David Gans, host of the nationally syndicated Grateful Dead Hour, recaps some of the songs he can’t get out of his head this year.
Rocking Horse – Donna the Buffalo. DTB is just about my favorite band these days: great groove, great vibe at the shows, a spiritually positive (and decidedly non-hippie-dippy) message, and – most important of all – two great songwriters, Tara Nevins and Jeb Puryear. Jeb has an utterly unique and (to me) irresistible style; he’s one of those songwriters who creates a universe of his own right next to ours and sends these messages back to Earth for the good of us all. What I want from a band – jamband or otherwise – is music that speaks to the head, the heart, the soul, the gonads, and the butt. DTB does that. When I’m in the audience at a Donna the Buffalo show, there is no place else I’d rather be.
I have to concur with Gans on this. I attended my first Donna The Buffalo show this year, at Floydfest. I now listen to their records, Wait ‘Til Spring (with Jim Lauderdale), Positive Friction and the aforementioned Life’s a Ride all the time.
Speaking of Jim Lauderdale…for me, he’s far and away the artist of the year. Not that 2005 was a huge year for him. I just didn’t know any better until this year. Now that I know what a national treasure this guy is, I’m fully in his corner. Honestly, I don’t think I can properly express how magnificent Jim’s work is. If you have yet to give him a listen, it’s high time to do so. Trust me on this one.
Other amazing artists that appeared on to my radar screen for the first time this year: Darrell Scott, The Everybody Fields, Mary Gauthier, Larry Keel, Railroad Earth, The Gourds, Kathleen Edwards, Laura Cantrell and Patty Loveless. It’s been a year of terrific musical growth for me. In fact, it’s hard for me to imagine how I got by on jambands and such, prior to these developments.