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'Buffalo Blood'   

-  Label: 'Eel Pie Records'
-  Genre: 'Folk' -  Release Date: '15th February 2019'

Our Rating:
Buffalo Blood are a distinguished quartet comprising three US artists and the UK's Dean Owens.

The American contingent are producer/multi-instrumentalist Neilson Hubbard alongside Joshua Britt (guitars, mandolin) and singer Audrey Spillman who were both involved with Hubbard's Orphan Brigade project.

Their eponymous (perhaps one-off) debut album was conceived and inspired by the New Mexico desert; recorded live outdoors at La Plaza Blanca, Echo Canyon, and around Georgia O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch in Abiquiú made famous as the setting for much of Breaking Bad.

The heat, dust, beauty and starkness of this unique location influences the tone and content of the songs. As the lines of I’m Alive make plain, this is a rugged landscape with a history: "Spirits of the past walk beside me, answers are easy to find".

Owens wrote, or co-wrote, all but four of the fifteen tracks but, although he brings his distinctive Celtic roots to bear on the Southern states folk, the richly nuanced sound overall is firmly in the genre of Americana.

This US character is particularly evident in his Comanche Moon, told from the perspective of a Native American, in which a simmering undercurrent of anger is expressed in lyrics such as: "This land is for the white man ..... to them we're just savages".

Sounding at times like Calexico's Joey Burns, his assured vocals illustrate why he has been heralded by author Irvine Welsh as "Scotland's most engaging and haunting singer songwriter".

Although made far from the pressures and conflicts that infest the modern world, songs like War Among The Nations and Bones speak of the urgent need for nations to come together for the sake of humankind.

As the tagline of the album's promotional video puts it, it contains "A reminder of consequences on every side when the human spirit is crushed".

Buffalo Blood's website

  author: Martin Raybould

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BUFFALO BLOOD - Buffalo Blood