The name Buffalo Ruckus suggests a band that doesn’t fit musical genres neatly and that’s the case with the Denton band bearing that name.
The foursome creates music that rambles through Southern rock and Texas country with dashes of folk and even psychedelia
That’s to be expected, given the band’s equally eclectic make up. Jason Lovell, lead vocalist and one of Buffalo Ruckus’ songwriters, was a chef for about 10 years. Bassist Michael Burgess served in the Air Force. Guitarist and mandolinist Brad Haefner has a day job as a graphic designer and builds guitars on the side. Lovell and drummer Jerrod Ford met while playing in their church’s worship band on Sundays.
They gravitated together around 2013 when Lovell decided he wanted a break from the restaurant business, found Haefner and Burgess from a Craigslist ad and then added Ford to make a foursome.
Led by songwriters Lovell and Haefner, the group opted to let the music flow first and they’d define it later. “We didn’t want to be boxed into the Texas country genre, the bluegrass genre or whatever,” explained Lovell.
That chemistry clicked and within a short time so did their following in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Denton area. Buffalo Ruckus won a 2014 Texas Music Showdown and a Shiner Rising Star competition that same year while opening for such bands and musicians as the Texas Troubadours, Hayes Carll, Cheap Trick, American Aquarium and Ray Wylie Hubbard.
The band appeared on the syndicated television series “Troubadour, Texas” and also recorded two albums in that period, with the latest, “Peace & Cornbread,” winning critical attention.
Band members work their performances into weekends and nights away from their day jobs, Lovell said, and the band intends to widen their reach to venues in the West and Midwest this spring.
Buffalo Ruckus makes its Waco debut this weekend with gigs at Waco Winery and The Backyard. What fans will find is a live show that departs somewhat from what’s on the album, but stays true to their genre-blurring sound.
“Nothing is going to sound the same. You won’t get bored,” he said. “We try to keep things interesting. Very few of our songs sound like they do on the record.”