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We were lucky enough to sit down with the amazingly talented band Buffalo Rose, for a chat as well as a (soon to be released) living room concert. Buffalo Rose has something for everyone. The older crowd loves their folksy bluegrass instrumental roots, and the younger group can really identify with the lyrics as well as the modern pop undertones of the music. The group is paving the way for Americana bluegrass and rock to live on in a new and unusual way, and thankfully they're in our own back yard.
Though no one in this massive six person band is from the area, they've all grown to make a home here in our city, especially with other artists in Pittsburgh. The band consists of Lucy Clabby and Mariko Reid, on lead vocals, Malcolm Inglis on dobro, Shane McLaughlin on lead vocals and guitar, Bryce Rabideau on mandolin, and Jason Rafalak on bass. The group began to take shape when Shane needed some musicians for a music video idea he had, and then eventually the rest followed suit. They have been playing together for nearly two years and they are growing in their sound and diversity with every passing day.
Being in the same room as this group is sort of surreal. I first met them back in my hometown of Johnstown, PA, in a dive bar a little over a year ago, when they were relatively new. They were friends of a friend I was visiting and he insisted that I would fall in love with them immediately after I listened. I walked in and they had erupted into the quickest, most unique cover of "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes. I practically had to collect my jaw off the sticky beer-covered floor. I was completely astonished that so many people, with so much talent, had found their way to my hometown. After their set, they moseyed to our table where I was introduced. They were twice as sweet and energetic as they were gifted.
I have gone to numerous shows of theirs since then, and again I found myself in that same intimate environment with them while we were recording the living room concert. I have to say, they haven't changed at all. These people are so genuine and so cheerful and excited to be part of something that they truly love and enjoy. They joked with us, and the other members of the band, but continued to build one another up in the process. Mariko offered numerous analogies about the roles they each play. She exclaimed that "Shane, Mac, and Lucy are like the bowl when preparing an ice-cream sundae, and the rest of us are the toppings. They write the music and a skeleton of a melody and then we come in with our own flair." I then asked, "Who would be the banana?" and they all pointed at him and yelled enthusiastically, "Jason!" She said, "Jason is such an important part. We all offer something. If you don't include all of those parts of the sundae, you feel like you are truly missing something important."
The group utilized these individual skills to come together and create their newest album, releasing March 30th. The album entitled "The Soil and The Seed," has music drawing inspiration from the natural world. The band describes the content as "both love and hate songs," but it is open for interpretation as the music is meant to be for the listener to identify with on a personal level.
The band's album release show will be on March 30th at The Stage at Karma. The show starts at 8:00 and there are many guest performers to look forward to that are friends of the band. Shane exclaimed, "We're so lucky to have this great community of local musicians to support and that support us. It's unreal how much love and respect these people have for one another and we're grateful to share a stage with them so often."
Don't miss this show folks, and stay tuned for the full living room show with Buffalo Rose, coming in the April issue.