Donna the Buffalo
[ROCK] The name might have you assuming this is an indie-pop outfit, but Donna the Buffalo have been delivering a tasty blend of roots music since forming outside Ithaca in 1989. Along the way they’ve recorded with Jim Lauderdale and Bela Fleck, while vocalist Tara Nevins toured in Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann’s band BK3 back in 2009. It’s the skilled blend of folk, country, and rock, infused with elements of Cajun/Zydeco music and flourishes of reggae that make this five-piece a consistent festival draw. That, and the musical intimacy that develops from 30 years of touring together. This time through, they’re supporting last year’s Dancing in the Street — their first new music since 2013. The disc was recorded with producer/engineer and former Island Records VP, Rob Fraboni (Dylan, Clapton, The Band, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys) at his Sonic Ranch — the world’s largest residential recording studio, which happens to be located right by El Paso’s Mexican border—right where so-and-so is looking to build his wall. This is joyous music, often delivered with an important message, that’s a melting pot of influences from all over the world. There’s something satisfying and defiant about knowing it was recorded at the ‘ground zero’ of our so-called leader’s ongoing temper tantrum. Donna the Buffalo returns to the Tralf Music Hall on Saturday, January 26.