The Denver music scene took note of my recent article about Weezer and the Red Rocks, and local music advocate Cory Pearman reached out asking if I’d like to attend his band’s upcoming show. I happily obliged, kind of hard not to with a name like Float Like a Buffalo.
The show took place at The Walnut Room – a venue with great pizza, staff, and beer, and a gorgeous stage that many consider a focal point in the Denver music scene. When we walked in, I realized I knew the drummer already. In fact, about a year ago we played music together at an open mic night. He [Phil Pleckman] played the drums for a folk song I wrote. It’s like, sometimes you know people before you even know you know them – especially in the music world.
I started talking to Cory, and asked him to describe the genre of Float Like a Buffalo. “Funk rock,” he said. I responded, “punk rock?” and we laughed as he corrected me. His parents were in the audience sipping wine, and I felt really glad to be there. He said his parents never miss a show. I understood, as I’d invited my dear friend Caitlyn and asked her to lend her photographic eye and camera. Friends, family, and music belong together.
The band set up the stage and tone with several drums, a trombone, saxophone, guitars, bass, and microphones. They wore a lot of flannel and backwards caps, and checked the mics: “does everything sound tight?” “hell no!” Float Like a Buffalo, consisting of Cory Pearman (Vocals, Guitar), Garrett Achten (Percussion, Vocals), Evan Crabdree (Lead Guitar, vocals), Jason Clukies (Bass, vocals), Phil Pleckham (Drums, vocals), Luke Story (trumpet, sax), and Cory Meier (trombone), were ready to play.
The music was reminiscent of the “big band” sound and John Philip Sousa. The singers rotated lead vocals, echoing back and forth, and their love for music exuded from the stage just as sunshine permeates the window of a dark room when it rises.
So, they began with songs about whiskey, Chicago, and love. Two songs in, and half the folks in the room were already dancing. A couple walked in and skipped the bar and drinks – headed straight to the dance floor. Eventually we joined in, dancing to favorites like “Smile For The Cameras,” “Finding Somewhere,” and “She Don’t Care.” The band balanced improvisation with perfection, and clapped along with the audience, giving shout outs to birthdays and attendees, and even had a drum battle.
Every composition was such a full song. Robust, big, powerful. And we all love music we can sing along and dance too. Float like a Buffalo created this… what’s the word? ~community~ when they began covering Tom Petty, Pink Floyd, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. They took what we knew and added a funky steel and drums touch to it. The first song I ever heard about the Great American West was called “buffalo gals” – it asked everyone to dance outside under the light of the moon. When I heard Float Like a Buffalo I thought of that song. Denver musicians come together often under the city lights – to create, laugh, inspire, make friends… Float Like a Buffalo is certainly a band that I wanna sing along with all the time. So, ya know, funk rockers, we should keep an eye out for these ones. They’ve got a new album coming in 2018. I’m planning to get that album and dance. Won’t y’all join me?
Until next time…