-instrumentalist) and Mark (drummer) of Donna The Buffalo. And during the course of this chat, she learned a few more things in which some fans may not know about their favorite band. Besides being "...pleasuable, infectious-able [a DTB patent pending word] and (not) terrible...", did you know Donna The Buffalo has two songs on best-selling horror novelist Stephen King's top twenty iPod playlist? Well, it's true. It seems he's such a fan of this band that he even has a character in his latest novel, Under The Dome (on page 359), wearing a Donna The Buffalo t-shirt. Other fun facts about this Buffalo include starting and running a successful music festival known as Fingerlake Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance (currently there are three offshoots of this festival that place in North Carolina and Florida), being together as a band for 22 years and having wonderful, loyal fan following called "the herd". Yet, SouthSide had barely touched the tip of the iceberg about Donna The Buffalo, blogspot readers, by asking who is Donna The Buffalo and what makes this eclectic Americana/folk band so popular with the Boomer age set?

This reviewer asked Donna The Buffalo how the band got its unique moniker to which Tara instantly replied "'s a boring story..." As the story goes, band members wanted the "buffalo" somewhere in the name and soon came up with Dawn Of The Buffalo though thinking the name itself was too serious for a band that hadn't had a gig. However when performing a gig, the band was mis-introduced as Donna The Buffalo instead of their original name. And thanks to that little mistake, Donna The Buffalo name has stuck with the band ever since. That being said, SouthSide somewhat stumped her interviewees by asking what kept bringing "the herd" (i.e. DTB fans) back to their shows. It may have been a hard question but Tara and Mark offered a variety of reasons why such as " spirit ...[it's] a very postive social gathering..." That was something SouthSide immediately noticed throughout DTB's headlining performance at Martyrs', blogspot readers. At most of her On The Town adventures, fans normally don't mingle with other fans unless they personally know each other. ...not the case with this "herd" of fans. They greeted and mingled amongst others like longtime friends instead of complete strangers while enjoying the rich yet eclectic DTB Americana/folk sound. "...[they] feel they're belonging to something political..." according to Tara, " people meaning in their lives..." meanwhile Mark jokingly added "...[they're] part of a cult ...keep coming back for the kool-aid..."

And that "kool-aid" would be DTB's infectious-able music. This unique band combined a variety of genres such as Louisana zydeco/cajun, blues, rockabilly and more inside their Americana/folk rock sound thus creating a vibrant burst of energizing music to which many danced to all night long. Though mostly organ-driven, its soulful rhythms added that energizing momentum DTB's songs even while taking a secondary position at times. Then there was Tara and her multi-instrument change throughout this rockin' jamboree, blogspot readers. Besides vocal duties, this talented musician switched between violin and acoustic guitar to accordion and washboard thus adding her own lively melodic flavor to this band's colorful sound. For example during Postive Friction (featuring Tara on washboard), her rustic sound wonderfully intertwined with the upbeat tempo and energizing momentum amidst a touch of gospel/soul from the organ inside this rockin' zydeco song. Meanwhile during Family Picture (featuring Tara on lead vocals), she added a Southern country dialect and sound while in a downtempo yet lively rhythmic folk/rock vibe. During this particular song, the organ wasn't as powerful as the previous but you still felt it's subtle presence within the harmonizing background. Donna The Buffalo highly recommends listening to these two signature songs first because of their catchy tune (as heard in Positive Friction) and the message pf what the band stands for (especially in Family Picture). SouthSide would like to add one more recommendation to the mix. She personally recommends DTB's Twilight Mystery for its organ rhythms mixed with a bluesy electric riffs in which Jeb (on lead vocals and guitar) truly emitted his emotional side during the chorus. Many in this "herd" crowd were slowly rockin' and groovin' to this dreamy ballad's melodic sound featuring a sweet electric wail that spotlighted the song's hidden yet unspoken lyrics during the instrumental bridge.

So what's next for Donna The Buffalo? Well, the band's in the beginning stages of a new album (at the time of the interview - already had a meeting about album title) but Tara recently released a solo album of her own titled Wood & Stone (produced by Larry Campbell). Finally DTB closed out this interview with two more special facts about them - they LOVE Indian food and own their 1996 Eagle coach bus. SouthSide recommends getting to know "the herd" that follows this roaming Buffalo at their next scheduled performance. For more information about Donna The Buffalo, visit

Until next time, support your local scene,

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