If a group makes it to the 25-year mark they must be doing something right, but with Donna the Buffalo you can argue that they are doing a lot of things right. Between having two harmonious and charismatic lead writers and singers — Tara Nevins and Jeb Puryear — a way of writing songs that is simultaneously personal and universal and a knack for combining various elements of the roots music world together, this group is consistently engaging.
With their latest effort, Tonight, Tomorrow and Yesterday, released in June, the band has given listeners a feast for the ears. If you dig bluegrass, then “All Aboard” will get your attention. “Don’t Know What We’ve Got” has an easygoing country vibe to it, while “Working on That” plods along with a mid-tempo, bluesy zydeco sound, and the lively title track is the sort of rock ‘n’ roll song that is infectious and utterly danceable. The fun country rocker “I Love My Tribe” pays homage to the band’s fan base, The Herd — a family of fans whose home base is a Donna the Buffalo concert. Or, as Puryear recently told the podcast American Music Show, the band’s music creates a “psychological home” for The Herd.
Donna the Buffalo has made a career out of writing earthy tunes in a variety of musical styles with lyrics that are highly relatable with a social justice bent. They have performed with a variety of artists, such as Bela Fleck and Amy Helm, and Nevins herself has performed with Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann’s band BK3. It might be time for you to join The Herd.
Donna the Buffalo play with old-school country outfit The Believers 9 pm Tuesday, July 30, at WOW Hall; $13 adv., $15 door.