Photo Credit: Dustin Cohen
Other than when he plays, Buffalo Nichols says he doesn’t get out as much as one would think in the Austin area. However, he is currently out on the road with Drive-By Truckers performing songs from his October 2021 self-titled release. We talked about the fear that came when live music was taken off the table last year, the emotion that took the wheel on his new album, and more in this back and forth exchange.
Kendra: There are so many of us who found some sort of creative outlet to keep us company when well, we didn’t have much else going on. For me, it was writing. For you, your guitar. When you first picked it up, did you head towards the blues, or were you trying to find your footing in another genre?
Buffalo Nichols: I didn’t have any particular genre in mind when I started. My only intention was to learn the instrument and I used every genre I could to get a better understanding of the guitar. The blues was one of those but it was years later when it became a main focus.
Kendra: Music has always been a part of your life, but you did take a break from it for a minute and headed overseas. Was there any place in particular in your travels through West Africa and Europe that reignited your creative charge most?
Buffalo Nichols: Visiting Griot families in Senegal inspired me to see the cultural value of music. It was a while ago but made the blues feel more important to me.
Kendra: Now you have your self-titled debut on the way this October! Lyrically, you leaned more towards the universal aspects of life, the emotions we all face. With that said, would you say there is one emotion that perhaps took the wheel of ‘Buffalo Nichols’ more often than not?
Buffalo Nichols: I would say despair. There is no hope in these songs. That is not to say I am a hopeless person but for me, this album has a tragic theme.
Kendra: Let’s talk about “Back On Top.” I think it’s a song we sort of all need right now after the past year and change we’ve had. Was this living in the moment idea inspired by the lockdowns, the insanity that COVID brought with it?
Buffalo Nichols: The song was written before COVID. To me, it is a stupid song about being stupid. Stupidity can be inspiring.
Kendra: Now, fans aren’t going to have to wait long to hear these brand new songs live because you’re heading out on the road in support of Drive-By Truckers. This time last year did you think that live music was ever going to be part of our lives again?
Buffalo Nichols: I didn’t think it would be the end of live music forever, but I did fear it would be a while. 1.5 years is a really long time for a musician. That is longer than the lifespan of a lot of bands but I’m just glad it is coming to an end.
Kendra: Other than the new album, the tour – what else do you have on your plate? Maybe a tour of your own planned for the new year?
Buffalo Nichols: I don’t know of any plans at the moment but I am hoping to do a lot of touring next year.
Buffalo Nichols Tour Dates:
10/12/21 – Madison, WI – Barrymore Theatre*
10/14/21 – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall*
10/15/21 – Pittsburgh, PA – Mr Smalls*
10/16/21 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues*
10/19/21 – Detroit, MI – Majestic*
10/21/21 – Knoxville, TN – Bijou Theatre*
10/22/21 – Birmingham, AL – Avondale Brewing*
10/23/21 – Asheville, NC – Rabbit Rabbit*
11/3/21 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl*
11/4/21 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl*
11/5/21 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl*
11/6/21 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl*
11/8/21 – Wilmington, DE – The Queen*
11/10/21 – Winston-Salem, NC – The Ramkat*
11/11/21 – Charleston, SC – Charleston Music Hall*
11/12/21 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse*
11/13/21 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse*
11/15/21 – Little Rock, AR – Revolution Music Room*
11/17/21 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theater*
11/18/21 – Austin, TX – Scoot Inn*
11/19/21 – Austin, TX – Scoot Inn*
11/20/21 – New Orleans, LA – Tipitina’s*
*supporting Drive-By Truckers