Greetings From Buffalo Galaxy — Buffalo Galaxy

Minneapolis band Buffalo Galaxy offers an unlikely combination of seemingly opposing components — that is, the basics of bluegrass with more than a tinge of psychedelia. The band — consisting of Zach Tauer on banjo and vocals, Jake Rohde on mandolin and vocals, Johnny Kovarik on vocals and guitar, and Pete Whiteman bass and vocals — demonstrate that mix clearly on their new EP, Greetings From Buffalo Galaxy, with a series of songs that stakes their claim in terms of tone and tempo. 

That tack seems to have paid off, given that they’ve played some 250 shows around the US in the past five years alone, bringing them greater exposure in the process. The new release, a follow-up to their 2021 debut, New Escape, shows that they have the means to not only expand their following, but also to create inventive and imaginative new music in the process. It’s not that they ignore a traditional template entirely — Sink In and Pieces come across as thoroughly rousing and easily accessible examples of what music of a vintage variety is all about, and, in turn, the sort of sound traditional bluegrass aficionados might come to expect. The earnest and engaging Tell Me and the rambling Darling find common ground as well. 

However, by the time the set rolls around to the track titled Light-Years Away, the sequence of songs takes a decided turn, as the music veers from fairly straightforward instrumental outings to all manner of cosmic cacophony. At first, it may seem somewhat baffling, but the band’s ability to abruptly shift gears is intriguing to say the least. Consider what it might sound like if Pink Floyd opted to jam with the Steep Canyon Rangers, and then give their audiences opportunity to relish the results.

In the meantime,  it ought to be interesting to see if the purists and progressives can find common ground. In the case of Buffalo Galaxy, the greetings extend to both. 

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About the Author

Lee Zimmerman

Lee Zimmerman has been a writer and reviewer for the better part of the past 20 years. He writes for the following publications — No Depression, Goldmine, Country Standard TIme, Paste, Relix, Lincoln Center Spotlight, Fader, and Glide. A lifelong music obsessive and avid collector, he firmly believes that music provides the soundtrack for our lives and his reverence for the artists, performers and creative mind that go into creating their craft spurs his inspiration and motivation for every word hie writes.