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Monday, May 20, 2013
Interstate Buffalo makes its Eureka Springs debut with blues, classic rock, funk to sparePosted Wednesday, October 17, 2012, at 11:25 AM
Interstate Buffalo is one of Central Arkansas' most popular blues, classic rock and funk bands, playing a mix of covers and originals and keeping the dance floor hopping. They play at Squid and Whale on Friday night at 9.
Selected a National Finalist in the 2012 Bud Light Battle of the Bands, and recently qualified to represent the Arkansas River Blues Society in the 2012 International Blues Challenge in Memphis this coming winter, Interstate Buffalo plays a Southern-favorites mix of covers and originals with a blues, funk and classic-rock theme.
They always bring out the jam wherever they perform, often skipping breaks and playing on for hours at a time -- a true crowd-pleaser, whether it's 10 p.m. at The Afterthought in Little Rock or Earnestine and Hazel's in Memphis, or 4 a.m. at Little Rock's infamous Midtown Billiards.
The four-piece band counts among its major influences The Allman Brothers, Warren Haynes, Widespread Panic, Drive-By Truckers, Albert King and R.L. Burnside, and they will from time to time cover songs by these groups as well as tracks by Gov't Mule, Grateful Dead, The Beatles, and even Pink Floyd and War.
Check out this performance from earlier this year:
But it's the blues that the band sticks the closes to, explains the band's lead guitarist, Stephen Compton, who was introducted to the genre by his employer in college.
"From 1998 I've had a big passion for the blues. Albert King, Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy started it off; Steve Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix and Dwayne Allman are more recent influences," he says.
Compton, who teaches guitar full-time at Little Rock Jams Music Studio, also gets much of his inspiration from gifted modern-day guitarists -- well-known (Warren Haynes is a hero of his) and otherwise.
"I have a black and white picture of Jerry Garcia in my office to remind me that the best players aren't always the best known," he says matter-of-factly. Even Rolling Stone put Jerry at No. 40 on its all-time ranking of guitar players, which is way off -- I'd put Jerry in my Top 5."
But it's Haynes that Comptom emulates most in his playing style, and from the audience seats, it shows: "The tone, the riffs, the arrangements, and the guitar I play come from him," Compton says.
Besides being scheduled to perform at this year's King Biscuit Blues Fest, Interstate Buffalo has performed at a number of major events, including 2010 Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival, Waka Winter Classic 2009, Midsummers Night Jam (2010-11), Save The Biscuit Fundraiser concerts (2008-2011), and Riverfest 2012.
Earlier this year, Interstate Buffalo released its first album to excellent reviews from blues critics across the South:
"Rip-roaring across the plains, here comes Little Rock, Arkansas' stampede of loud guitar-rock with all strings blazing on their first full length album," writes Greg "Bluesdog" Szalony with Blues Blast Magazine. "It's kind of like The Allman Brothers Band with a heavy metal attitude and one "hot-shot" guitar slinger in the person of Stephen Compton. West Memphis native Jack Poff handles vocals with a commanding voice, as well as rhythm guitar duties. The drumming is of the "whack the crap outta everything variety. Power chords, screeching or Dickey Betts-like guitar are the order of the day, with occasional slashing slide guitar. There is no fear of dozing off to this stuff, and as an added bonus it will strip the paint from your walls."
John Vermilyea of the Blues Underground Network writes: "It is a rarity when you can throw a modern Blues Rock album into a pile of great Classic Blues Rock albums, of the '70s, by the likes of the Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead, and Gov't Mule, to name a few, and no one would be the wiser that it wasn't one of the great albums from that era; Interstate Buffalo's 'One Step Away' is such a rarity."
Interstate Buffalo's show at Squid and Whale begins around 9 p.m. Friday and there is no cover charge.
Following is the schedule for live music venues in Eureka Springs this weekend:
THURSDAY, OCT. 18
* Jack's Place / Centerstage Live, 37 Spring St., 479-253-2219: Karaoke and DJ Goose, 8 p.m. till midnight.
* Squid and Whale, 37 Spring St., 479-253-7147: Open Mic Musical Smackdown with Bloody Buddy & friends, 7 p.m.
FRIDAY, OCT. 19
* Berean Coffee House, 4032 E. Van Buren, 479-244-7495: Live music, 7 p.m.
* Cathouse / Pied Piper, 82 Armstrong St., 479-363-9976: Richard Burnett, 8 p.m.
* Chaser's, 169 E. Van Buren, 479-253-5522: Karaoke Contest, 8 p.m.
* Chelsea's, 10 Mountain St., 479-253-6723: Springbilly, 9 p.m.
* Eureka Live!, 35 N. Main St., 479-253-7020: DJ & Dancing 9 p.m. to close
* Jack's Place / Centerstage Live: Live music, 9 p.m.
* The Lumberyard, 104 E. Van Buren: Bike Night, 4 to 9 p.m. or later, food and drink specials, DJ on demand and prizes; DJ & Karaoke, 9 p.m.
* New Delhi Cafe, 2 N. Main St., 479-253-2525: Magic Mule, 6:30 p.m.
* Rowdy Beaver Den, 45 Spring St., 479-363-6444: John Harwood, 7 p.m.
* Rowdy Beaver Tavern, 417 W. Van Buren, 479-253-8544: One Way Road, 6 p.m.
* Squid & Whale: Interstate Buffalo, 9 p.m.
SATURDAY, OCT. 20
* Cathouse / Pied Piper: Richard Burnett, 8 p.m.
* Chaser's: Downtown Stranger, 8 p.m.
* Chelsea's: Glenyrae and the Playboys (Western swing from Australia), 9 p.m.
* Eureka Live!: DJ & Dancing 9 p.m. to close
* Jack's Place / Centerstage Live: Live music, 9 p.m.
* The Lumberyard: Slam Boxx, 9 p.m.
* New Delhi Cafe: Skinny Gypsy, 6:30 p.m.
* Rowdy Beaver Den: Bob Alder, 7 p.m.
* Rowdy Beaver Tavern: One Way Road, 6 p.m.
* Squid and Whale: The Trashcan Bandits / Chooch & the Sidehill Gougers, 9 p.m.
SUNDAY, OCT. 21
* Chelsea's: Charlie Don't Surf, 4-8 p.m.
* Eureka Live!: Customer Appreciation Night specials 5 p.m. to close
* The Lumberyard: Celebration in memory of Dave Bird, 2 p.m.
* New Delhi Cafe: Smith and Reed, 6:30 p.m.
* Squid and Whale: Local Kine local musicians showcase, 8 p.m.
Kristal's Northwest Arkansas Music Blog
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Carroll County News Managing Editor Kristal Kuykendall is a longtime music writer and live music follower in Arkansas. In addition to her full-time journalism career, as a hobby she has formerly has covered live music around the state for Citiscapes magazine in Fayetteville; the statewide Celebrate Arkansas magazine based in Rogers; The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas; Little Rock entertainment website Do501.com; LoveLiveMusic.com; KATV Channel 7's "Good Morning Arkansas"; and Nightflying, the statewide entertainment monthly; as well as her own music blog formerly located at http://mojo-management.com/kstarsmusicblog. With Kristal's Northwest Arkansas Music Blog, she now writes about live music primarily in the Eureka Springs and Carroll County regions, and includes major shows coming to nearby areas such as Fayetteville and Branson as well.
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