Posts Tagged ‘Locket and Key’

Carol Rifkin from the Asheville Citizen times/ Take Five posted this nice preview of Donna the Buffalo for their Orange Peel show on Saturday Jan 29th:

by Carol Rifkin

ASHEVILLE – “Have you herd?” Fans of folk-rock band Donna the Buffalo know that phrase means their favorite group is headed to town.

Led by founding members Tara Nevins and Jeb Puryear, Donna the Buffalo has its own brand of socially conscious songwriting and an eclectic instrumental groove that resonates through infectiously danceable music… … …

“We’ve been together 21 years now, a long time,” Nevins said. Even though 11 members have passed through the group over the years, the musical groove, vision and sound have remained consistent and true to the band’s roots.

“Absolutely, I guess that is because Jeb and I are key members and we write all the songs for the band,” Nevins said.

“Jeb and I are so excited because we just love our new band,” Nevins said. “With Vic Stafford on drums, Kyle Spark on bass and Dave McCracken on keyboard, well, they are such great guys and such great musicians that we are having so much fun playing.”

Stafford and Spark both attended Berklee College of Music, played in a college band together and went on to play with Blueground Undergrass before joining Donna the Buffalo.

“It makes for a great rhythm section,” Nevins said.

“The new band formation is really able to put the songs across well and play the songs well. We are riding a high on that right now, and we feel like the songs are coming across in a way that is just really good music,” Nevins said.

The songwriting team of Nevins and Puryear has written more than 140 songs together over the years. The band’s 2008 release, “Silverlined,” on Sugar Hill Records, was its sixth studio release and rose to No. 8 on the Americana music charts.

Nevins’ catchy song “Locket and Key” was a hit on radio.

“At different times in your life different things happen to you,” said Nevins, talking about her songwriting style. “I definitely write songs that come out of experience. I’m better at that than trying to pick a topic.

“Definitely, on ‘Silverlined,’ that has ‘Locket and Key’ on it, that was true. There are a lot of very personal songs on that CD. I had experienced some pretty intense heartbreak, and it comes through,” she said.

Their songwriting skills have evolved and grown over the years.

“If I have something to say, I’m pretty good at it,” she said with a laugh.

In late February the group will head to Nashville and record its next CD on the Sugar Hill label, and it will include a lot of guest artists. Nevins is waiting for the April release of her second solo CD, “Wood and Stone,” on Sugar Hill.

“It’s produced by Larry Campbell, and we recorded it at Levon Helms studio up in Woodstock, N.Y.,” Nevins said.

All but two of the songs on “Wood and Stone” were written by Nevins. The band will play a couple of Nevins’ new tunes at The Orange Peel concert along with its other feel-good crowd favorites.

. . .    . . .    . . .

Carol Rifkin writes about bluegrass and traditional music for take5. E-mail her atCMRifkin@gmail.com.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://m.citizentimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110128/ENT/301280006/-1/pda



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Donna the Buffalo. Photo by Jim Gavenus

Great post in the Portland, ME Press Herald for Donna the Buffalo’s show at the Empire Dine and Dance tonight!

Check out these excerpts from a preview writeup by AIMSEL PONTI:

“Oh give me a home where Donna the Buffalo roams”

Wow, that was bad. So sorry.

Be that as it may, Donna the Buffalo has a big show tonight at Empire Dine & Dance, and I’m in the throes of “I just discovered a really great band,” hence my reimaging of “Home on the Range.”

This week, I’m also making two suggestions for Friday night with Dan Knudsen at Strange Maine and a CD-release show from Dana Gross at One Longfellow Square. Have at it.

If nothing else, I love the name Donna the Buffalo. However, after spending some time at www.donnathebuffalo.com, I realized that this band from Trumansburg, N.Y., is even cooler than its name. Here’s what I learned: “Donna the Buffalo’s eclectic and often socially conscious music has its base in traditional mountain music and is infused with elements of Cajun/zydeco, rock, folk, reggae, and country.

“The group’s core is vocalist Tara Nevins, who plays fiddle, guitar, accordion and scrub board, and guitarist Jeb Puryear. Keyboardist Dave McCracken, bassist Kyle Spark, and drummer Vic Stafford complete the ensemble.”

So there’s your background, and now here’s five random comments on the band, courtesy of 20 minutes spent at www.myspace.com/donnathebuffalo:

Nevins has a terrific voice.

“Locket and Key” is an entirely enjoyable song, so go listen to it.

I feel entirely late to the party upon learning that this fantastic band has been at it for 21 years.

I dig the lyrics to “No Place like the Right Time.” For example: “Sit and watch the tall grass grow/ I run and hide from the things I know/ Catch the dust up in my eye/ All is lookin’ different as the years go by.”

Puryear also sings, and he’s got a groovy voice, as evidenced in “Positive Friction.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.pressherald.com/life/go/need-a-palooza-or-a-shot-of-swing-hipsters_-great-stuff-this-weekend_2010-09-16.html

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Jeb Puryear. Photo by Monty Chandler.

Check out this review of Donna the Buffalo from their show at Infinity Hall.

Review: Donna the Buffalo at Infinity Music Hall

By Eric R. Danton on August 27, 2010


Sometimes all it takes is a niche, and the members of Donna the Buffalo have certainly found theirs.

With easygoing songs and a low-key peace-love vibe honed over the past 17 years, the western New York folk-rock band can essentially play as many intimate halls and small festival gigs as it wants — Infinity Music Hall in Norfolk, for example, where the band performed Thursday night.

It was a generous set, spread over more than two hours, with guitarist Jeb Puryear and violinist/guitarist Tara Nevins alternating on lead vocals on songs drawn from folk, country, rock and Cajun traditions.

Backed by drums, bass and keyboards, the co-leaders had an easy rapport with each other, and with the crowd, which occasionally stood to dance in the aisles. Puryear sang with the same mellow inflection as Willie Nelson, though the former’s voice isn’t quite as rich, and he played his Stratocaster guitar without a pick, coaxing a smooth, buttery tone from the instrument.

Nevins, who also played accordion and washboard on the thrumming, bayou-flavored “Part-Time Lover,” has a pretty, slightly frayed voice that sounded wistful on the countrified “Locket and Key” and bobbed lightly on “Blue Sky,” an easy flowing rock song with Puryear’s electric guitar cascading over Nevins’ sturdy acoustic strumming.

The band often stretched out, steering songs into light jams. The electric guitar and violin each sounded in turn as though they were straining toward the heavens during an extended middle section on “Let Love Move Me,” and the rest of the band left Puryear and Nevins alone on stage to finish the aptly named “Funky Side” themselves, locked together on the riff that drove the song.

After finishing the main set with Nevins singing the acoustic country-ish song “No Place Like the Right Time,” she and Puryear started the encore as a duo as she played a mournful violin line over a plucked guitar groove.

The rest of the band emerged quietly to join them on the end of the song, before diving back into a good-natured jam on the next song.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://blogs.courant.com/eric_danton_sound_check/2010/08/review-donna-the-buffalo-at-in.html

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DtB plays the Edinboro Art and Music Festival tonight near Erie, PA. They take the stage at 10:30pm. Here is what the Erie Times has to say:

Buffalo hunt: Look no further, Donna’s in Edinboro tonight

Preview by Dave Richards
Staff writer, Erie Times


Tonight’s gig affords Donna fans and those who will be, once they hear the group, a chance to enjoy them up close. The intimate setting makes crystal-clear the camaraderie between Nevins and Puryear, who played old-time fiddle music before they founded Donna the Buffalo more than 20 years ago.

Festival director Fred Parker appreciates them coming back; they also headlined in 2009. It didn’t take much to coax them; he’s a longtime friend of the band and a fellow musician.

“Tara and Jeb are friends of mine, and it’s nice to have them kicking off the festival,” Parker said. “I think it gives us a real nice headliner and a shot in the arm. I know they like the event.”

Parker spent time with Nevins and Puryear, telling Puryear, “I know it’s kind of small place, but what do you think?’ And he said, ‘We loved it, and we had a real good time.'”

Fans literally climbed the tables in 2009. Odds are, they’ll do it again, though even band members don’t know which songs they’ll play until they get on stage. They never bother with a set list.

“That’s one of the things about us,” Nevins said. “We get up onstage and play whatever we feel like playing. We just kind of fly by the seat of our pants. Every time we try to make a set list, we never stick to it.”

They stick to a pattern, though, usually alternating between Puryear’s rhythmic, Dylan-influenced, guitar-centered songs and Nevins’ breezy, melodic, accordion-driven gems like the folksy “Tides of Time” and infectious “Locket and Key.”

Donna the Buffalo arrives with a new band member, bassist Kyle Spark, who joined at the end of March. He had a lot to learn, considering Donna’s rich songwriting history. Nevins said they took it slow.

“He gets the records, and we give him a list of the things we normally play and start with that,” Nevins said. “You gotta give a guy a fighting chance. For a few shows, we stick to those for his sake. Then we’ll throw a new one onstage and see how it goes.”

So far, she’s like the chemistry.

Mixing in new players keeps the band fresh; Puryear and Nevins are the only two constants. Playing other types of gigs helps, too. In 2009, Nevins joined former Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann’s BK 3 on the road.

“The call came in, and it was kind of out of the blue,” Nevins said. “I just felt, ‘Well, I’m up for something different. A challenge. Step out of my box a little bit.’ I did it, and it was completely awesome. I had a wonderful time, and the playing was fantastic. I’d love to do it again.”

Nevins said Donna may record again with Jim Lauderdale, who joined them for a set at Merlefest. They haven’t started a follow-up to 2009’s well-received “Silverlined,” which includes guest spots from Bela Fleck, Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo, and Levon Helms’ daughter Amy.

“Looking back, I think it was a great record. It got all the way up to No. 8 on the Americana charts,” Nevins said.

“We did our very first music video for the song ‘Locket and Key,’ and that got a lot of airplay. People still hear it in department stores and restaurants and grocery stores. It was one of the first times one of our songs traveled a little bit further.

“Yeah, I have a good attachment to that record.”

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Jeb and Tara from Donna the Buffalo visited Late for Work with Tad Abbey  on WNRN on February 4th before their show at Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville. They chatted and played some tunes live on the air.

Check out the podcast from the interview at this link:  cvillepodcast.com/donna-the-buffalo-at-wnrn

Here is a video of them performing Locket and Key:

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By Stratton Lawrence, Special to The Post and Courier
Thursday, January 28, 2010

After 20 years performing together as co-leaders of Donna the Buffalo, Jeb Puryear and Tara Nevins’ onstage banter often could be mistaken for the playful chiding one might hear between a married couple, long after the honeymoon phase is over.

The musical pair has no romantic past, but the band’s honeymoon rolls on year after year. “Silverlined,” released in 2008, garnered the Americana/zydeco/roots band playtime on the GAC cable channel for the music video “Locket and Key.”

In 2009, Nevins added to the Upstate New York band’s famously faithful fanbase (“The Herd”) by touring with BK3, the side project of the Grateful Dead’s Bill Kreutzmann, on backing vocals and fiddle. They’ve recently toured with Little Feat, and 2010’s schedule includes dates with Hot Tuna and Railroad Earth and stops at popular festivals such as MerleFest, Suwannee Springfest, and LEAF.

“We’ve been lucky to have an audience that likes what we do,” says Puryear.

The band supports taping and sharing of their live show recordings, and The Herd comes out en masse to Donna the Buffalo’s own homegrown festivals, Shakori Hills in North Carolina and Grassroots in New York. And these days, almost no one ever mistakenly addresses Tara as ‘Donna.’ “Less and less, thank god,” she laughs.

But after two decades on the road, how well do Puryear and Nevins really know each other? Preview put them to the test with a classic Newlyweds-style round of cross-questioning.

Q: What song has Jeb/Tara always wanted to secretly cover?

Tara: Geez, I don’t know.

Jeb: “Take It Easy” by the Eagles.

Score: Jeb 1, Tara 0 (Jeb picked “Everyday People” by Sly & the Family Stone).

Q: What is Jeb/Tara’s biggest guilty pleasure on the road?

Tara: Drinks.

Jeb: She likes to have her cocktails.

Score: Jeb 2, Tara 1.

Q: Does Jeb/Tara have any insecurities on stage?

Tara: “He wants the groove to be the right groove.”

Jeb: “Before the music gets rolling, she’s always a little uptight. Then it smoothes out and it’s all great.”

Score: Jeb 3, Tara 2

Q: If Jeb/Tara could only play one festival next year, which would it be?

Tara: Grassroots.

Jeb: MerleFest.

Score: Jeb 3, Tara 3 (Tara would play the Telluride Bluegrass Festival).

Q: What band would Jeb/Tara’s dream co-bill?

Tara: The Beatles.

Jeb: Bob Marley and the Wailers.

Score: Jeb 3, Tara 4 (Tara would tour with Sheryl Crow).

Q: What is Jeb/Tara’s favorite state other than New York?

Tara: Tennessee and North Carolina.

Jeb: Alabama.

Score: Jeb 3, Tara 5 (Tara chose North Carolina and nailed Jeb’s two-state answer).

Q: Has Jeb/Tara ever turned down a song that you brought to the band?

Tara: No.

Jeb: Yes, but no one else liked that song either.

Score: Jeb 4, Tara 6 (Although Jeb did ask for a lyric update: “I wanted her to change a lyric on ‘I Don’t Need a Riddle.’ She sang, ‘I don’t understand,’ and there’s not many things she doesn’t understand very clearly, so it didn’t ring true. She changed it to, ‘I don’t want to understand,’ and then I felt all right playing it.”)

Q: What song is Jeb/Tara most excited to play on this tour?

Tara: “Ding, Dang, Dong.” I think that’s what he’s calling it.

Jeb: “Family Picture.”

Score: Jeb 5, Tara 6 (“She plays that song every night,” says Jeb of ‘Family Picture.’ He chose “Conscious Evolution” as his song of choice.)

The pair knows each other pretty well, it turns out. The stop on Sunday at the Music Farm at 32 Ann St. is the band’s first visit to town since 2008 (Jeb says he’s excited for “the dirt, the air and the people.”). So if you haven’t “Herd of ’em,” here’s your chance to get to know Donna as well as the duo knows each other.

If you go

Who: Donna the Buffalo with The Believers.

When: Sunday 7 p.m.

Where: The Music Farm, 32 Ann St., downtown.

Cost: $15 in advance at www.etix.com, all Cat’s Music and Monster Music locations; $18 the day of the show.

Hear the Music: www.donnathebuffalo.com.

Info: 577-6989, www.musicfarm.com.

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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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