Composer: Donna the Buffalo
Conductor: Donna the Buffalo
Label: Sugar Hill Records
Release Date: 2008-12-10
Rated: NONE
Genre: Recording

If there were any justice in this world, DTB vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Tara Nevins would be a far bigger star than the many superficial pop tarts that garner so much more media attention. Nevins’ voice recalls artists such as Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow, and Natalie Merchant, but she brings her own uniquely soulful sound. Her first-rate skills combine with guitarist-vocalist Jeb Puryear to create a richly melodic and cathartically bluesy sound that blends Americana, jam rock, and zydeco.

Nevins and Puryear trade off vocals roughly every other song and harmonize in fine fashion. Her stirring vocals power lead single “Locket and Key” to glorious heights, with banjo ace Bela Fleck guest-starring to elevate the song even higher — this is one of the best songs of 2008. Puryear shines on funky rocker “Biggie K,” while Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo contributes guest harmonies on the poignant title track. The upstate New York band celebrates its 20th anniversary with one of its finest albums.