Buffalo Wabs & The Price Hill Hustle may claim Cincinnati as their hometown, but their old souls fit in quite well with us folks in the Bluegrass. The band is steeped in traditional folk and gospel music, covered in the blues, all the while their hearts are rock ‘n’ roll. That unique mix is what makes Buffalo Wabs standout from everyone else.
Their last album had a fantastic version of a classic hymnal of sorts, often sang by African Americans during the unfortunate years of slavery. “Down By The Riverside” embodies everything that makes these folks special. The harmonies, the hat tip to the “chain gangs” and the sheer energy they possess is on full display. In fact, this is the song that will tell you just about all you need to know about what exactly Buffalo Wabs & The Price Hill Hustle are all about.
Here, listen for yourselves:
Pretty darn amazing, right? Glad ya dug it! You could go on and leave this article, because if you like that vibe, go put your money down. If you want a little insight to tide ya over, then by all means soldier on!
With their new album, ‘Stranger In The Alps’, Buffalo Wabs & The Price Hill Hustle (BW&TPHH) continue to conjure up thoughts of the music from the turn of the century, circa 1900. With this album, BW&TPHH picked out a four cover songs that they’ve connected with, but it’s the four originals that will keep you entranced. The band revisits older songs with the intention of preserving music and advancing it to newer audiences. Here’s their statement regarding their approach, “The covers we’ve chosen mean something to us; these are songs that still speak to us, and we want folks who may not know them to become familiar.”
Now the first track you are greeted with just happens to tell a story of Long John Dean, a bank robbery that takes place right here in Kentucky. So naturally, when I was given the opportunity to premiere a song, I immediately jumped on this one. “Long Gone (From Bowling Green” was written by W.C. Handy and was made popular by the one and only, Louis Armstrong.
I’ll simply let you enjoy this premiere now:
“Roving Gambler” was originally written by Kelly Harrell, but I knew the song from the version the Stanley Brothers recorded. BW&TPHH’s version is very much in the vein of the Stanley Brothers and that could not make me any happier. What you’ll enjoy from this one is the musicianship and harmonies. The mandolin pickin and the lead vocal of bassist Bill Baldock will put the boogie in your boots.
The most intriguing cover, at least from my perspective, is “Four Walls Of Raiford.” I’ll readily admit that I had never heard this song. So as I did my research, I found this one was originally a Lynyrd Skynyrd song. But, what makes this one so intriguing, is the fact that BW&TPHH took this wonderful song and morphed it into a version that sounds like it was written in the 90’s, the 1890’s, and it is fantastic. Drummer Casey Campbell takes the lead vocal on this one. Here’s a live video to tide ya over until this album is released.
As I said, the covers are amazing, but it’s the originals you’re gonna want to sink your teeth into. Take “Buffalo’s Canon” for instance. In my humble opinion, this song is the best representation of where the band is most comfortable and it is the centerpiece / masterpiece of this release. Lots of pickin’ that’ll surely cause lots of grinnin’. Sit back, close your eyes and let their harmonies wash over you, you’ll walk away relaxed and ready to take on the world. Same goes for “The Wind”, so buckle up and enjoy.
“Ain’t No Need”, “Oh, Ramona!”, “Buffalo’s Canon” and “The Wind” are the four originals. While “Long Gone (From Bowling Green)”, Ledbelly’s “Stewball”, “Roving Gambler”, and “Four Walls Of Raiford” round out the covers.
I’ll end this article with another philosophy quote from the band, “If it ain’t fun, it ain’t worth it.” I couldn’t agree more, besides, who am I to argue with that logic?