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Tara Nevins (of Donna the Buffalo) and Friends
Tour the Southeast This December

Performing Songs From Her Latest Solo Release ‘Wood and Stone’

Tara Nevins and Friends on Tour:
Wed 12/5  Atlanta, GA  Smith’s Olde Bar
Thur 12/6  Charlotte, NC  The Double Door Inn
Fri 12/7  Asheville, NC  The Grey Eagle
Sat 12/8  Huntsville, AL Kaffeeklatsch

“A tour de force from start to finish” –Elmore Magazine about Wood and Stone

“If heroes and heroines of rock ‘n’ roll are defined by their uniqueness, they definitely broke the mold when they made Tara Nevins.” —Wildman Steve

American roots traditionalist Tara Nevins will be touring this winter in the southeast for select shows, in between her other gigs with Donna the Buffalo. She will be performing songs from her latest solo release, Wood and Stone, on Sugar Hills Records which hit in the Top 20 on the Americana Music Chart in 2011.

Joining Nevins for this tour are Riley Baugus (Banjo), Mike Compton (Mandolin), Pete Finney (pedal steel & electric guitar), David Grier (Acoustic Guitar), Todd Phillips (bass), Mark Raudabaugh (Donna the Buffalo’s  Drummer), and Amber-Dawn Rische (harmony vocals & 2nd fiddle).

Fans of Nevins from her 21-year tenure with Donna the Buffalo are familiar with her versatile talents; she shares the vocal and songwriting responsibilities for the band and is a stellar musician on fiddle, guitar, and accordion. (She plays a mean scrubboard too.) Prior to DTB, Nevins was a founding member of the all-female, old time/Cajun band The Heartbeats.

Wood and Stone was produced by Larry Campbell at the Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY and showcases Nevins’ ever-evolving repertoire as she journeys both back to her own “roots” and head-long into new territory. Featured guests on the album include Levon Helm, Jim Lauderdale, Allison Moorer, Teresa Williams, The Heartbeats, along with the core band of Larry Campbell, Justin Guip, and Byron Isaacs.

CMT says, “With the wonderful fiddle groove and vividly written lyrics, Nevins gives a glimpse into her roots. Stepping out for a rare solo record (beyond her beloved band, Donna the Buffalo), she meshes her Cajun influences, unique voice, drums and steel guitars for an intriguing look at her heritage.”

“Two surprises on the album are “Stars Fell on Alabama,” in which Nevins turns the ‘30s jazz standard into a bleak, gothic soundscape, and “Tennessee River,” an even more desolate turn recalling the best of Lucinda Williams,“ writes Lonesome Road Review.

For more visit www.TaraNevins.com

WATCH- Stars Fell on Alabama Official Music Video
WATCH – Tennessee River performance and interview

About the Players for the Tour:

Riley Baugus. Photo by Abigail Seymoure

RILEY BAUGUS
Riley Baugus represents the best of old time American banjo and song. His powerful singing voice and his expert musicianship place him squarely in the next generation of the quality American roots tradition. When not teaching or building banjos, Riley can be found out on the road performing or in the studio recording.  Riley was the acapella ballad singer for the voice of Pangle in the Academy Award-winning film “Cold Mountain”.

His banjo playing can be heard on several recordings such as Alison Kraus and Robert Plants “Raising Sand, Willie Nelsons “Country Music”, and his two acclaimed solo recordings, “Life Of Riley” and “Long Steel Rail”, to mention only a few. He’s performed with many Old Time string bands and artists such as Dirk Powell, Tim O’brien, Kirk Sutphin, and The Lonesome Sisters. Riley makes his home near Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Photo Courtesy of Mike Compton

MIKE COMPTON
Preservationist, performer, modern-day musical pioneer, composer, and educator, Mike Compton, a musician’s musician has rightly earned a reputation as one of the best and most influential mandolin players in acoustic music today. Grammy award winner, nominated IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year, and musical US Ambassador throughout the world, Mike has entertained at Carnegie Hall, at the White House, and been honored by the Mississippi State Senate with State Resolution Number 45, a special honor commending his musical accomplishments.

Over a span of 35 years, Compton has made a career playing on recordings of others adding his signature sound. Mike has made music with such diverse notables as Ralph Stanley, Elvis Costello and the Sugarcanes, David Grier,producer T-Bone Burnett (O Brother, Where Art Thou and Down From The Mountain tours), Nashville Bluegrass Band, John Hartford to name a few, and has performed on over 100 CD’s in a variety of genres, with some of the most beloved artists of our day.

Photo Courtesy of Pete Finny

PETE FINNEY
Pete Finney is a pedal-steel guitarist (and multi-instrumentalist) who has toured and recorded with Patty Loveless for over 20 years, and also worked extensively with folks like the Dixie Chicks, Vince Gill, Pam Tillis, Jim Lauderdale, Doug Sahm as well as countless others,
and has recording credits with the likes of Justin Townes Earle, Bonnie “Prince” Billy,  Radney Foster and Beck.

Photo Courtesy of David Grier

DAVID GRIER
The most award-winning guitarist in recent memory is David Grier. For the past several years, he has been voted by the members of the International Bluegrass Music Association as Best Guitar Player of the Year. He has also appeared on two Grammy- winning recordings: “True Life Blues-A Tribute to Bill Monroe” and “The Great Dobro Sessions.” David is also included in the book, “1,000 Great Guitarists.”

In addition to touring solo, David also appears as the guitarist for Psychograss, who are currently celebrating a critically acclaimed new album, “Now Hear This”.  David makes his home in Nashville.

Photo Courtesy of Todd Phillips

TODD PHILLIPS
Todd Phillips is the bassist of choice for many of the most innovative, as well as traditional, acoustic instrumental and bluegrass recordings made since the mid-1970s.  A two-time Grammy Award winner and founding member of the original David Grisman Quintet, Phillips has made a career of consistently performing and recording with acoustic music’s finest and most creative artists.  He also played in The Tony Rice Unit and the now classic bluegrass recording group The Bluegrass Album Band.

Phillips has had the opportunity to work with a virtual “who’s who” of acoustic music’s finest, such as Vassar Clements, Ricky Skaggs, Sam Bush, John Hartford, Jerry Douglas, Alison Brown, Mike Marshall, Stuart Duncan, Tim O’Brien, Del McCoury, Darrell Scott, Larry Campbell, John Doyle, Dirk Powell, Joan Baez and many more.  Phillips has produced recordings for guitar great David Grier; “Panorama”, and two projects for mandolinist Matt Flinner; “The View From Here” and “Latitude”, which lead to the formation of the innovative instrumental trio; Phillips, Grier & Flinner and their two unique and highly acclaimed CDs; “Phillips, Grier & Flinner” and “Looking Back” (Compass Records).   Todd Phillips lives in Nashville, tours with Psychograss, Russ Barenberg & Brittany Haas, will tour Russia (w/ Bill Evans) in August 2012, reuniting with The Bluegrass Album Band (scheduled 2013) and is doing studio work in his new home town.

Mark Raudabaugh. Photo By Lori Sky Twohy.

MARK RAUDABAUGH
Atlanta based drummer, Mark Raudabaugh, is a versatile and skilled performer who is currently on the road with Donna the Buffalo. He has also toured with Papa Mali, Bobby Lee Rodgers and The CodeTalkers, Grant Green Jr., Ruby Velle and The Soulphonics, among many others.

Photo Courtesy of Amber-Dawn Rische Nicholas

AMBER-DAWN RISCHE NICHOLAS
Amber-Dawn Rische Nicholas has been performing worldwide for many years as a violinist and singer with the now disbanded Arista/Sony Nashville signed group, Jypsi. With the band, she had the opportunity to play many prestigious venues such as Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, South By Southwest (SXSW), Stagecoach, and many more including several appearances at The Ryman and The Grand Ole Opry. She has toured/performed with major artists including, Darius Rucker, Ronnie Milsap, Hootie & the Blowfish, etc. She has also gained invaluable experience working in the studio with many of the world’s top record producers such as Don Was, Nathan Chapman, Tony Smith, and the list goes on.

Amber-Dawn presently performs with her husband Bobby Nicholas in their duo BAD Nicholas.  They have recently written and recorded their first album together “We Will Fly”.  Amber-Dawn makes her home in Nashville.

Visit TaraNevins.com and Facebook.com/TaraNevins or Facebook.com/TaraNevinsFiddle for more information about the album, a gallery of images, videos, music, and lyrics.

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New Music Video: “Stars Fall on Alabama” by Tara Nevins

Filmed and produced by Jim Torres

From the Album “Wood And Stone” on Sugar Hill Records

American roots traditionalist Tara Nevins’ new release ‘Wood and Stone’ showcases Nevins’ ever-evolving repertoire and was produced by Larry Campbell at the Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY. Featured guests on the album include Levon Helm, Jim Lauderdale, Allison Moorer, Teresa Williams, The Heartbeats, along with the core band of Larry Campbell, Justin Guip, and Byron Isaacs.

CMT writes, “With the wonderful fiddle groove and vividly written lyrics, Nevins gives a glimpse into her roots. Stepping out for a rare solo record (beyond her beloved band, Donna the Buffalo), she meshes her Cajun influences, unique voice, drums and steel guitars for an intriguing look at her heritage.”

One of the songs that stands out is Nevins’s version of the Jazz standard “Stars Fell on Alabama.”

A few years ago, living in Huntsville, Alabama, Nevins was approached by director Jim Torres and was asked to adapt “Stars Fell On Alabama” for the movie he was then directing – “20 Years After” (an MTI Video). Torres states, “I was looking for a song that had romantic lyrics and a geographical reference to Alabama which is where the movie took place. I’ve always loved Ella Fitzgerald and Louie Armstrong’s version of the song, and the lyrics were perfect for the movie, but I needed something a little darker, almost melancholy to match the tone of the film. I met Tara through mutual friends on the film project and we talked. I loved her music, and the thought of adapting a Jazz standard intrigued her.”

Nevins used the original lyrics and rewrote the music in an Old Time Mountain Music style. She created the new melody for the lyrics and wrote a fiddle tune as the centerpiece of the instrumental sections. She then went up to Nashville and recorded the song with Gary Paczosa.

Nevins states, “when the movie came out I put the song up on MySpace. It was also put, with just an abstract picture, up on YouTube. Between the two, the song has had nearly 60,000 views and comments. I continually receive messages from folks who’ve seen “20 Years After” saying it was their favorite thing in the movie and where can they get a copy of my version of the song? I decided to put “Stars Fell On Alabama” on my new record because of that, and because I think it is beautiful and it fit perfectly with the rest of the record.”

Here it is, yet another version of this great Jazz standard – different from all the others with an Old Time Country sound. This version is of interest to anyone who knows the song, and has had a great response from those who have heard it. It’s reference to Alabama has alot of meaning for Nevins personally and this version has seemed to touch the hearts of many listeners living in Alabama.

It seemed like the perfect song from “Wood and Stone” to do a video of. Like Jim Torres says “We wanted the video to stand on its own, and let it support the music – just Tara and her fiddle and a beautiful song.”

Here is what the press is saying about “Stars Fell on Alabama”
“…….. even though I am familiar with at least two dozen other renditions of the song, it’s as though I heard it for the first time. It is stunning in its quietness.” – Amos Perrine, No Depression

“Stars Fell on Alabama” sounds like it fell from her heart and pen too, but Nevins has the capacity to take a well-known standard like this, change the melody, and perform it so ingenuously that it fits in seamlessly to the whole groove of the record.” – Acousticana Journal

“ … it’s a track sounds like it was from the O’Brother Where Art Thou? sessions…. the haunting “Stars Fell On Alabama,” where once again Nevins shows her prowess on the fiddle” – Chuck Dauphin, Music News Nashville:

“Three deftly picked covers include the standard “Stars Fell on Alabama” (from the film 20 Years After),….Nevins works some real magic here” – Hyperbolium

“……… a dynamite reading of “Stars Fell on Alabama,” – The Daily News

The music video for “Stars Fell on Alabama” was created by Director/Editor Jim Torres, Assistant Director Keith Sims, and Cinematographer Daniel Beard in July of 2011 in Huntsville, Alabama.

Visit www.TaraNevins.com for more information about the album, a gallery of images, videos, music, and lyrics.

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Donna the Buffalo heads out to Roanoke , VA tonite to play at Awful Arthurs. Here are some excerpt from a recent interview with Tara Nevins by Kat Mills with 16 Blocks Magazine:

A WORD WITH DONNA THE BUFFALO

Local Singer Songwriter Kat Mills talks to the group prior to their show at Awful Arthur’s Towers

16blocksmagazine.com

Some of us remember when Donna the Buffalo was the new kid on the festival scene, nearly twenty years ago when roving groups of rabid fans were branching out from the Grateful Dead to follow bands like Phish and Blues Traveler. A new hybrid dance groove infused with American roots sounds but more kinetic and fresh was leading young people back to festivals to find their kind. If you attended one of those festivals, you have probably seen Donna the Buffalo.

With origins in New York State, but making the whole eastern US home, DtB has remained a fiercely self-directed operation. They write their own tunes, create their own scene, and continue to cover a wide touring area throughout the year, happy to take on new fans along the way…

. . .

Recently I got a chance to ask Tara a few questions about their current tour and the difference between music and non-music towns.

Photo by Lewis Tezak Jr

KM: The Roanoke and New River Valleys are, in some ways, searching for a musical identity. We have a great mix of influences, and some real local talent, but have yet to become a true destination for many touring artists. After building the band from the ground up, and founding a festival, do you have any insight to offer a community working on creating a scene?
TN: We see communities struggle all the time. We started our festival in Trumansburg, NY (Finger Lakes Grass Roots) where the community was already alive with great music and music appreciation, so for us it was a no-brainer. It is hard in a town where the general population doesn’t seem geared toward or centered around music. We experience this going from town to town, city to city. You can feel it in the air for sure when a town is alive with music lovers craving the chance to hear and see live music. I would say that in general people like feeling involved, so starting an event like a festival provides a real chance for involvement and promotes interest, which promotes community, which promotes growth and allows for the possibility of something great evolving on many levels.

KM: How is such a self-propelled and grass roots operation as DtB adjusting to the “digital revolution”?
Web presence, digital distribution and tour diaries are becoming more important for independent artists. What is working for you there?

TN: It’s all working for us. It’s now a growing part of our already established machine. You want to have a presence wherever you can. The selling of records, though, has changed dramatically. [With] people downloading, records don’t sell like they used to. It’s a transitional time, and that can be a little rough.

KM: Please catch us up on news for 2011. We’d love for you to share updates on Donna recordings,
but also on your latest solo endeavor.

TN: I just finished recording a (solo) record with Larry Campbell (Levon Helm Band, Phil Lesh and Friends, Bob Dylan) up in Woodstock, NY at Levon Helm’s studio. The record is due out in April on Sugar Hill Records. I feel fortunate to have had this opportunity. Larry is an incredibly talented musician and producer, and a super person. Levon played drums on two of the songs! He is also wonderful. There are 13 tracks on the record. I wrote pretty much all of it. It is both exciting and nerve wracking.

Donna the Buffalo is planning on recording in February and March. We will be recording this new record in Nashville and have been talking with a fabulous producer and engineer. It will also be on Sugar Hill. I’m not sure when the release will be. We are very excited!

Kat Mills: Any special guests on this leg? I see Roy Jays band will join you for a few dates, including Roanoke.

Tara Nevins: Yes, Roy Jay is joining us on several dates for the winter. He is a great guy and his band is full of gritty bluesy grooves…

….

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://16blocksmagazine.com/2011/01/a-word-with-donna-the-buffalo/

Writer, Kat Mills (Photo above) is an independent singer/songwriter based in Blacksburg VA and touring throughout the east and beyond. Info and recordings at www.katmills.com

Click here to see a video interview with  Kat (interviewer of this article) after she opened for Levon Helm at Floydfest last year.

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