Lord Buffalo: “Cold Bones”

There’s folk. There’s rock. And then there’s Lord Buffalo. The Austin band’s music dwells on the dark outskirts of dying towns, in the dust and grit of the open road, in the lonely howls that puncture the long desert night. It’s alluring. It’s tribal. Lord Buffalo is something altogether different.

The roots of Lord Buffalo go back a ways, a really long ways. Frontman and songwriter Daniel Pruitt and guitarist Garrett Hellman grew up together in Oklahoma, but it would be many years later (and in Austin) before the seeds of Lord Buffalo would be finally sown. After the dissolution of Pruitt’s former band The Hot Pentecostals, he rambled a bit as a singer-songwriter. A few of his former bandmates liked what they heard, and by 2010 they eventually came along. Pruitt’s joined by Hellman, violinist Patrick Patterson and drummer Devin James Fry (also of the band Salesman). Pedal-steel player Brockett Hamilton later came onboard as well.

The band released their self-titled, debut EP last spring, and today’s song of the day–“Cold Bones“–is a stand-out. The track begins with a wild howl that’d be at home echoing among the mesas and canyons of the southwest. A tribal stomp and otherworldly sounds back Pruitt’s whiskey-soaked vocals. It’s menacing. But when the electric guitar kicks in, it adds a bit of spaghetti western to the mix, like the nameless anti-hero riding in to save the day. You know it’ll be bloody, but he’ll get the job done. It’s that sort of push and pull, pain and pleasure that makes Lord Buffalo so intriguing. Their music broods, but it touches something primal, something special, something completely theirs.

You can catch Lord Buffalo tonight at Frank.

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