Posts Tagged ‘Kent Stage’

The Duhks On Tour this October!

Thur, Oct 6th, 2011   Newton-Conover Auditorium  Newton, NC
Fri, Oct 7th      Pisgah Brewing Company     Black Mountain, NC
Sat-Sun, Oct 8-9th      Shakori Hills Festival    Silk Hope, NC
Wed, Oct 12th     Jammin’ Java     Vienna, VA
Thurs, Oct 13th      Kent Stage     Kent, OH
Fri, Oct 14th      The Newton Theatre    Newton, NJ
Sat, Oct 15th      Infinity Hall    Norfolk, CT


The most vital acoustic music being made today acknowledges its predecessors and lives in the here and now. The Duhks, a band of five skilled, high-energy, tattooed musicians from Winnipeg, Manitoba, has been riveting audiences and winning staunch fans around the world with just that kind of music. The Boston Globe says about them, “Canada’s premier neo-tradsters romp from world-beat to blues, urban-pop to old-timey, with wild-eyed invention, haunting traditionalism, and spine-rattling groove. Who says the Frozen North can’t sizzle, eh?”

Since the release of their self-titled album in 2005, the consequent re-release of its Canadian debut (Your Daughters and Your Sons) to their most recent release (Fast Paced World), the band has won admirers as diverse as David Crosby, Dolly Parton and Doc Watson. This isn’t surprising, given the band’s blend of soul, gospel, North American folk, Brazilian samba, old-time country string-band music, zydeco and Irish dance music, folk rock and the attraction to these interwoven acoustic styles. The Duhks’ unique sound has also earned the band a Grammy nomination, one Juno Award, two additional Juno nominations, two Folk Alliance awards and an Americana Music Association nomination for Best Emerging Artists.

NPR says, “The inventive Canadians in The Duhks are widely beloved for their smooth blend of traditional roots music and soul, which they inject with well-placed Afro-Cuban and Celtic influences.” Ultimately though, according to band founder and claw-hammer banjoist Leonard Podolak, the Duhks “just want to play music that speaks to everybody.” Mission accomplished.

2008’s Fast-Paced World was the first Duhks record to feature prodigies Sarah and Christian Dugas. The siblings have been immersed in music their whole lives, thanks in part to their musician parents. “We had a family band that toured across Canada when I was 7 and Christian was 9,” remembers Sarah. “My father had a recording studio in the house, so I grew up hearing a variety of musicians playing everything from rap to rock to world beat. I grew up in a fun and creative environment.”

Joining the band in 2011, violinist Duncan Wickel‘s (formerly of Asheville, NC and now in Boston, MA) studies also began early with classical violin training at age 4. He was soon after introduced to Irish fiddling and has evolved into a wildly diverse and highly accomplished improviser, composer and technician on the violin; which fits amazingly with the Duhks diverse sound.

Guitarist Jordan McConnell also started digging into music at an early age and he started making guitars right out of highschool. He built both the guitar he plays on stage and one of Leonard’s favorite banjos as well. Currently, Jordan’s luthier business is taking off through the roof- a guitar he built was recently played by Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers alongside Bob Dylan on the Grammys!

Sarah and Christian have started playing as a duo and signed with Southern Ground Records (Zac Brown, Wood Brothers, Sonia Leigh). Since then they have played on Zac Brown’s Cruise “Sailing the Southern Seas” as well as the renowned folk and roots cruise “Cayamo”. They released an EP titled “Another Day” in February of 2011.

When not performing with the Duhks, Leonard has been invited into the Cecil Sharp Project based in the UK, as well as a new project, he’s started with some great Canadian songwriters called Dry Bones who performed earlier this year at the Vancouver Folk Fest.

With all of the side projects taking off, this tour is a special and rare opportunity to see the band. According to one blogger‘s live review, “The Duhks have soul in spades and a heart beat that pulses more true than an Ibiza night club. A night spent with The Duhks is summed up best by their own encore, ‘HALLELUJAH!’ Hallelujah indeed.”

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This is a great four part review of Donna the Buffalo by a younger person on the scene that just saw them live for the first time. He’s a great writer and got some good photos too. Please take the time to check out his blog and the original postings, links provided below.

There are four parts to this post. Donna the Buffalo Part I (pre-concert), Donna the Buffalo Part II (Photos), Donna the Buffalo Part III (Review), The Herd

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Donna the Buffalo, Pt. I


Leaving in about a half-hour; I’m totally pumped. As you can see…

We’re hitting up another Record Exchange on the way down there; so hopefully, if all goes well, I’ll be able to pick up Lateralus (Tool), De-Loused in the Comatorium (The Mars Volta) and Out of Myself (Riverside). They’re all considered to be the ‘best’ entry points for those groups; so I’m going out on a serious impulse here… I trust the judgment of the people who recommended them, though; so my mind should be blown before the evening is over.

That’s not to mention the actual concert, either – should be fucking incredible; but I’ll have to wait and see how it goes. There is an opening act (no clue who, though); before DtB get on; but I’m not worried – music is music, and as long as it’s original and engaging (and the band can play well!) I’m there 100%. As for what DtB will be playing when they go on… again, no clue. I’m only vaguely familiar with their actual songs; having heard most of this in the car with my Dad, but that shouldn’t be a problem.

So… there’ll be pics, hopefully; if I remember to bring the camera; maybe even a video, if you’re all really lucky. Other than that, absolutely nothing to report on (everyone’s still going insane, as the norm seems to be now…)

…and, I have to go and get ready, so without further ado, with me luck.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Donna the Buffalo, Pt. II

Click on the link to check out his photos. He’s got some great shots in there!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Donna the Buffalo, Pt. III

Ah, man… it’s been two days; and I’m still in shock. Fantastic show.

To (once again) quote my Uncle Chuck, “Out of all the concerts I’ve been to; that was definitely one of them.” It was similar to Porcupine Tree, in many ways – the atmosphere was great; the music was superb, and the bandmembers all had a great sense of humor. In other ways, though, it was quite different – and those differences left me pleasantly surprised; not to mention blown away. For one, there was no opening act! My Dad and I were hanging around in the audience when the Jeb (Guitar) and Tara (Violin, Acoustic Guitar, etc.) walked right past us, and got up on stage! Needless to say; I performed one hell of a double-take…

Since this was all happening at the Kent Stage; there were seats in the auditorium – as if anyone used them, though. Everyone was sitting when the band got up and started to play, but my Dad… brought me up right against the stage with him! Sure enough, as soon as the crowd saw us get up that close; they all followed; and pretty soon, we were locked in against the stage. I was so close to Tara that I could have reached out and grabbed her foot for nearly the entire performance! It was beyond words… not too loud (like PT, unfortunately) but not too soft (I still got the kick in my chest from the Bass Player); and the people around us were great as the concert went on. Like, I could actually stretch! And move around!

They actually started playing around 8:30pm… and with the exception of a short break (the Keyboard/Organ player spilled his beer all over the place) they went on until after 12:30am! That’s more than four hours of Donna the Buffalo… the whole thing left me a little desensitized, but plenty satisfied. The music, as mentioned, was great – I’m not normally a fan of Folk/Country, but when you hear it live – with extended jam sessions, and plenty of improv – your whole view of the material presented is suddenly transformed. I’ll admit, I was moving and getting into it with the rest of the crowd… it was hard not to! They don’t call this stuff ‘feel-good’ music for no reason, folks – it was one hell of a good experience.

Best of all was the intimacy factor… how close we were to all the players; how we could actually hear them talking; even interact with them! My Dad kept shouting out requests for ‘Mystic Water’ (look it up!) and a bunch of others; and Jeb actually acknowledged him and granted his one for ‘Blue Sky’! These guys are awesome, the way they operate – no setlist, no plans for the evening… they just get on stage, and perform whatever comes to mind. A song that was three minutes long the night before could be over fifteen the next night; and vice versa. Everything was handled very casually, but very professionally… every member did an awesome job at their respective parts; my only regret being that some of them were overshadowed by others.

So, all in all (if you guys haven’t figured it out yet) I had an amazing time – totally going back with my Dad for round two; whenever they come back out this way again. Really, I could see anyone getting into them, if they could experience em’ live; even if you don’t like Country… because, as I said; everything changes when you’re in that kind of intimate setting. The subject content, too, is a little more sophisticated than you might think – most of the lyrics were very socio-political; with the occasional metaphor thrown in… needless to say, better than the stereotypical ‘My dog died, my wife left me, and my truck broke down!’ that’s usually associated with Country. All the more reason why it was such an awesome experience.

…but anyways… that was Sunday night/Monday morning. Not much has happened since then, predictably – didn’t have school, Monday (a nice little surprise); and I got a bunch of new albums, too. Found/bought Lateralus, and De-Loused in the Comatorium; but no Out of Myself… the Record Exchange we went to didn’t even have Riverside! But, to compensate, they had A Change of Seasons (Dream Theater) and I (Meshuggah); so I grabbed those instead – been looking for em’ anyways; so it was nice to cross them off my list. Any thoughts, so far? ‘The Grudge’ is downright badass; haven’t gotten to The Mars Volta yet; and DT/Meshuggah were both predictably awesome. So, yeah, everything’s going -fairly- good on my end…

Hope you’re all hanging in there, still – if anyone needs anything, you’ve but to ask.

Peace out.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Herd

“Nicely written and glad you had fun!
Go visit Grassroots this summer in Ithaca, musicians
music, all kinds from all over, DTB started it. I have seen & herd
from metal to mellow all over the world and GR has i going on.
Glad you witnessed a taste of what I call honest music
not pop country made in a lab.

Bill D

PS Your Dad has to be pretty fucking cool!”

…just got that in an email about ten minutes ago; and I thought it’d only be appropriate to post it here. First of all… glad to see that the ‘herd’ I’ve been hearing about isn’t so elusive after all! Sure, there were people at the show who were downright fanatical about DtB (and with good reason) but knowing that they’re everywhere, not just here on the east coast, is something else entirely…

Secondly; shout-out to Bill D – glad to see you liked my rant! I couldn’t really do the evening justice; but I certainly tried. I’ve heard about Grassroots (my Dad mentioned it, ironically) and was thinking about checking it out – from the way you described it; I definitely will be. And, yes; what they performed was so much better than most of the ‘music’ I’ve heard… my Dad kept hammering me with em’ for years, anytime we were in the car together; but it really didn’t ‘click’ for me until Sunday night. And, yeah, if you don’t mind me saying; my Dad is pretty fucking cool. Thanks for reading, man!

Anyways… on a sort of unrelated note; I now -finally!- have physical proof that I have followers online! Other than my friends and family, of course… just another reason why I’d be on my hands and knees thanking music; if I could. Not even considering how listening alone has changed my life; the fact that it brings people together like it does – like it did Sunday night – is something I can’t even put into words. Quite simply, there’s nothing else like it… as I’m sure you all know.

So yeah, that’s it for now. Gotta’ get to bed, at some point; and actually sleep some… last night was the worst I’ve had for as long as I can remember. Don’t want to go through another day of shuffling around, feeling like a zombie, either… regardless of that, though; I’m still open if you need me. For those that do; you know where to find me.

Peace out.

~Musing of an Addled Mind

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By John Benson

The Youngstown Vindicator, Ohio


Formed 20 years ago, folk-based act Donna the Buffalo has pretty much existed in the margins before its 2008 album “Silverlined” reached No. 8 on the Americana music chart.

For bandleaders Tara Nevins and Jeb Puryear, it’s been quite a career, which began at a time before Americana music was not only accepted but understood by the masses.

“The fact that there’s an Americana genre that’s getting more and more recognition now is pretty cool,” said Nevins, calling from upstate New York. “I guess it sort of gives you a place to be, which is a really good thing when journalists write about the band. It used to be hard for people to describe us because they were kind of like, ‘Wow, what is Donna the Buffalo? They’re a little bit of this, a little bit of that, but where do they fit in? They’re not really a rock band. They’re not a pop band. What are they?’”

Though in the past, the act has tinkered with its hybrid sound of folk, reggae, Cajun, zydeco, rock and country, Nevins acknowledges Donna the Buffalo actually focused on making “Silverlined” something different.

“We worked with different producers,” Nevins said. “It’s probably one of our better productions as far as recording goes. And stylistically, it’s really just sort of Donna the Buffalo evolving. The body of songs lend themselves to a certain sound, and we had a lot of guests — Bela Fleck and David Hidalgo (Los Lobos) and Clara Lynch and Amy Helm — on the record. We’re really just a very Americana folk-rock band.

“I guess the song on the record that got attention was ‘Locket and Key.’ We actually got to make our very first music video with that song. It’s on GAC (Great American County), so that was very exciting, very fun and a very new thing for us. I’m constantly hearing people say they hear that song when they’re in the grocery store.”

Fans attending the act’s Sunday show at Kent Stage can expect to hear plenty of “Silverlined” material, as well as old favorites and even a new track or two. Nevins said one unreleased song, which has been getting stage time, is the upbeat “Lovetime.” Though there is no time frame for the release of a new CD, 2010 finds the act quite busy, touring with Little Feat and also marking the 20-year anniversary of the Grass Roots Festival, which they helped start.

Nevins also added that in the concert experience, Donna the Buffalo not only transcends age but also unites people in unexpected ways.

“Our demographic is huge and vast,” Nevins said. “It’s from 6-year-olds to 55-year-olds. Also, college students love us. Families come out all together. It bridges the generation gap. I can tell you that anyone that really loves music should come out, and anyone who loves to dance and feel good should come.”

Ah, so that means no cynics allowed?

“Hey, no, cynics can come too,” Nevins said with a laugh. “We’ll give them something to smile about.”

if you go

What: Donna The Buffalo

When: 8 p.m. Sunday

Where: The Kent Stage, 175 E. Main St., Kent

Tickets: $20; call (330) 677-5005 or go to kentstage.org

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Posted by Frank Lewis on Wed, Jan 6, 2010 at 11:17 AM

in the Cleveland Scene


For nearly 20 years, singer and multi-instrumentalist Tara Nevins and singer-guitarist Jeb Puryear have guided Donna the Buffalo through a sonic travelogue of American music, serving up a gumbo of bluegrass, rootsy rock, folk and country, spiced with exotic bits of Cajun and reggae. Considering the diverse genres that the band draws upon and the freewheeling manner in which it interprets them — particularly with Nevins’ Emmylou Harris/Dolly Parton/Natalie Merchant warble and Puryear’s laconic Buddy Miller delivery — the group has become a rootsy fave within the jam community. The beauty of Donna’s presentation and the secret of their success and longevity is the purely organic way they weave genres together without diluting them. Many bands can’t generate this kind of enthusiasm and energy in half as much time and with half as many albums that Donna the Buffalo have over two decades and seven studio albums. Check them out at 8 p.m. at the Kent Stage (175 E. Main St., Kent, 330.677.5005). Tickets: $20. — Brian Baker

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