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Donna The Buffalo

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Donna The Buffalo
w/ Annie in the Water & Waydown Wailers
Friday, November 18, 2016 8:00 PM
The Westcott Theater, Syracuse, NY
  • All Ages
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Show Details
  • Ticket Price: $20.00 - $25.00
  • Door Time: 7:00 PM
All ages admitted.
Donna The Buffalo: “Donna The Buffalo is from central New York state, not Louisiana, but this widely loved quintet has woven that joyful, hip-shaking zydeco pulse into the DNA of its sound, and leaders Jeb Puryear and Tara Nevins have wrapped that core vibe with hopeful, mellow lyrics.” --Music City Roots, Craig Havighurst

Donna the Buffalo just passed the marker as their 25th year as a band and have proven to be a consistent purveyor of American music. What’s the recipe? To be sure, it’s infused with more spices than you’ll find at a Cajun cookout by way of a southern-fried, rockin’ country old-time jamboree. “For the dizzying array of styles and genres with which they work, Donna The Buffalo maintain a surprising level of consistency. The New York-based band has played around with folk, zydeco, and many other musical ideas over the course of their 25-year career, but they retain a sharp focus that has helped them create some truly lasting music,” writes Elmore Magazine.

Donna the Buffalo is Jeb Puryear (vocals, electric guitar) and Tara Nevins (vocals, guitar, fiddle, accordion, scrubboard) joined by David McCracken (Hammond organ, Honer Clavinet & piano), Kyle Spark (bass) and Mark Raudabaugh (drums). “It's been really fun with this lineup,” Puryear says. “You get to the point where you're playing on a really high level, things are clicking and it's like turning on the key to a really good car. It just goes.”

“You have to do just what you want to do, and everyone likes different things,” Nevins says. “Both Jeb and I come from this background of old-time fiddle music, which is very natural, very real, very under-produced, and all about coming from the gut—flying by the seat of your pants. So we have that in us, too.”

Donna the Buffalo debuted their first studio album in five years Tonight, Tomorrow and Yesterday, in the spring of 2013 via Sugar Hill Records. All Music Guide says the album, “highlights everything this consistent band does, and it has a warm, live-sounding production… This is what 21st century Americana sounds like, a little bit of this and that from anywhere wrapped up into a poignant, jamming dance reel, a place where the past and history meet easily in the immediate now and everybody feels like dancing.”

Donna the Buffalo has released ten albums and are affiliated with several others, including Puryear’s 2007 solo album Hopes and Dreams and a 2003 release, Wait Til Spring, with Jim Lauderdale. The band's 2008 release Silverlined, as well as the 2013 release (both on Sugar Hill) did well on the Americana Music Chart, each placing well into the top ten. In 2011 Nevins released Wood and Stone, produced by Larry Campbell in Levon Helm Studios, and Mule to Ride in 1999 on Sugar Hill Records.

The group draws its inspiration from a cherished part of the American heritage: the old-time music festivals of the south that drew entire towns and counties together. “Those festivals were so explosive, and the community and the feeling of people being with each other, that's the feeling we were shooting for in our music,” Puryear says. “Donna the Buffalo is an extension of the joy we've found.”

Over the years, the band has also built a following that proudly calls itself The Herd, along with a well-deserved reputation for crafting social narratives and slipstream grooves without equal. To merely call this “roots music” does it disservice, for the roots nurtured by Puryear and Nevins run wild, deep and strong—a tribute to how much Donna the Buffalo marries musical trailblazing and tradition.

"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…” Nevins says, “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.”

As an expansion of this community and the band's own dedication to live roots music, Donna started, and are still the driving force behind, the twenty-five 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 the Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival in Miami, FL. DtB are regulars at MerleFest (NC), Suwannee Springfest & Magnolia Fest (FL), All Good (WV), FloydFest (VA), The Great Blue Heron Festival (NY), Del Fest (MD), Rhythm & Roots Festival (RI), Targhee Bluegrass Fest (WY) as well as a variety of other venues and festivals across the nation.

Donna the Buffalo has toured the nation for over twenty five years with an ever-evolving grassroots sound and plans to keep on doing so for many years to come.


Annie in the Water: Annie in the Water is a high-energy jam group that blends blues, hip-hop, funk, rock, reggae and bluegrass to deliver a unique sound and an unforgettable performance. Their style started five years ago, and it continues to evolve with every show. With a multitude of genres, elusive electronic tones and elaborate looping Annie in the Water has bridged a fan base between younger and older generations-they capture their audience, and bring a great time to any environment that they are a part of. 

Powerful, dynamic originals and their ability to render Top 20 Hits into their own sharp acoustic style are only two of the elements that create a show that you will not see anywhere else… Founding members Brad Hester and Michael Lashomb continue to write, record, film and produce original music daily. Lucas Singleton helps develop the sound, and take Annie in the Water grooves to new places… Vibrant lyrics, energetic vocal harmonies, incredible lead guitar, driving percussion, a capella and exciting vocal and instrumental improvisation all help define the sound and the entertainment that they offer.

Annie in the Water is a widely popular name in the Northeast.Continuous touring has built up fans and created requests for shows at a network of venues stretching from New York City to Albany, throughout the Adirondack Park tourism and ski communities, across Central New York and into the 1,000 Islands. They continue to headline local festivals, and The Lake Placid Olympic Regional Development Authority continues to book Annie in the Water as the main attraction for a variety of events.

With tours through the states of New York, Maine, Vermont, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colordo and Wyoming their social media network provides quantitative proof that Annie in the Water’s sound resonates across the country and that their fan base spans worldwide.
Waydown Wailers:

Original Roots Rock, Blues Rock, and Jam with a healthy dash of Americana and Southern Rock, is a sound Waydown Wailers label as Outlaw Jam". 

Waydown Wailers are a band that is on the top of the innovative music scene now pouring from a cool North American spigot. Streaming like a refreshing blast of harmony over a burnout music wary countryside, the Waydown Wailers are boldly original, tunefully deep, and forever lingering."
Another family affair, (a North American tradition) brothers Dave (guitar/lead vocals) and Christian Parker (lead guitar) have not played together in a band until this harmonious bug bit them, and the rest of the tribe: Michael Scriminger (drums/percussion) and Connor Pelkey (bass backing vocals) welded the circle complete.  Four guys carving individual niches into every nook and cranny of the North American music landscape and collectively producing a dazzling band even stronger than the sum of its harmonies.

Just groove to their music and you'll instantly identify a unique resonance defined by rock-hard lyrics, great musicianship, and hand-clapping, foot-stomping melodies. Everything they create brands the consciousness. Songs dissecting the discontented soul of a bitter land of liberty stand strong alongside ballads of aching hearts worn admirably on their sleeves. This is the kind of band that begins as a smoldering local event and before you know it, rapidly transforms into a blazing national trend.

The Waydown Wailers is a band of dreamers that in vision a sound that they personally want to inhabit, something that gets their hearts pumping before releasing it on a cover-beaten, musically famished public. Dave Parker's vocals are right on, crisp and oh so deliciously addictive. It's his signature phrasing that hooks you fast, keeps you transfixed and in the mix. And oh what a mix it is with Mike Scriminger's funk/ rock drum flare to Connor Pelkey's eccentric bass spouting funk and dare I say world beat slaps and pops while Christian Parker is another hot-lightening picker not afraid to add his eclectic style, it's all to hell n' back and  truly defining the phrase "he's got chops."   These are some badass players, musicians that really love the art.

After years of paths crossing and performing in a succession of bands, Waydown Wailers started based on the mutual desire by all four for an original sound and songs that were different. “We wanted to be in an all original band and, together we decided to commit to a new band. We continued to work on some melodies together and arranging some music to go with some lyrical ideas that were swimming around in Dave’s head,” says WW.

After performing with New Riders of the Purple Sage in Syracuse at Westcott Theater, Scruffy was talking to NRPS, who suggested contacting their label, Woodstock Records. CDs of live recordings were sent to Professor Louie. Songs were picked and worked on from afar and it wasn’t until the first day of recording that Waydown Wailers and Prof Louie met face to face in the studio to work on the debut album, “State Of The Union” (2013 Woodstock Records).

Aaron “Professor Louie” Hurwitz is a seasoned live performer, prolific recording artist and talented multi-instrumentalist (Hammond B3 organ, piano/keyboards, accordion, and vocals). An award-winning recording producer and engineer, he has captured the talents of some of the world’s most highly acclaimed musicians, including Graham Parker, Commander Cody, Dave Brubeck, The New Riders of the Purple Sage, Guy Davis, Oumar Konate, and, most notably, The Band: For 15 years, Professor Louie served as co-producer, engineer and performer with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, teaming up with The Band for their last three group albums (Jericho, High on the Hog, Jubilation) and numerous solo projects for Rick Danko, Garth Hudson and Levon Helm.

First released too radio February 2016 the album Empty Promise hit the RMR charts at #7 and a single Whiskey & Cornbread at #33.

Empty Promises and State of the Union albums can be purchased at    ITunes, Rhapsody, eMusic, Google Music, streaming; iHeartRadio, Spotify, Xbox Music, YouTube, SoundCloud.


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