CD Release: Buffalo Nickel

Mississippi and regional favorite Buffalo Nickel will celebrate the release of their new disc, "Noise and Conversation" on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2004, at Hal & Mal's. One unusual twist to Buffalo Nickel's' brand of Americana flavored music—which they affectionately refer to as "honk-n-roll"—is that all of the members participate in the writing process.

"Since all the band members contribute songs, we can each choose our best songs to bring to the table. Plus, it puts us all in healthy competition with each other, which is a good thing," said band member Steve Deaton.

From the glowing country-rock jangle of "Find Me A Crowd" to the dance-hall twang of "Out Of The Picture," the record is steeped in the tradition of the best of American music. While different songs may evoke The Byrds or Graham Parsons, the collection maintains a decidedly original and coherent feel.

Fans will remember Emily Graham, former guitarist and singer with the band, who was killed in a car accident around the time of Buffalo Nickel's excellent debut release. Graham's songs are prominently featured on "Noise and Conservation." Deaton says Graham was the best songwriter. "She was always writing, very prolific, and when she died, she left a tub full of great songs." Fans of Emily Graham will find solace in gems like "Can't Say Anything" and "Walkin'," which are ably sung by Deaton, who does an admirable interpretation of his late bandmate's material.

Brad Clark, Deaton and Clinton Kirby are all extremely capable multi-instrumentalists, handling instruments as diverse as accordion, banjo, pedal steel, keyboards and guitars. Chris Clark and Elliot Crawford play bass and drums, respectively, and are an excellent rhythm section, letting the band rock or swing as the song dictates. Overall, "Noise and Conversation" has an earthy sound: the guitars chime, the pedal steel wails and the vocals are direct, honest and true. The record was largely recorded at Steve Deaton's own Plow Handle Studio, and the setting seems to have given the songs an organic feel.

The "Noise and Conservation" of the album's title comes from a lyric in "Find Me A Crowd," the excellent opening track of the album, written by Brad Clark. Deaton says that "the lyric is really about the fake paradise that you see at bars and parties, the sort of illusion of happiness that, if you look a little more closely, isn't really there."

Look for "Noise and Conservation" to make ripples well beyond the Mississippi music scene. CDs will be on sale at the record release party and Hal & Mal's and will also be available at record stores everywhere. Buffalo Nickel's CD Release party for "Noise and Conversation" will be at Hal and Mal's Oct. 23, at 8 p.m.


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