Donna the Buffalo with Gabe Schliffer & The Sugar Pine String Band

November 15, 2017 - 9:00pm

On Wednesday, November 15, the Community Center for the Performing Arts and KRVM proudly welcome Donna the Buffalo back to the WOW Hall.

One of the most dynamic and determined bands continuously touring America for since 1989, Donna the Buffalo has created a community environment at their shows through their distinctive, groove-heavy, and danceable music. Donna the Buffalo is a band for the people -- accessible, positive, and memorable. With roots in old time fiddle music that evolved into a soulful electric American mix infused with elements of Cajun/ Zydeco, rock, folk, reggae and country, Donna’s music often contains social and moral responsibility as core beliefs, and they are just simply fun to get out and celebrate life with.

“For the dizzying array of styles and genres with which they work, Donna The Buffalo maintain a surprising level of consistency… over the course of their 25-year career, they retain a sharp focus that has helped them create some truly lasting music…” writes Elmore. “Few groups are this comfortable as performers, and even fewer would take as many risks.”

Donna the Buffalo is Jeb Puryear (vocals, electric guitar) and Tara Nevins (vocals, guitar, fiddle, accordion, scrubboard) joined by David McCracken (Hammond organ, Honer Clavinet & piano), Kyle Spark (bass) and Mark Raudabaugh (drums).

“It’s been really fun with this lineup,” Puryear says. “You get to the point where you’re playing on a really high level, things are clicking and it’s like turning on the key to a really good car.  It just goes.”

“You have to do just what you want to do, and everyone likes different things,” Nevins says. “Both Jeb and I come from this background of old-time fiddle music, which is very natural, very real, very under-produced, and all about coming from the gut—flying by the seat of your pants. So we have that in us, too.”

All Music Guide says, ‘This is what 21st century Americana sounds like, a little bit of this and that from anywhere wrapped up into a poignant, jamming dance reel, a place where the past and history meet easily in the immediate now and everybody feels like dancing.”           

Donna the Buffalo drew its original inspiration from a cherished part of the American heritage: the old-time music festivals of the south that drew entire towns and counties together. Not only was it playing music at these events, it was the vibe and the togetherness that bonded the people that attended.

This type of bond is what Donna the Buffalo’s fans, self-titled The Herd, connect to and why they travel around to see them at shows and festivals throughout the year, including a family of GrassRoots Festivals that DtB started and is still the driving force behind.

“It’s a great feeling to promote such a feeling of community, like you’re really part of something that’s happening, like a movement or a positive force…” Nevins says, “All those people that come and follow you and you recognize them and you become friends with them — you’re all moving along for the same purpose. It is powerful. It’s very powerful, actually.”

Donna the Buffalo plays music that often moves listeners physically and spiritually. In the words of a longtime fan, “Their songs are well known to contain lyrics offering poetry and sage commentary on the attractions and struggles with love and politics in this life. Their magnetic musical mix has often been described as dance music, and, for sure, there is everything from foot-tapping to get-up-and-feel-ecstatic moving in their sound; but there is also some deeply satisfying solace in what DTB has to say and how they say it.”

Jeb talks of his inspiration, “rolling off all the great protest songs and the socially conscious music like Bob Marley and The Beatles and Bob Dylan – all of that stuff. So that, to me, is sort of like a tradition to write from that angle as a way of reflecting on what you feel about the world and how you feel it could be better and getting to a different place as a society. There’s also the strength that comes from music and gives you the feeling like you can change those things and make some progress, and then express some of the particulars about what you’d like to change.



Gabe Schliffer is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist currently living in Eugene, Oregon.  His original music spans the gaps between, folk, old-time, bluegrass, and Americana.  Gabe weaves his acoustic melodies between lyrics of hope and love.

Originally from Upstate New York. Gabe grew up at the Rochester Folk Art Guild, an intentional community and organic farm in Middlesex, NY.  In early 2017 he moved to Eugene.

Gabe says, “I have been playing the classical cello since I was five, but 12 years ago my world changed forever when I was introduced to old-time, country and bluegrass.  When one day my cello suddenly broke, I was desperate to find an instrument that I could use.  Luckily my roommate had a fiddle laying around, and after failing to play it in the usual way, I thought perhaps if I held it like a mini-cello that it might just work.  Lo and behold, it was like magic! All I had to do was adjust my fingers to the right size, and my bow arm did the rest.  Suddenly the world of fiddle and old-time music was open wide, and what an amazing journey it has been! “

Tickets are $17 in advance, $20 day of show.  Doors open at 8:00 pm and showtime is 9:00.


Door Time: 
November 15, 2017 - 8:00pm
$17 Advance, $20 Day of Show