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UPDATE: We’re sorry to announce that the Crash Test Dummies’ fall 2011 tour of the US Canada has been cancelled. Lead singer/songwriter Brad Roberts has been dealing with chronic and worsening back problems stemming from a herniated disk. His doctors have advised him that he can not go out on the road for the remainder of this year. Roberts is deeply disappointed, and knows that Crash Test Dummies fans will be disappointed as well, but his medical condition has to be his priority right now.
-Crash Test Dummies – September 12, 2011

Seeing the Crash Test Dummies perform live may rocket you backward momentarily, with Brad Roberts‘ distinctive voice and satirical humor conjuring hits like “Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm” and “Superman’s Song”, but it will also land you firmly in the present with modern folk rock perfected over 20 years of touring & recording.

Last year’s critically acclaimed Oooh La-La! [Deep Fried Records] was made using 1970’s analog toys, including the the Optigan and Omnichord. Despite the unusual nature of production, the songs on Oooh La-La! stand up as some of Roberts’ best work, both lyrically and musically. Venus Zine noted “Soaring string arrangements, Roberts’ booming baritone…captivate the listener,” and as the Huffington Post put it, these newly revitalized Crash Test Dummies “Should be taken seriously in 2010 and beyond.”

Rather than try to recreate music that was written with some rather cranky toy instruments, Roberts and company embarked on a highly successful acoustic tour around the release of the album, which further cemented the GRAMMY-nominated band’s relationship with fans new and old. Fortunately for fans, Roberts immediately discovered that he really does love playing live shows. In that spirit, Crash Test Dummies are heading out on a mini-tour in September to play the Taste of Madison (9/4); Sellersville Theater, PA (9/13); Mexicali Live in Teaneck NJ (9/14); and the Tupelo Music Halls in White River Junction, VT (9/16) and Londonderry, NH (9/17).

Roberts’ voice and offbeat lyrical sensibility have been this beloved band’s calling cards since their founding twenty years ago. Joining Roberts for this tour are Rob Morsberger (keys and accordion) and Terry Derkach (guitar). Rob Morsberger is a composer, arranger, keyboard player and singer. He created the string arrangements on “Oooh La-La!” and has toured with Brad, both as an opening act and as a keyboard player. Rob will also do a short, solo, opening set. Terry, like Brad, is originally from Winnipeg and like Roberts, has been living in NYC for many years. They’ve worked in the studio on some projects, but this will be the first time that the two have actually “been in a band together” since they were 18 years old. That band lasted one rehearsal! We have every expectation that this collaboration will be more sustained.

The live show, which never fails to impress, is “…easily the most breathtaking acoustic act you’re likely to see… distinctive voices exert amazing prowess” according to Consequence of Sound. The show touches on the breadth of material that Roberts has developed with a variety of collaborators over a storied career and nine notable albums. This new three-piece lineup will be sure to play ‘the hits’ – of which there were plenty – as well as a vast array of material that makes them such an enduring force in folk rock.

In addition to the stellar set list, the band will will offer fans a newly-released, limited edition collection of never-before-heard cast-off recording from 1996-97 titled “Demo-litions”. It is available only at the shows (and of course on their web site). Roberts states, “Put on the record, shut off your cell phones, internet, TV screen, and even the lights; then sit back, and give it a full listen through. I promise you’ll laugh, at the very least. And a laugh is worth a thousand good ideas.”

Meanwhile, while he’s not recording and playing shows, or reading and re-reading Milton’s Paradise Lost, Roberts’ Facebook and Tumblr fans continue to follow his output as a photographer, as he catalogs life around him in New York and on his travels.

To learn more about Crash Test Dummies, see videos, read Roberts’ blog and more, visit www.crashtestdummies.com.

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Donna the Buffalo has a host of shows this weekend with the Roy Jay Band opening. They started off to a sold out crowd at the Waterhole in Saranac Lake last night as part of day 6 of Winter Carnival. Tonight (Thursday, Feb 10th) they head over to Albany, NY for a show at Jillian’s.

Friday nite will be a special one for sure at the Water Street Music Hall in Rochester, NY! Author Peter Conners  and  filmographer Denver Miller will be interviewing & filming the band as well as The Herd for a book & documentary project entitled JAMerica [Click to read more about it]. This is definitely a show to be at if you are anywhere near the area! However, do not fret if you can’t make it out; the folks over at Have You Herd are doing a live Herdcast from the show with a chat room, video and audio. You can watch and listen here:  http://webcast.haveyouherd.com/index11.cfm. Rochester City News put together a little blurb about the show here.

On Saturday, DtB travels up to White River Junction, VT to play the Tupelo Music Hall. There’s been a lot of buzz about the shows. Below are a couple of archives of articles for the weekend. One is an interview with Tara Nevins, the other is an interview with Jeb Puryear!

Twenty years later, Donna the Buffalo still roamin’

Founder Tara Nevins talks about making a career out of music, recording with Levon Helm and keeping thing creative ahead of Saturday performance at Tupelo Music Hall

By Brent Hallenbeck, Free Press Staff Writer •  www.burlingtonfreepress.com

Jeb Puryear and Tara Nevins. Photo by John D Kurc

The origins of Donna the Buffalo are pretty simple, really: Founders Tara Nevins and Jeb Puryear started with impromptu sessions of old-time fiddle music in Ithaca, N.Y., which led to the two of them writing songs and eventually setting their acoustic instruments aside for a more electric sound. The band’s traditional/Americana/Cajun/rock/country mash-up was born.

The two founders, however, had no idea that they’d still be doing this more than 20 years later.

“It was really fun and exciting starting this new musical journey,” Nevins said during a tour stop in Nashville. “We didn’t think about what’s this going to be about, if it’s a career.”

It’s a career now, one that has earned the band enough of a following for its devoted fans to carry their own collective name (“The Herd”) and for Donna the Buffalo to keep its decades-long road show going. The band’s next Vermont stop comes Saturday, when they play the Tupelo Music Hall in White River Junction.

All that time together doesn’t mean Nevins is willing to stand pat. The vocalist and multi-instrumentalist who with Puryear writes most of Donna the Buffalo’s songs is releasing a solo album on her band’s label, Nashville-based Sugar Hill Records, in April. She recorded the album at the rural New York studio of Levon Helm, who as drummer and vocalist for The Band helped to create the organic hybrid of country, folk and rock that Donna the Buffalo carries on.

Helm played on two cuts on the album, according to Nevins. “I had to pinch myself a little bit,” she said. “But really, honestly, when you get in that situation you feel like, ‘Oh, wow,’ but once you start playing music together and hang out with Levon a little bit, he’s such a beautiful man, everything just feels normal. We’re all artists making art. He’s an incredibly gracious person. He’s probably one of the most soulful musicians I’ve ever heard or played with. He’s from the heart.”

. . .   . . .    . . .
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20110210/ENT/110209030/Twenty-years-later-Donna-the-Buffalo-still-roamin

And here is another article for the archives:

Partying with the Herd

By Warren Johnston — Valley News www.vnews.com

. . .   . . .    . . .

Photo of Jeb Puryear by Jim Gavenus

The popular Trumansburg, N.Y., band has been around since 1989, made its initial mark at festivals and built a strong, loyal following known as the “Herd.”

“We’re still excited about the festivals, and playing festivals is a lot of what we do,” said Jeb Puryear. He and Tara Nevins are the remaining founding members of the band. “We’re lifers.”

The two write most of the songs the band plays and most of the tunes on the group’s nine albums.

“I grew up going to festivals and listening to old-time music, and when I met Tara, she had the same love of the (old-time) music. That’s what we started playing (at festivals), and other people seem to enjoy what we play. We really consider ourselves fortunate,” Puryear said.

On the rare occasions when Donna the Buffalo isn’t playing original songs, they’ll perform arrangements of cover songs, such as a reggae version of the bluegrass tune A Man of Constant Sorrow. Puryear, who plays electric guitar and pedal steel and sings, and Nevins, who sings and plays acoustic guitar, washboard, accordion and fiddle, write all of the songs for the band. Their tunes range from country, bluegrass and folk to funk and Zydeco, and all have a foot-stomping beat.

In addition to Puryear and Nevins, the band includes Vic Stafford on drums, David McCracken on electric keyboard and organ, and Kyle Spark on electric bass.

Donna the Buffalo’s last studio album, Silverlined, features songs that are more electrified and have a greater keyboard presence than the songs on earlier CDs. Puryear said there hasn’t been a conscious effort to change styles, but “I guess we’ve progressed. If we could step back and look at it, we probably have. It’s hard to tell when you’re in it every day.”

This spring the band will go back into the studio to work on a new album, he said.

Puryear is not quite sure who came up with the name of the band, which was a mispronunciation of the group’s original name. “We were just getting going, and somebody came up with the name Dawn of the Buffalo, which sort of had the imagery of believing in the power of music or something. When we started playing, somebody mispronounced it as Donna the Buffalo. We thought it was pretty funny and started playing under that name.”

. . .    . . .    . . .

“A lot of our shows follow a similar trend. We try to get the music going, and then it spreads through the crowd; and the show becomes one piece, then it’s party time where everybody gets into it and comes together. The crowd comes to hear the band, but the band goes to the gig for the same reason. Without the band and the music, there’s no show, but without the crowd getting into the music, there’s no show,” Puryear said.

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READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.vnews.com/02032011/7610310.htm

Vic Stafford & Kyle Spark. Photo by Lewis Tezak Jr.

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