DONNA THE BUFFALO – Tickets – Neighborhood Theatre – Charlotte, NC – February 1st, 2019

DONNA THE BUFFALO

Neighborhood Theatre & MaxxMusic present

DONNA THE BUFFALO

The Gary Douglas Band

Fri 2/1

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Neighborhood Theatre

$22 adv/$25 dos

$3 Under 21 Surcharge at Door (Valid ID required for entry into venue. Under 18 permitted with parent.)

Accepted forms of ID: State Issued ID or Driver's License, Military ID, Passport.

DONNA THE BUFFALO
DONNA THE BUFFALO
Donna the Buffalo offers everything you want in a roots band -- songs that matter, a groove that makes you dance, an audience that spans generations, and a musical voice that evokes a sense of community.

Dance in the Street, their first new album in five years, captures the dynamic energy that has earned the band the love and respect of their fans, “the Herd”, for thirty years.

Donna The Buffalo is well known for their lyrics about human potential and community. Throughout Dance in the Street, Jeb Puryear and Tara Nevins, the band’s co-founders, share songs of social commentary and self empowerment. “We feel the album provides an enjoyable ride between the general and the personal, from both male and female perspectives,” says Puryear.

Puryear took it upon himself to write a topical song after a friend slyly commented, “We could use some songs like you used to write.” That off-handed remark led directly to “Dance in the Street,” which falls somewhere between Bob Dylan and Bob Marley, with lyrics:



For change of rule, we had better stand,

Before there’s nowhere left to land,

Doomed to histories repeat,

It’s time to dance in the street.



Nevins adapted the imagery in the lyrics from “Dance in the Street” to create the globally-inspired album cover.

“My songs on this record are about letting go,” says Nevins. “Whether it be the attachment of love lost, the past, or the particular blue funk you’re coming out of.” Nevins in particular adds an interesting twist of “creating future” in Motor, the inspired second cut of the album with the chorus:

You’ll be dancing under the moon before too long,

You’ll be flying high as a kite when the wind gets blowing,

You’ll be right back where you started,

You’ll be holding tight to the motor that gets you going.



Donna the Buffalo joined forces with legendary Producer/ Engineer Rob Fraboni to record Dance in the Street at Sonic Ranch Studio in El Paso, Texas. Best known as producer of The Last Waltz soundtrack, Fraboni is also acclaimed for his work with Bob Dylan, The Band, Eric Clapton, and The Rolling Stones. Fraboni set out to capture the essence of Donna The Buffalo’s live performances on a studio record. He had the band record in a circle directly to tape. Dance In The Street is a fully analog recording all the way to vinyl. The track list alternates in his-and-hers fashion; even so, Nevins believes the album makes a cohesive statement. “We think of it as painting a picture and I like the picture that we’ve painted with this record,” she says.

Nevins and Puryear have nurtured a close friendship after meeting at an old-time fiddle convention years ago. In 1989 they landed their first gig in a Trumansburg, NY restaurant setting Puryear and Nevins on their musical path. During that time, Puryear took note of Nevins’ songwriting ability – “the first person I met that wrote songs that sounded like you could hear them on the radio”. While they mostly write separately, their music is often on the same wavelength.“ Our history is so long and very successful musically,” he says. “She’s my best friend – we’ve done this forever. It’s a big part of what makes it still interesting to do. We definitely have a good, rough-and-tumble, super-longstanding respect and love.”

Donna The Buffalo is not just a band, rather one might say that Donna The Buffalo has become a lifestyle for its members and audiences. The band has played thousands of shows and countless festivals including Bonnaroo, Newport Folk Festival, Telluride, Austin City Limits Festival, Merle Fest, and Philadelphia Folk Festival. At several festivals Donna The Buffalo has become the house band for closing the events by backing up artists including The Avett Brothers, Keller Williams, Zac Brown, Bela Fleck, John Paul Jones, and Chris Thile. They’ve opened for The Dead and have toured with Peter Rowan, Del McCoury, Los Lobos, Little Feat, Jim Lauderdale, Rusted Root, and Railroad Earth to name a few. They also toured with Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Ben Cohen to help raise awareness about increased corporate spending in politics. In 1991, the band started the Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival in Trumansburg, NY. The four day festival has become an annual destination for over 15,000 music lovers every year and was started as an AIDS benefit. It continues as a benefit for arts and education. To date, the event has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and is now one of three Grassroots Festivals; the Bi-annual Shakori Hills fest in North Carolina and Virginia Key festival in Florida. In 2016 GrassRoots Culture Camp was introduced in Trumansburg, New York as four days of music, art, dance and movement workshops, including nightly dinners and dances.

“Successes? We have certainly tried to make a difference in the world, trying to inspire ourselves and others to treat their lives as a work of art, and our collective destiny as something that we are creating, not just something we are subject to. And at the same time we’re having a blast, who wouldn’t want to ride around on a bus playing music with their friends?” Puryear added.

The most loyal fans in the Herd are always eager to accept a call to action. Last year Donna the Buffalo started a crowdfunding campaign to buy a new tour bus; within three weeks, they had raised $90,000. “You can imagine how validating that felt for us,” Nevins says, still overwhelmed at the generosity.

By creating a bridge between generations, Donna the Buffalo attracts one of the broadest demographics on the festival circuit. When Nevins encounters young women in the autograph line, she likes to write “Girl Power!” She’s proud to see them looking up at the stage and watching a female musician really getting down, comprehending that they could do the same thing one day. In addition, Puryear has noted that Vietnam veterans have gravitated to the band. During a songwriting workshop, Puryear sang “Killing A Man,” which examines the complicated psychological ramifications of ending another person’s life. He felt uncertain about recording it, he says, until a veteran came up and asked him how he got those emotions exactly right.

Dance In The Street closes with “I Believe,” a song with a message of support. From the stage, Nevins often hears men and women singing it with her. “I think our message is encouraging. It’s something for people to latch onto,” she says. “And what an awesome sound and feeling to hear an audience en masse singing your song with you.”

Donna the Buffalo draws on a lot of musical influences, from country and rock ‘n’ roll, to bluegrass and old-time fiddle, as well as Cajun and Zydeco. In many ways, they were Americana before the term was ever coined. The common thread? Songs of the human spirit, and an incredibly tight relationship with their fans.

“The fans, they show up to be a part of it. We show up to be a part of it,” Puryear says. “And we don’t have an intimidating vibe where we’re different than them. If a scene is really on, it doesn’t matter whether you’re watching, listening, dancing, or playing – it’s on, everybody knows it’s on and it feels great! I think that’s the nature of the connection.”
The Gary Douglas Band
The Gary Douglas Band
THERE ARE REALLY ONLY TWO KINDS OF MUSIC. THE GARY DOUGLAS BAND DOES THE SECOND KIND.

Music No. 1 aspires to be well crafted, with sophisticated lyrics, nice melodies, maybe some polished orchestral arrangements.

Then there’s rock ‘n’ roll, Music No. 2, which kicks that chair out from under you, cranks up the volume, slams out a beat like punches to the gut and dredges its message from the deepest passions singers and listeners can bear.

Sweeten it from the wells of Americana, country music and blues, and you get the music that drives GARY DOUGLAS. He drank it up in the streets of Brooklyn as a kid, where, in his words, “everybody knew everybody’s business. Everybody was hot-wired about whatever was on their minds.”

It became even more critical when his family moved with him to more placid surroundings on Long Island. There, he recalls, “It became a religion to me, profound and meaningful. Music gave me a way to channel my feelings, whether I understood them or not. I always found an outlet for feelings I couldn’t resolve, figure out or handle by playing music. It was indispensable.”

Nothing unusual there–for millions of kids around the world, rock ‘n’ roll is an essential rite of passage. But what happens when the passage is completed? Usually, they settle down, get a job … and start listening to Music No. 1 instead.

That’s not exactly what happened with DOUGLAS. He played in bands all the way through college and beyond. Then, in his words, “I had to make a living.” So he hung up his shingle and became a lawyer — a rock ‘n’ roll lawyer, actually.

“I’d walk into court with my suit on and my hair long below my shoulders,” he recalls. “I always fought for the little guy. Judges hated me because I hated authority. I was unorthodox and unconventional — and successful.”

And also, he adds, “completely unfulfilled. I kept telling myself, ‘I should be fucking happy but I’m not.’ Something was missing. It was always this.”

“This” was the rock ‘n’ roll, its whiff of danger and ability to mission past comfort zones toward extremes. “It’s that feeling you get when you’re listening to the lyrics of a really great Springsteen song and it’s like, ‘Fuck, yeah! Thank God somebody out there feels like I do.'”
See, DOUGLAS never let go of that music that gave meaning to his life. He never sank into the easy chair of Music No. 1. Maybe it’s because for all that he achieved as an “adult,” he remained a person governed as much by emotion as ideas. His peers sublimated those feelings or forgot they’d ever had them. Not DOUGLAS. He always kept a guitar in view at home, kind of like a talisman just waiting to be picked up.

Finally, one day, DOUGLAS did pick it up. And everything changed. His chops came back. His singing voice toughened to the point it could convey everything that he had to express — ecstasy, heartbreak and all points between — at full power and all night long.

Just as important, new songs started coming together. “Writing became my catharsis,” he says. “I might not even feel like I’m in the mood to write, but I’ll go to the piano or guitar and if I’m lucky I’ll channel something I can put into a song. Sometimes it’s a good feeling; more often it’s uncomfortable. But in the end I’ll feel better and I’ll have something I can share with the world.”

Backed by a ferocious new band, DOUGLAS took to the road. They opened on a 28-city “Guitar Gods” tour that featured Yngwie Malmsteen, Bumblefoot from Guns N’ Roses, Gary Hoey and other monster pickers. When back in New York, they tightened further through local club gigs. And there, DOUGLAS felt he had found again what he was looking for.

You can feel that magic on KEEPIN’ FAITH. Finished in the spring of 2015 and available now, the album taps into the energy that empowered Springsteen, Seger and other classic rockers. The urgency of “My Desire,” restless summons to seek a better life “Out on the Highway,” explosive anger of “Lord I Try,” screaming release of “Stop Bringing Me Down,” broken romance of “Goodbye Marie” — every shred of feeling throughout KEEPIN’ FAITH comes straight from the now liberated heart of GARY DOUGLAS.

Of course he had help on this mission, from the flawless support of THE GARY DOUGLAS BAND (guitarists Jeremy Goldsmith and Mark Marshall, keyboardist Scott Chasolen, bassist Dan Asher, drummer Stefano Baldasseroni, horn player Nick Biello and backup vocalists Yula Beeri and Clara Lofaro.

Producer Anthony Resta’s (Elton John, Needtobreathe, Collective Soul, Guster, Perry Farrell, Nuno Bettencourt, Shawn Mullins, Sarah Evans) creative input was also critical. “If I sing it some way but he knows I’m wrong, he has a great way of getting you to see the light,” DOUGLAS explains. “And I would go, Yeah! Got it!’ Next time I write a song, there’s not gonna be anything extraneous to it, thanks to what I’ve learned from working with Anthony.”

This is music that could tempt the sedate back into the fire of Music No. 2. The hooks, the blazing guitar solos, and muscle of the old-school Hammond organ, above all the redemptive power of GARY DOUGLAS, tell a story that won’t be denied.

Maybe it’ll change a few lives too. Just ask GARY.

“We played this club two nights ago in a small venue where the whole place was jumping. It was fucking awesome. I don’t need to be a superstar. I don’t need to play Madison Square Garden — although,” he adds, with a smile, “I wouldn’t turn it down. But when it’s right, when the place is packed and rocking, that’s it. That’s all I want.

I always feel best at these clubs where people the whole place is jumping. When we have those nights, that’s it. That’s what it’s about for me.”

Sometimes that’s all any of us need.

THE GARY DOUGLAS BAND
Gary Douglas (Guitar/Lead Vocals)
Jeremy Goldsmith (Electric Guitar)
Nicolas Biello (Reeds and Keys)
Dan Asher (Bass)
Tom Curiano (Drums)
Sebastien Ammann (Keys)
Jessica Antonette (Backing Vocals)
Venue Information:
Neighborhood Theatre
511 East 36th Street
Charlotte, NC, 28205
http://www.neighborhoodtheatre.com/

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