Band of the Week: White Buffalo Woman

Band of the Week: White Buffalo Woman

MEET THE BAND: Evan Rutledge (vocals), Adam Murphy (guitar), Devin Bezeredi (guitar), Alex Leggett (bass) and Joe Wales (drums)

A UNIQUE STORY: Members of the group originally started skateboarding with one another before they formed the group in the basement of Wales' parents' funeral home in Minerva with the goal of "fusing rock, blues, psychedelic and soul into an explosion of new music." "We started in the basement of the funeral home," says Rutledge, who adds that he and Rutledge had played together previously in a garage punk band. "It was challenging because there would be calling hours going on upstairs. We'd arrange a time to get the gear out. It was challenging but a unique story in our case."

AN UNDERGROUND SENSATION: A few years ago, the band played in Nashville and met the owner of the fledgling Grimtale Records, who liked what he heard. He offered to release the band's music. The group subsequently released the 7-inch My Days/This Town in 2012 and followed it up with a self-released four-song EP in 2013 and Like You Used to Do/Always on My Mind, another 7-inch, in 2014. The band's debut album even received airplay on Little Steven's Underground Garage on SiriusXM and an endorsement from another garage rock guru, J. Geils frontman Peter Wolf. In 2015, the band recorded a self-titled album at Ampreon, a Youngstown studio with analog equipment.

WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: Earlier this year, the band lined up a spring tour and decided it needed to hurry up and record an album. For the resulting full-length, Foolish Hearts, the band worked again with Pete Drivere, who recorded and mixed the album at Ampreon. It's another solid effort. With its snotty vocals, album opener "Love Resolution" comes across like a vintage Joe Jackson tune. The stuttering vocals and twangy guitars in "Cryin' Shame" make the track sound like a '60s bar ballad.  "We decided last minute to do the record," Rutledge explains, adding that while Leggett plays on the album, he won't be touring with the band or playing at the upcoming record release party at Musica. "We only had three or four songs written. Pete [Drivere] does an amazing job and helped bring the album togther." The band will release the music on CD and Rutledge says he hopes to print a small vinyl run this summer.


WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: White Buffalo Woman performs with Teddy Boys, Hamilton Handshake and Daniel Ryland at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 3, at Musica in Akron.

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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