Mad Buffalo Red And Blue

Mad BuffaloRed And Blue
This is the fourth album from Montana-based roots singer-songwriter Randy Riviere (aka Mad Buffalo). It may have been recorded in Tennessee with Nashville session players (including legendary guitarist Reggie Young), but there's no trace of the sterility so often plaguing those types of releases. It reveals Riviere as an eloquently poetic songsmith, while his somewhat plaintive voice has an easy-on-the-ears feel. Co-producer (and drummer) Chad Cromwell has assembled a large cast of accompanists, and the sound on "Walk This Life Alone" and "Shiloh" is as big as the Montana open spaces of Riviere's home state. Dave Roe's acoustic bass helps drive "Set This World on Fire," an album highlight, while the violin, banjo and mandolin playing of James Pennebaker adds atmosphere. The simulated strings on "Emily" are initially irritating, but the strength of the melody and Riviere's strong vocals win out. He clearly has a deep connection to the land and his nation's history, as demonstrated vividly by the title track. He's definitely an artist worthy of attention. (Burnside)