Who is Donna the Buffalo, and why does she keep following me?

This fan site isn't affiliated with Donna the Buffalo. Visit the band's official site:


7/20/06 GrassRoots Festival,
Trumansburg, NY

Setlist (courtesy donnabase.com)
Way Back When, Temporary Misery, Funkyside, Love and Gasoline, Family Picture, Each & Every Direction, You're Breaking My Heart, Every Day,* Locket and Key, Voice In My Head, The Mill,** If You Only Could, Garden Of Eden, Yonder
Encore: Let Love Move Me

*Keith Secola vocal interlude
**Ward Puryear on rubboard

Photos of this show

By Jeff Bauer

I got to the Fairgrounds just in time to grab a veggie thing from the Sugar Shack and head over to the Grandstand stage by the time Keith Frank started. I saw most of his set, some of Atomic Forces in the Cabaret, and all of John Brown's Body on the infield stage. Around 11:30 I head back to the Infield stage to get ready for Donna the Buffalo. I saw some friends on the rail and went up to say hello. I wasn't planning to stay up there for the set, but next thing you know the band came out, at around 11:45. I turned to look back at the crowd. There seemed to be many more people on hand than there were for last year's Thur. DtB set at GrassRoots. I decided to stay put.

Pretty much as soon as the band came onstage, it started to rain. Worse yet, the wind was blowing the rain in toward the stage. The crew covered the monitors and the side of Kathy Z's keys with plastic but it didn't do much to help keep the band dry. I felt especially bad for Kathy--at least the rest of them could move back a little toward the top of the stage, which had the most cover and therefore was relatively dry, but KZ's keys couldn't move so she had to stay in the rain.

After a bunch of hemming and hawing and drying everything with towels, Jeb started into Way Back When. None of them looked particularly happy to be playing in a driving rain, but ever the troupers they soldiered on.

After Tara stepped up with Temporary Misery (was "more temporary than it seems" a wishful thought about the rain?) came Funkyside. By then, I noticed something that surprised me: The sound was excellent. I could hear each instrument clearly and at good volume, which is always a challenge when you're in the front row and hearing the music through the band's monitors as well as through the speakers. Later I roamed around all around the crowd and the sound was equally good wherever I went.

Love and Gasoline is one of my personal favorites, and Tara belted it out. More than 18 months later, I'm still trying to get used to Family Picture without Jim Miller, but the crowd ate it up. Next came a heartfelt Each & Every Direction, which seems to be working its way into rotation as of late April. Then it was accordion time, for You're Breakin' My Heart, tearing it all apart. Not sure but it might have been around then that the rain ended.

Some guy on the rail right in front of Tara had been shouting "Every Day" since the moment the band hit the stage, and he got his wish next. Midway through the song, Keith Secola came out for a "vocal interlude" which I neither fully heard or understood. Locket and Key is a Tara Nevins song that's been developing nicely. Voice in My Head is always a crowd-pleaser, and the version that came next did not disappoint. The same could be said of The Mill that came next; Ward Puryear joined in on rubboard. Like Each & Every Direction, The Mill seems to be making somewhat of a comeback on the setlists.

I don't think I've ever heard the band do a version of If You Only Could that I didn't like. This was followed by Garden of Eden, a relatively new Jeb song that's gained a verse in recent performances. Then came the most pleasant surprise: Yonder, a song the band hadn't broke out in more than a year (last played 6/17/05, Chicago). This was a long, relaxed version that proved to be an excellent way to end the set.

I don't really know what I was expecting to get for an encore, but it certainly wasn't Let Love Move Me. Even though DtB this song has been often lately, it still retains all of its power and beauty, and was a perfect summary of what GrassRoots is all about. The set endeded at 1:45. It'd been a particularly strong set; with three more consecutive days of performances left, the band had set the bar quite high.

© 2006 www.donnafans.com. All rights reserved.
Contact: fans@donnafans.com