Donna the Buffalo return to West Michigan for a live show at The Intersection nightclub in Grand Rapids on Friday December 5th. No strangers to the 'Section stage, D the B appear in support of their most recent release Silverlined (Sugarhill) which features cameos by Bela Fleck, Claire Lynch, and, on the title track harmony vocal, David Hidalgo of Los Lobos and Latin Playboys fame. Silverlined also features Kathy Ziegler helping Tara Nevins with some beautiful harmony singing ("Temporary Misery"), a trademark of the group. Donna's sound begins to begin with a foggy mountain string band foundation with equal sensibility jam band (ala the Grateful Dead) plus Cajun and reggae inflections. Three core members remain: Jeb Puryear (vocal, electric guitar); Nevins, (vocal, fiddle, acoustic guitar, accordion, scrubboard) and Tom Gilbert (drums). They farm out bass players (usually from Nashville) and this time around DTB carries a full-time keyboard player. DTB must be doing something right with the bass players, as Conrad Lonzano, (always) bassist with Los Lobos notes:
They have that old-school sound on the bass, nice reverb. Nobody does that anymore. He (DTB bass player) reminds me of Phil Lesh (of the Grateful Dead).Dave Hidalgo chimes in, "They write good songs. There is something about them."
To be fair, a couple of DTB shows have seemed, well, under-whelming. Times when there was not much of an effort to connect further with the audience. As one fair-minded witness recalled, "they (DTB) seemed to have it on auto-pilot (that night)." Maybe a couple of days rest before the G.R. show on Friday will reap benefits in that regard.
D the B last appeared in the area at 5/3 Ballpark in Comstock Park in August, headlining the inaugural Silver Maple Music Festival. No strangers to the Mitten State, DTB has played such diverse locales as Cadillac, Blissfest (Cross Village), and the Dunegrass festival near Traverse City. www.sectionlive.com