Friday, January 11, 7 p.m.
Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel, 304 East Third Street, Davenport IA
Performing what OnMilwaukee.com calls “a supreme blend of traditional country, Americana, and contemporary folk styles,” Wisconsin's alt-country five-piece Buffalo Gospel headlines a Moeller Nights concert on January 11 in support of its most recent album On the First Bell, a work the Web site decress “worthy of not only a listen, but a permanent place on your playlist.”
Founded roughly a decade ago by singer/songwriter Ryan Necci, the Milwaukee-based Buffalo Gospel had its actual beginnings in the record collection of Necci's father, whose country-music collection of works by artists including John Prine and Townes Van Zandt was a profound inspiration on his son. Growing up in a small, lower-middle-class farm town, these songs of love, loss, and broken blue-collar dreams inspired the younger Necci to begin writing his own country/western and Americana music, and after assembling an ensemble of like-minded musicians, Buffalo Gospel released its EP debut The Good Land in January of 2010. It was followed, in 2013, by the group's album debut We Can Be Horses, which prompted TheArkOfMusic.com to rave, “The country/Americana bad of music-makers known as Buffalo Gospel is not only Milwaukee, Wisconsin's best-kept secret, they just might be country music's best-kept secret.”
Given the critical response to the band's follow-up EP Wasiting for the Lights to Go Out, as well as this past May's sophomore album On the First Bell – the latter recorded with the aid of Grammy Award-winning engineer Brian Joseph – Buffalo Gospel may not be a secret for much longer. With Necci joined by his ensemble of bassist Kevin Rowe, percussionist Nick Lang, guitarist Andrew Koenig, and fiddler Haley Rydell, the quintet is currently enjoying the strongest reviews of the musicians' careers. Calling Necci “a wonderful songwriter and one of the unsung country heroes,” OneChord.net said of On the First Bell, “The deep pain and darkness gently collides with warm and comforting country sounds, and the end result is a powerful album that is far more likely to heal me than break me.” And according to TheArkOfMusic.com, “The message and music carry one another so well that, before you know it, the 10-track collection of brilliance is over, leaving you with two options: rejoin the world, or hit 'play' one more time. It wasn't much of a choice for me.”
Buffalo Gospel performs its January 11 concert at Davenport's Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel with an opening set by J Council, admission to the 7 p.m. show is $13, and more information on the evening is available by visiting MoellerNights.com.