Video Premiere: Donna the Buffalo “Dance in the Street”
photo by Chris Mortenson
Donna the Buffalo recently released Dance in the Street, the band’s first album since 2013’s Tonight, Tomorrow and Yesterday. As we noted in our recent feature, the Upstate New York-based group, group traveled to El Paso, Texas, to record Dance in the Street with celebrated producer and engineer Rob Fraboni (Bob Dylan, The Band, Joe Cocker).
Co-founder Jeb Puyear recalls, “We had met Rob Fraboni when we mastered the last record and thought it’d be fun to work with him and develop a relationship. We tried doing a couple different starts with him in various different rooms. He enjoys a looser mic-ing technique. Some of that stuff would sound really good in some of the rooms we chose but, in other ones, we overwhelmed the room because we play loud. Rob had recorded [at Sonic Ranch studio] before and we wanted to make sure that the ambience that leaked into the mics was going to work, so that’s what led us down to El Paso.”
As for band’s wide range of music, fellow co-founder Tara Nevins notes, “We have our little toolbox, but it’s full of history and tradition, mingled in with whatever else we’re singing about that applies to our lives now, as well as these timeless subjects. We live in a complicated world, and our music has some grounded-ness. We have the zydeco influences, we have a fiddle in the band, we have all these different reference points. People sometimes call us a melting-pot band, which overlooks that we’re writing songs, too.”
Today we share the official video for the title track. Puryear reveals that the song is “a response to the current times, encouraging people to voice their opinions, one way or the other. We’re not really in the business of telling people what to think, but we want to encourage people to be as beautiful as they can be as often as possible. I feel that’s our responsibility. If anybody can think of anything that would make half a difference, they should probably do it now. Having grown up listening to Bob Marley and The Beatles and Bob Dylan, I think that music is a traditional form of reflection for society.”
Nevins adds, “It’s the old saying that music is the universal language. It feels like messages that come across the musical wavelength seep in because music has a melody and there’s so much emotion to that, and when the lyrics go with that, it touches people in a way. It’s a language and it is very universal, so it has the potential to have a certain kind of swaying power or inspirational power.