Alright, all you Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, Coney Hatch, Marshall Tucker, Charlie Daniels, and Outlaws fans, line up and pay attention, 'cause we got us here a proud new addition to the family, one that calls back to Mason Profitt and adds in a bit of the Eagles and CSNY for good measure. Mad Buffalo is as much a product of the sod and wheat belt as any of those estimables but tends to a more restrained baseline in Randy Rivere's laid back vocals and James Pennebaker's pedal steel, though cuts nonetheless gets their steam up when the lead guitar steps in.
In some ways, you might say Mad Buffalo is a matter of Firefall, Poco, and the old Nitty Gritty Dirt Band meeting the later harder country rockers to settle in a highly melodic context bringing out the kind of dimension CSNY portrayed so masterfully, a Rick Roberts meets Neil Young aggregate that jumps strongly out in Alkali / Cold Harbor. Lush and warm, swaying and rockin' in the breeze, the band is actually Randy Rivere's vehicle, but he and the standing core members brought in a number of session masters (Bob Glaub, James Burton, Reggie McBride, Gary Mallaber, Mickey Raphael, etc.) to set everything in stone as the engineers layered the instruments masterfully (though I would've fattened up the mid-range and a bit of the bottom sonics a bit). One of them, Earle Mankey (ex-Sparks), has been responsible for many cool rock LPs over the years, including one of the unknown bands I favored in the 80s, the Droogs.
There's plenty of pickin' going on but the emphasis is on a constantly flowing arrangement of good ol' country rock making you want to sit back as the sun goes down. Take another puff on a Marlboro, keep the shot glass of Jim Beam full, and reflect on the simple pleasures the earth has to offer a simple soul. Good stuff, Jeeter, an' ya might wanna trail back to the bands I mentioned after giving this one a spin, 'cause it's going to be hard to outclass Mad Buffalo in its own time.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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