Little has changed for band, its Herd

It’s migration season for The Herd.

That is to say, Donna the Buffalo is on tour and the band’s fans – collectively self-dubbed The Herd – are following the band from city to city, as their schedule permits.

“We’ve got a loyal following, which is great. But we’ve also got fans all over, and we’re looking forward to coming back to Ohio,” Tara Nevins, working with Jeb Puryear as one of the band’s co-founders and songwriters, told The Beat.

DTB’s widespread following makes sense, given that the band is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014.

“I guess it’s a big deal. That’s what people keep telling me,” Nevins said.

“There are certain times, maybe you’re playing a New Year’s Eve gig or something, and you pause for a minute for a dose of perspective – but most of the time, we’re just busy doing it.”

“It” being touring and making records – the band’s current tour supports its 2013 release, Tonight, Tomorrow and Yesterday, which, Nevins insists despite its title, is not inspired by the band’s hitting the quarter-century mark.

There was, however, a retro aspect to this, the band’s 10th album, which was recorded in a small church in upstate New York.

“We’ve always recorded as live as possible, but this time, we just set up in a circle, plugged in our amps, no headphones, and played,” Nevins said.

Nothing was recorded digitally – everything was straight to tape – and few overdubs were done. Continuing the hrowback vibe, Tonight, Tomorrow and Yesterday also was released on classic 12-inch vinyl.

Of course, a throwback vibe has been present throughout the band’s history, as it made a name for itself first on the East Coast, then throughout the Midwest for its crisp, literate country/roots-rock/folkie songs.

Nevins and Puryear continue to be the driving force, sharing singing and songwriting duties, with Puryear playing guitar and Nevins on guitar, accordion, fiddle, washboard or whatever else was needed at the time.

“We really haven’t changed that much” in 25 years, Nevins said.

“Our songwriting has always been a combination of personal stories but also universal messages.”

Donna the Buffalo will play Woodlands Park Street Saloon Friday, Jan. 24. Rusted Root co-headlines. Tickets are $20/$23. Visit saloon.woodlandsproductions.com.

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