The Orpheum Presents
Donna The Buffalo
With Special Guest
Tuesday, October 30th
Doors Open At 7:30pm & Show Starts At 8:30pm
All Ages Show!
Donna The Buffalo Bio:
Donna the Buffalo's feel-good, groove-oriented, danceable and often socially conscious music all began over twenty years ago with roots in old time fiddle music that evolved into a soulful electric Americana mix infused with elements of cajun/ zydeco, rock, folk, reggae, and country. Donna the Buffalo is known for touring the country remaining fiercely independent as one of the industry’s most diverse roots-music bands and has "earned a reputation as one of the most respected, eclectic and hardest-working acts today," praises Encore.
"Donna the Buffalo is in the enviable position of being a homegrown entity, a group that finds itself outside the coloring lines of the accepted formula, a formula that is now in the past tense...People doing what they love, and better, sharing that passion to the benefit of the public, is the strongest business formula ever written. Donna the Buffalo is living proof of that." states Beat Magazine. The Nashville Scene writes, "Folkies with a superior sense of rhythm are rare enough, but folkies with a good beat and a healthy disrespect for eclectic clichés are a national treasure....they’ve never sounded better..."
The dynamic songwriting tandem of vocalists Jeb Puryear and Tara Nevins have penned over 180 songs in their collaboration with DTB and have many more in the making. Although never writing a set list for live show, the Erie Times notes, "they stick to a pattern...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.” As of late, Nevins and Puryear have also been known to perform as a duo on air and on select songs at live shows, which is always enjoyable to the fans to hear their favorite DtB songs in stripped down arrangements.
Donna the Buffalo has been working on a 10th album with Puryear on guitar, Nevins on fiddle, guitar, accordion, and scrubboard, keyboardist Dave McCracken, bassist Kyle Spark, and drummer Mark Raudabaugh.
Donna the Buffalo has released nine albums and are affiliated with several others, including a Puryear’s 2007 solo album Hopes and Dreams and a 2003 release, Wait Til Spring, with Jim Lauderdale. The band's 2008 release Silverlined, on Sugar Hill, rose to #8 on the Americana Music Chart. Nevins released Wood and Stone, produced by Larry Campbell in the Levon Helm Studios in 2011 on Sugar Hill Records; it was her first solo album since Mule to Ride in 1999.
Donna the Buffalo's fervent fan base, self-named The Herd, follows the band with zeal and has created a unique and supportive community online and at DTB shows across the nation. Puryear declares, "The main thing I like to say about The Herd is that you don’t have to do anything to be a member. You just have to like a song." In an interview with The Roanoke Times, Nevins conveys, "It’s a great feeling to promote such a feeling of community, like you’re really part of something that’s happening, like a movement or a positive force...All those people that come and follow you and you recognize them and you become friends with them — you’re all moving along for the same purpose. It is powerful. It’s very powerful, actually.” When asked in an interview with the Weekender in PA what new people should look forward to experiencing at a show, Nevins replied “a really friendly, comfortable crowd, and a real community-oriented, positive experience.”
As an extension of this community and the band's own dedication to live roots music, Donna started, and are still the driving force behind, the 20+ year old Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance in Trumansburg, NY, the bi-annual Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival in Silk Hope, NC and February 2012 marks the first year for the Virginia Key Grassroots Festival in Florida. DtB are regulars at MerleFest (NC), Suwanee Springfest & Magnolia Fest (FL), All Good (WV), Floyd Fest (VA), The Great Blue Heron Festival (PA), Del Fest (MD), Targhee Bluegrass Fest (WY) and a variety of other venues and festivals across the nation.
Over the years and through their travels, Donna the Buffalo as a band and its individual members have had the opportunity to play music with and/or record with musicians such as Jim Lauderdale, Preston and Keith Frank, Railroad Earth, Bela Fleck, John Paul Jones, Bill Kreutzmann, The Avett Bothers, Del McCoury, Tim O'Brien, Pete Wernick, Abigail Washburn, Mamadou Diabate, Los Lobo, Rusted Root, Claire Lynch, David Hidalgo, The Duhks and Amy Helm, just to name a few.
With over twenty years to celebrate, hundreds of gigs ahead of them, and an ever-evolving grassroots sound; it looks like Donna the Buffalo is riding a cloud that is truly Silverlined.
Jeb Puryear - Guitar & Vocals
Old-time music was abnormally popular in Ithaca when Jeb was growing up so he was convinced if he learned to play the fiddle well enough, he'd be a rock star for sure...The string band he formed with his mates, Bubba George, was indeed worthy of the stature, but they were a bit ahead of their time...so he grabbed an electric guitar and kept on rockin'. He'll beat you at scrabble, chess, bocce, buray, and ping pong....and we hear a solo record may be in the works as well.
Tara Nevins - Accordion, Fiddle, Guitar, Scrubboard & Vocals
To begin to understand Tara's passion for music, one must first look to the Old-time musical community where Tara has spent over 20 years playing the fiddle. We did the research once and headed on down to the Mt Airy fiddlers' convention where in awe we watched her play 27 hours of fiddle tunes in 3 days time as she casually caught up with some old friends. But these days her love of Zydeco is equally as influential. While evident in her accordian playing, she is also currently expressing her love of Louisiana culture by producing a documentary on the late Carlton Frank. Beyond her time with DTB, Tara spent almost 10 years playing with the all-female Cajun/Old-time band, The Heartbeats, and plans to continue releasing solo records for Sugar Hill. Nevins released an exploration of her own heritage, musical and otherwise, in Wood and Stone, her first solo album since Mule to Ride in 1999 on Sugar Hill Records. Wood and Stone showcases her ever-evolving repertoire as she journeys both back to her own “roots” and head-long into new territory. Released on May 3, 2011, the album was produced by Larry Campbell with guests including Levon Helm, Jim Lauderdale, Allison Moorer, Teresa Williams and more.
Dave McCracken - Keyboards
David’s father put a drum set in his room when he was 3 years old. He grew up meandering around his father’s music store in North Carolina bouncing from instrument to instrument. Prior to playing vintage keyboards with Donna the Buffalo, David toured extensively with CJ Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana band and performed with Cyril Lance and Buddy Guy. "Donna the Buffalo's music really reaches out to a lot of people," he says. "...People really seem to wrap themselves into the message and the music transcends age and sex. You look out on the dance floor and you'll see three generations of people responding. It's a celebration of life."
Mark Raudabaugh - Drums
Mark began playing drums while living in England during the early 90’s. After moving back to the States, he attended Gainesville High School in Gainesville, FL where he was involved in both the marching and jazz bands. Mark later received a music (jazz) scholarship to Florida State University where he studied under Leon Anderson Jr. (drummer for Ellis Marsalis, Marcus Roberts). While at FSU, Mark had the opportunity to perform with jazz greats: Wyclef Gordon and Ellis Marsalis to name a few. Since graduating from FSU in 2003, Mark has toured the US, Canada, and Japan with artists 'Bobby Lee Rodgers and The CodeTalkers' and Papa Mali. He also has played with Jimmy Hall (Wet Willie, Jeff Beck, Hank Williams Jr.), Charice (Oprah, David Foster), Bobby Sparks and Keith Anderson (Marcus Miller Band, Roy Hargrove & RH Factor), Andreas Oberg (Swedish jazz guitar virtuoso), Lee Fields (Dap-Kings), Grant Green Jr., Soulphonics and Ruby Velle, and Delta Moon among others. When not on the road with Donna the Buffalo, Mark stays busy gigging and recording in the Atlanta area and throughout the Southeast.
Kyle Spark - Bass
Bass has always just felt like home to Kyle Spark. He starting playing as a freshman in high school when his band director asked if he wanted to try bass in the jazz band. Spark took home this 80's Ampeg Big Stud bass and got right into it...something about the power in moving air and the way bass propels music...He knew right away it was for him! Making music "feel" good is Spark's only mission....it is, after all, his job to so!! He loves music and he loves life...playing with Donna the Buffalo, Spark gets it all wrapped up in one beautiful package.