Meet the Band: White Buffalo Woman

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

WAKING THE DEAD: The Canton-based band formed 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 skateboarding together as kids and then started messing around with music," says Rutledge. "We started making music after calling hours were over. There were cadavers right above us. We joked that we were playing to the dead. We weren't creeped out by it." Five 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 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. "Little Steven's Underground Garage played 'She's Gone,' which is a cover by the Oceans, a band out of Athens that released a single, but that's all the group did. I loved the song, and we redid it and released it."

WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: The band recorded its latest self-titled endeavor at Ampreon, a Youngstown studio. "We wanted to keep that same sound," says Rutledge. "We recorded analog, on old sounding things. We wanted it to have a classic sound, for lack of a better term. We dig the old sounding thing." The band performs with plenty of swagger on the album. A plodding ballad like "Baby Please" features woozy vocals that would make Mick Jagger proud, and "You Will See" features a nasty mid-song guitar solo that nicely accompanies Rutledge's enthusiastic yelps. Though retro-leaning, the songs sound as contemporary as anything by Cage the Elephant or the Black Keys.


WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: White Buffalo Woman performs with Samfox and Demos Papadimas at 9 p.m. on Friday, July 15, 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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