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Donna the Buffalo completes the Canoe Slalom US Olympic Trials

Charlotte Roller Girls Referee Ralph Browning – “White Water Center is INSANE!!! It was the most people I have ever seen there! Fireworks and band were awesome and the cheap beer was perfect! Can't beat OMB Copper for $4!”

Tara Nevins with Donna The Buffalo performing at the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, NC April 14th, 2012
Monty Chandler Photography
Donna the Buffalo closes out a wonderful day at the Canoe Slalom Olympic Trials at the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, NC
Monty Chandler Photography

That sentiment sums up nicely the afternoon/evening spent by thousands of people from the greater Charlotte area as the Canoe Slalom US Olympic Trials came to a close at the US National Whitewater Center Saturday evening.

The band “Donna the Buffalo” (DtB) are truly Americana in their music. With a hint of soul, a dash of rock, a pinch of country and a helping of zydeco this band had several hundred fans dancing in the open spaces around the stage at the whitewater center as the sun set over the rapids on the horizon behind them. It was truly a memorable night for those fortunate enough to have experienced it.

Photos of the DtB performance at the Whitewater Center.

DtB are: Jeb Puryear (songwriter/vocals/guitar) – Tara Nevins (songwriter/vocals/guitar/fiddle/accordion/washboard) – Dave McCracken (keyboards) – Kyle Spark (bass) – Mark Raudubaugh (drums).

The Charlotte Music Examiner had a chance to chat with DtB singer-songwriter Tara Nevins prior to the show. Tara has recently released her second album, “Wood & Stone”. An eclectic reflection of the many talents and emotions bottled within this exceptionally talented artist. Released on Sugarhill records, produced by Larry Campbell, recorded at the Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, N.Y., Wood & Stone allowed Nevins to step out of the box and create her masterpiece. The album has been receiving great reviews nationally, which have Tara truly excited as they provide the validation that her creation is everything she hoped it would be. This is a fantastic album spanning a range of music including folk, bluegrass and a hint of country exposing the soul of the artist. Several of the songs will be integrated into the DtB repetoire including the tracks Wood & Stone, Tenessee River and What Money Can’t Buy, among others.

DtB also have a new album in the works. They have just come out of the studio having laid the base tracks down. With vocals, mixing, mastering, etc. remaining, there’s a lot of work left but the band intends to have it released towards the end of summer on Sugar Hill records. The album is expected to contain a mixture of socio-political tunes reflective of the current times as well as songs of a personal nature reflecting love, relationships, and human nature. Overall we should expect a balanced mix with a positive vibe.

DtB recently performed at the inaugural Virginia Keys Bluegrass festival which Tara deemed a rousing success. Just 4 miles outside of Miami in a park right on the beach, there sat the DtB stage among palm trees – a very different environment! The Suwannee Springfest in Florida followed in March with time in the studio interspersed.

Next up is the Shakori Hills festival followed by Merlefest in Wilkesboro and the Strangecreek Music Festival in Greenfield, MA. After that the band will complete work on their album so they can get it off to all the people who complete the backend of the process before heading up to the Great Blue Heron Festival in Sherman, NY followed by the Finger Lakes Grass Roots Festival in Trumansburg, NY . August is a festival in Wyoming and then Nevins looks forward to the October MagnoliaFest back at the Suwannee River in Florida.

The “herd” has a lot to look forward to the remainder of the year as DtB releases a new album and performs at many of the major festivals throughout the country. Truly your opportunity is coming to see these incredibly gifted artists meld their music into ear candy for the rest of us.

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