Hearing Aide: Roots, Rock, Zydeco: Donna the Buffalo’s New Release, “Tonight, Tomorrow and Yesterday”

One of the true jewels of the Upstate New York music scene is a little band that hails from Trumansburg called Donna the Buffalo.  With founding members Jeb Puryear and Tara Nevins at the helm, this act has been delivering its own unique brand of Americana/Rock and Roll for well over two decades now.  As other parts of the band have changed, these two have developed a chemistry and song writing style that continue to produce fun and memorable music.  Their 10th studio release, Tonight, Tomorrow and Yesterday, gives the newest members of the band a chance to be heard and highlights all of the little things that make this band a treat to see live.

The album starts off with an appropriately titled and fiddle-based song called “All Aboard” and takes off from there.  “Working On That” gives keyboardist David McCracken a chance to shine through a little and fits the mold of Donna’s signature style of making a point with its lyrics without getting preachy.  The Tara Nevins penned tune “I Love My Tribe” is a bouncy, sing along type song that seems to serve as somewhat of a nod to the bands faithful following, otherwise known as The Herd.  Undoubtedly, this song will be a fixture at Finger Lakes GrassRoot Festivals for years to come – a festival now in its 23rd year!

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The title track of the album is a fun and upbeat one with a zydeco feel to it, a style of music this band incorporates so well into its playing.  As a sign of the band’s versatility, “Ms. Parsley” is a spirited dub/reggae type number that really stands out.  Most of the songs on the album are filled predominantly with lyrics, but on “Why You Wanna Leave Me” Donna stretches it out a little with a focused jam featuring interplay between Puryear on electric guitar and new bassist Kyle Sparks.  It also gives a little taste into what one can expect from the band in a live setting.  Another staple of this band is songs with Tara Nevins playing acoustic guitar while delivering lyrics from the heart and this gets accomplished and then some on “I See How You Are”.

While some bands may have difficulty producing their authentic style of music and the energy found in playing live, Donna the Buffalo definitely accomplishes this with Tonight, Tomorrow and Yesterday.  It’s sure to satisfy both members of The Herd and the casual listener who wants to get an idea of what this band is all about.

Key Tracks: Working On That, Tonight, Tomorrow and Yesterday, Ms. Parsley

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