Buffalo Rodeo comes to MoonTower festival from Bowling Green

sosborne@herald-leader.comJuly 24, 2014 

Buffalo Rodeo, from left: Zach Preston, vocals; Patrick Duncan, bass; Nate Davis, guitar; Jordan Reynolds, vocalist and keyboardist; and Nathaniel Davis, guitar.

COURTESY OF BUFFALO RODEO

  • MoonTower Music Festival

    When: Gates open at 10 a.m. July 26

    Schedule

    11:30 a.m.: Buffalo Rodeo

    1 p.m.: A Lion Named Roar

    2:30 p.m.: Tyler Childers

    4 p.m.: Brave Baby

    5:30 p.m.: Machines Are People Too

    7 p.m.: Sundy Best

    8:45 p.m.: Moon Taxi

    DJ Gary Klass will play when the gates open and between sets, all day.

    Where: Equus Run Vineyards, 1280 Moores Mill Rd. in Midway

    Tickets: $45

    Online: moontowerfestival.com.

Buffalo Rodeo is in hiding.

The progressive indie rock outfit has become the latest band to generate a buzz in Bowling Green, an unassuming college town that has proven to be a consistent producer of shiny red Corvettes and bona-fide musical talent such as summer music festival mainstays Cage The Elephant and recent Late Show with David Letterman guest Sleeper Agent.

Saturday, Buffalo Rodeo will briefly come out of hiding to be the first act at the inaugural Moontower Music Festival, taking the stage at 11:30 a.m.

When keyboardist and vocalist Jordan Reynolds answered the phone for our Monday night interview, the members of the band were huddled in their van, taking a moment to grab a bite to eat before heading back to a warehouse in Horse Cave, where they are holed up concocting their first full-length record.

"Our focus right now, probably for the next two to three months, is just this album," drummer Ryan Gilbert said. The band members intend to "just really seclude ourselves in this warehouse and find our cohesive sound. That's pretty much all we've been focusing on."

The old wholesale storage warehouse, which belongs to guitarist Nate Davis' father, is the group's place of solace and creativity.

Thus far the group, comprised of five Bowling Green natives, has ridden the momentum of four EPs released on their Bandcamp page, including the most recent, Home Videos EP, that was released in April 2013. The band plans to be finished with its latest effort by the end of this year.

Buffalo Rodeo has garnered a legion of fans for its dreamy sound and sing-song choruses. Take the band's signature track Treehouse, which opens with a thunderous assault of percussion from Gilbert as the band revels in their fleeting youth, affirming in the song's chorus, "We're never coming down, We're counting down."

Because Buffalo Rodeo is not signed to a record label, it has had to adopt a do-it-yourself approach, booking the majority of its shows and forging connections in the music industry on its own. The band members estimate they played 200 gigs in 2013.

"Being a DIY band has done nothing but help us so much in the past year," Reynolds said. "You're forced to make connections on your own, like all those dates; we booked those all ourselves, pretty much all of them. Some of my best friends are in bands that I've helped get shows. That might not happen if you were a band that got a booking agent or a music label right away. I personally feel that it makes us respect and appreciate people that work their asses off more than the people who just got it handed to them right away."

The group has toured a large portion of the United States in its van, playing gigs from New York City to Denver. In March, Buffalo Rodeo traveled to the iconic South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, to play one showcase and ended up playing six.

Bassist Patrick Duncan said the group's hectic touring schedule in the past year forced members to analyze their sound on a daily basis and they matured as musicians.

"When we toured for a month, we had to play these songs and we had to really dissect them, really wrap ourselves around our music," he said. "But that really helped."

Buffalo Rodeo was recently selected as a Red Bull Sound Select artist, once more broadening its exposure.

Though the group has traveled a large portion of the U.S., they said it's a rarity to find a music scene like the one in their hometown.

"Not only is there Cage The Elephant and Sleeper Agent and Morning Teleportation, bands that have kind of gotten some national recognition," Reynolds said. "There are so many bands in Bowling Green that you might never hear about on the Internet, that are so good. Bowling Green really does have something special."

Sam Osborne: Twitter: @samo430. Phone: 859-231-3308

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