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Posts Tagged ‘Finger Lakes Grass Roots’

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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