Bufalloswans at Streaming Cafe Nov 5th


by Michael D

by Malcolm Petch

In the tradition of the Traveling Wilburys and other super-groups (or fun-groups or project-groups), BuffaloSwans showcases a number of individual artists who decided to come together as a band.

CBC’s Jon Siddall describes them this way: “Buffaloswans make music you feel you always knew, like a beautiful old friend you keep meeting for the first time.” That’s a great quote; it gives one the sense that sitting in a Buffaloswans gig for the first time would be a truly enjoyable experience, with none of the mind-numbing sensations that can come from an evening of never-before-heard music.
Indie engineer and producer Scott Bell is the hub around which Buffaloswans have formed. As a producer, Bell had contributed in one fashion or another to projects by most of the folks who now make up the band, so when he started feeling like he wanted to get out from behind the console and make a bit of his own music, these were the people he naturally invited to be involved. That recording project from 2006 gradually morphed into a gigging band, and Buffaloswans became a fixture on the Vancouver scene. Joining Bell in the official Buffaloswans line-up these days is JamesLamb on lead guitar, Stephan Mihajlovich on percussion, Steph’s sister Jobi Mihajlovich on keys and BGVs, and James Green on bass.
Yes, some of those names are familiar to long-time SC fans. James Lamb has been with us before, both as a solo artist and as a supporting cast member for other artists. And James Green – well, the name might be known, but we want to assure you that this is not the James Green who is running for mayor of Vancouver as an indie candidate in this month’s municipal elections.
The music of the Buffaloswans is natural and straightforward. The instrumental/vocal arrangements (and use of reverb) are strongly evocative of CSNY, Roy Orbison and other artists of their era; the earlier reference to the Traveling Wilburys is not so far off the mark. As they say on their reverbnation page, the Buffaloswans sound can be found “frolicking somewhere between the dusty vintage past and the psychedelic rafters of the future”.

October marked the release of the band’s second album, The Body Electric, following their self-titled debut album (i.e. Buffaloswans) from 2007. A lot of bands don’t even exist for that long, so to have an album that took a year to record coming out four years after their first album shows that there is a good deal of stick-to-itiveness in Buffaloswans. And yes, that’s right: The Body Electric took a year to record, with the final pieces of the puzzle being trombone, fluglehorn, french horn, saxophone, bass clarinet and cello, all tracked in the first week of May at Ogre Studios this last spring. The album itself was mixed later that same month, wrapping up a year of production work, and all of those ingredients finally saw the light of day (in public, anyway) just last month.

And now they’ve taken it all on the road. Fresh on the tail-end of a romp through southeastern BC, Buffaloswans will be gracing the stage of Streaming Café on Saturday, November 5th at 7:00 p.m. (596 Leon Ave Kelowna).  If you’ve managed to read this blurb before Saturday, then c’mon out and check them out in person! If you can’t make it down to the Café, or if you’re reading this after the fact, then tune in to the Buffaloswans on our website, either live on November 5th, or via post-show videos on the bands SC performance page.


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