The Music Scene
Talk to a great many musicians in town who’ve either had a taste of the touring life or who’ve sought greener pastures in music centers like New York City, LA, Austin, or Nashville, and you soon discover that Buffalo is a great place to hang your hat. The small minority who leave and never look back are far outnumbered by those who either return for good or at least make a point of performing in the old stomping grounds whenever they get the chance.
One reason for this is the supportive music community here in town. There’s a low tolerance level for posers and a high level of respect for players who’ve honed their licks and polished their craft as writers. Best of all, there are lots of venues where bands can get a foot in the door to polish their live act, as well as get paid to do so—which is kind of unheard of in more glamorous locales.
Our readers chose a number of acts that would stand out anywhere in genres ranging from blues to classical to country to folk to hip-hop to jazz to rock, and we also boast a burgeoning club DJ scene, and lots of great original stuff across all categories.
Stone Country, a staple at the Sportsmen’s Tavern, would be a standout at any honky-tonk on Broadway in Nashville, and they stand next to more left-of-center acts in the country category like Skiffle Minstrels, as well as Bareback Jack, who cultivate a more contemporary hot country sound.
In the blues category, standouts like the Mick Hayes Band, Jony James Blues Band, and Todd Eberwine Band do the city proud—while Fresh Guac and TypeRelevant (past winner of our Artvoice BOOM competition) are busy blazing their own trail through hip-hop territory.
Performers like Dee Adams and global force of nature Ani DiFranco represent us well on the folk scene, and Adams hosts her own open mic, one of many around town that offer an open stage to any performer eager for that first taste of playing in public. Meanwhile, on the classical end, we routinely get major kudos for our BPO and JoAnn Falletta, while we also get to enjoy the breathtaking skill of classical guitarist Mir Ali, often in intimate local venues.
None of these names are lost on our astute readers, whose musical taste and support for the local scene are what forms the backbone of our music community. Read below for a full list of all our top five candidates in every category—in no particular order, because they’re winners, all.
Best Blues ActsMick Hayes Band
Jony James Bles Band
Junk Yard Dogs
Todd Eberwine Band
Best Classical MusiciansRoman Mekinulov
Best Club DJsDJ Cutler
DJ Lil Joe
DJ Q Ball
Best Country ActsUnderground Stampede
West of the Mark
Best Folk ActsDee Adams
Erin Sidney Welsh
Best Hip-hop ActsChae Hawk
Billy Drease Williams
Best Female VocalistsCaitlin Koch
Best Male VocalistsLance Diamond
Best Vocal EnsemblesVocalis
Buffalo Choral Arts Society
Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus
Best Jazz ActsCustode & Parisi
Allen Street Jazz Band
Brownman Electryc Trio
Best Rock ActsHit N Run
Best Original Music ActsFree Henry!
Photos of Wagons
Best Open Mic NightsNietzsche’s with Michael Meldrum
Sportsmen’s Tavern with Dee Adams
WAM events at Stillwater
Broadway Joe’s with Todd
Tudor Lounge with Chris & Shane
Best Band NamesAnal Pudding
Worst Band NamesAnal Pudding
Hit N Run
Goo Goo Dolls
...and the nominees are:
Issue Navigation> Issue Index > v9n16 (week of Thursday, April 22: Best of Buffalo) > The Music Scene
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