2

Interstate Buffalo: One Step Away

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Interstate Buffalo: One Step Away
"Little Rock to Memphis be a long stretch of road..." and in the Arkansas summer, that road is oppressive and unforgiving. What does it take to make diamond? Heat and pressure; two things in great abundance on the 276 interstate miles separating Texarkana and Memphis, both physically and figuratively. It is from this environment that the quartet Interstate Buffalo arises. From a regional perspective, this is Southern rock, specifically from Arkansas. In spades. Arkansas the is Deep South's hillbilly stepchild. That is a lot to overcome, and Interstate Buffalo gives it the old I-30 Speedway try.

It is a long shadow that IB steps into with this recording. Sure, the Allman Brothers Band, Widespread Panic, and, by proxy, the Grateful Dead are all here; but so, too, are the Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies, the Georgia Satellites, and My Morning Jacket (bad on the whiskey). This is beautifully ill-behaved music, but never at the expense of the dusty Arkansas prairie Southern rock they make. IB is not campy redneck like the Satellites, but it has the Satellites' Southern bite. The group possesses the organic ingenuity of MMJ without the attendant cosmic noodling. They are Southern Loud and Southern Proud.

But IB's influences are not that simple. The band's net proves thrown wide. Compton's slide guitar on "Down In A Bad Way" chunks like Jimmy Page on "In My Time of Dying," while Poff channels Jim Morrison on "Harp On," circa L.A. Woman (Elektra, 1971). The Doors angle is a potent one, with "Waiting Blues" recalling Morrison Hotel (Elektra, 1970). "Cousin" is the cross between a Van Morrison rave-up and The Allman Brothers' "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed," further crossed with "You Don't Love Me." "St. Peter" recalls 38 Special had that band not become a 1980s sellout.

What Interstate Buffalo represents is an evolution of the Southern music founded in the early 1970s. The band's sound is predicated more on the southern rock movement than the music originally inspiring that movement (blues and southern soul, à la Memphis and Muscle Shoals). That said, all is well. This is goodtime music that follows a script—just not too closely.

Track Listing

Down in a Bad Way; Harp On; Waiting Blues; Cousins; Down to the River; St. Peter; Old Friend; Running After Shadows; Camera; Safety Net; #57.

Personnel

Jack Poff: vocals, guitar, harmonica, mandolin; Stephen Compton: Guitar; Scooter Chandler: bass; Nick Reeves: drums.

Album information

Title: One Step Away | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read An Open Dialogue
An Open Dialogue
Linda Sikhakhane
Read Rah! Rah!
Rah! Rah!
The Claire Daly Band
Read Artlessly Falling
Artlessly Falling
Mary Halvorson's Code Girl
Read Hi-Fly
Hi-Fly
Howard University Jazz Ensemble
Read And Then It Rained
And Then It Rained
The Michael O'Neill Quartet
Read You're It!
You're It!
The Mike Melito / Dino Losito Quartet
Read URBAN(E)
URBAN(E)
Mike Fahie Jazz Orchestra

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.