Artist2Artist: Donna The Buffalo’s Tara Nevins – Giving Each Their Space

Lisa Jacobi interviews Tara NevinsThis year, I promise not to fire my bandmate, Pete. Don’t laugh. Okay, laugh.

Every couple of years I terminate him. It’s because we are such good friends, know each other inside-out, and love each other like the closest of siblings – and when we travel too much together in close quarters, we get on each others’ nerves. Seriously, he won’t let me keep left-overs in the bus or hotel mini-fridge. Stuff like that.

In the 10 years that we’ve been bandmates, I’ve fired him 3 times. After a couple weeks of missing him, and at the gently prodding from the rest of the band, I rehire him.

He has become very patient with me on this. I sometimes wonder why he hasn’t taken it upon himself to fire me from the band. We are equals. Let’s hope he doesn’t read this.

Welcome to the Full Moon of February 2015. Also known as the Snow Moon. It’s my favorite time of year as a musical artist. Just as our the friends and neighbors of the indigenous nations of the Americas do, musical artists use this period to be quiet, introspective, and re-energize themselves for the upcoming year. Yes, this quiet time includes bookings and rehearsals, but there is time available for creativity and reconnecting on a soulful level with bandmates.

Donna The BuffaloThis doesn’t apply to all musical artists. There are bands who tour year-round, non-stop, city-to-city, living on the bus for extended stretches. Donna The Buffalo is such a band. Year-round they go from sellout show to sellout show, squeezing in studio time to record their next album – and organize four annual roots festivals.

For them, finding the quiet space for creativity and personal renewal, and reinvesting in artistic friendship is a challenge.

Donna The Buffalo is one of the most popular string-roots-vibe bands on the festival circuit today. They’ve been at it for 25 years now, and their large number of followers and fans are avid and passionate.

The founding members are the 2-person friendship team of Tara Nevins and Jeb Puryear.

Tara hasn’t fired Jeb yet, nor vice versa.

I asked Tara in our Artist2Artist interview (recorded last month on stage at the Red Clay Music Foundry in Duluth, Georgia) how it is they haven’t killed each other by now? With 25 years on the road, what’s the secret to keeping the *marriage-cycle* of the band together, especially when you are not married to each other?

Give it a listen…


We  also discuss horse racing, the old-time music community scene, the source of *vibe*, and songwriting for stage or studio – which one takes precedent?

Thanks for listening and reading, and Tara and I would love to hear from you in the comments section below.