Fischer’s Fab Five

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“An Evening With Icon for Hire” is slated for Sunday, Sept. 29, at the A&R Music Bar.

 Donna the Buffalo plays some of the funkiest fiddle music you’re likely ever to encounter.

The mid-state New York outfit, led by Tara Nevins and Jeb Puryear, performs its own original tunes, inspired by elements of Cajun, folk, reggae and other roots forms, all groovy and danceable, plus traditional Americana songs filtered through this same paradigm.

Nevins is not the aforementioned “Donna.” Rumor has it the band adopted its name when a slightly inebriated master of ceremonies mangled the introduction of the original name “Dawn of the Buffalo.” The Beat has to admit we like this one better.

Donna the Buffalo plays the Woodlands Backyard Saturday, Sept. 28. Tickets are $15. Visit

Graceful, captivating and literate, Long Island, N.Y.’s Laura Stevenson draws listenesr in with her winsome voice and keeps them with her strong and witty stories.

The modern folk-pop siren is touring in support of her brand-new record, Wheel, and stops at the Rumba Cafe Saturday, Sept. 28.

Tickets are $10. Visit





Midwest rockers Icon for Hire have fleshed out the notion of a rock show at a club with its current “An Evening with Icon for Hire” tour.

Following an intimate all-acoustic set by the Illinois trio, the evening will feature a fashion show of frontwoman Ariel’s new fall line of Custom Catastrophes clothes.

The night wraps up with a standard IFH set featuring tunes from the band’s debut CD Scripted and a forthcoming CD set for release later this year. Combining heavy riffs and electronic programming, Icon for Hire displays hints and influences from bands such as Linkin Park, Evanscence and Switchfoot.

Tickets for the Sunday, Sept. 29, show at the A&R Music Bar, are $15. Visit




Does reading the name Ewert and the Two Dragons make you think of a fantasy novel for teen readers? If so, then good, The Beat is not alone.

Which is not to say we don’t think it’s a cool band name, which we do. But the really cool thing is that Ewert is the real name of the lead singer and musical driving force behind this transcendent, awkward and hook-laden acoustic-pop quartet from Estonia. Good Man Down, the sophomore effort of Ewert Sundja and mates, is well worth a listen.

And if you dig it, check ’em out live Monday, Sept. 30, at The Basement. Openers are Trapper Schoepp & The Shades and Andolino.

Tickets are $12/$14. Visit




Prog-grass-sive acoustic quintet Whitewater Ramble is yet another modern, unique twist on acoustic roots music from a newgrass hotbed, Fort Collins, Colo.

Apparently opting for the old figure of speech “call a spade a spade,” the band titled its second record Roots & Groove. The five-piece adds drums to the traditional bluegrass set-up of fiddle, mandolin, acoustic guitar and upright bass, and updates the constructs and the rich vocal harmonies with eccentric flair.

Whitewater Ramble plays Woodlands Tavern Wednesday, Oct. 2. Tickets are $15/$17. Visit