Donna the Buffalo

Tonight, Tomorrow and Yesterday (Sugar Hill)

Old Settler's Music Festival Record Reviews

Donna the Buffalo

Tonight, Tomorrow and Yesterday (Sugar Hill)

Stampede still sums up Donna the Buffalo. A quarter century on, the cult herd that put the "Cajun" in upstate New York continues stomping up zydeco frenzies six ways from Sunday. Never untethered in the studio, tenth LP Tonight, Tomorrow and Yesterday could pass for a Louisiane-spiced singer-songwriter affair were it not for the Mardi Gras tension underlying it all. "All Aboard" proclaims the opener with a few chanky strums, fiddle rub, then a tamped down but steely Cajun backbeat. "Play something that makes me feel good," beckons Jeb Puryear, whose slightly pinched, nasal intonation recalls the backwoods irascibility of Danny Barnes and Rick Miller from Southern Culture on the Skids. Co-bandleader Tara Nevins' affecting, almost pixie-ish singing ("Don't Know What We've Got," "One Day at a Time") steals the show, loping Gulf Coast ("Why You Wanna Leave Me") and swinging like a hammock ("Spinning World"). Better still, DTB's different speeds – Nevins' "wide-open" second gear ("I Love My Tribe") and the upped rpms of Puryear's title track, whose Sir Douglas Quintet organ accents drive the tune – prod this noble beast. (Thu., Camp Ben McCullough stage, 10:45pm; Fri., Bluebonnet stage, 6pm)

***

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