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Sounds of Buffalo: The Dreaming Tree (Dave Matthews Tribute Band)

The following questions were answered by The Dreaming Tree band member Ryan Puckhaber.

The Dreaming Tree

Ryan Clifford – Lead Vocals / Acoustic Guitar

Chris Abramo – Saxophones / Vocals

Jim Bohm – Trumpet

Christian Schenk – Bass

Joey Lewis – Electric Guitar

Ryan Puckhaber – Drums

Rob Mineo – Electric Violin

What led to the naming of your band?

We were trying to attract the hardcore fans of Dave Matthews Band (DMB) so being that the name of the band is a song by DMB that typically the hardcore fans would recognize, we went with it. Before our following was established, it didn’t really do us any favors from a promotional standpoint when trying to broaden our audience to the radio DMB fans though.

When did the band form?

2001 in Buffalo, NY

Are you schooled in music?

We are all schooled on some level in music.

Where is your favorite place to play/sing in Buffalo?

Buffalo Iron Works

Where and when is your next gig(s) in the city?

Buffalo Iron Works | May 3rd, 2019

Ryan Clifford

What are some brand new things you’re trying this year?

What makes it exciting for us after so many years of playing together, is inheriting the essence of what DMB is all about. Each night we try to remain open minded and free within the instrumentals of the tunes while recognizing that there is a basic structure.

And it’s all DMB music?

People always ask us how we can spend so many years playing DMB, but I think it’s important to recognize that even though we are playing covers of DMB, the instrumentals are very much an expression of us as musicians. We plan on continuing to evolve as musicians and giving the crowd a new experience every time they come and see us.

What’s the background of your group?

Myself (Ryan Puckhaber) and lead singer Ryan Clifford formed the band in 2001. We spent the next several years playing relentlessly in the WNY area and ultimately branching out to the eastern region of the US. Over the years we have earned the reputation as being the best of our kind as evidenced by our large and loyal following.

Is your following growing?

Recent shows in the WNY area have eclipsed the 2000 in total ticket sales – our upcoming performance at Buffalo Iron Works is anticipated to be a sellout. We believe this to be a testament to the overall product we offer, but also the support factor we typically we receive in the Buffalo and surrounding areas. Our last show in Buffalo had several groups out of the Rochester area that made the drive and we are very appreciative of that type of support.

How has your band grown in recent years?

The band has branched out substantially. Lead singer Ryan Clifford formed the Dave Matthews Tribute Band during the Dreaming Tree hiatus years ago. This edition of the band has seen not only national but also worldwide success and contains members of the Dreaming Tree in its lineup. Recent tours of Germany, Italy, Spain and Netherlands provided the opportunity for the band to play for US troops around the world.

How many times have you seen DMB play?

Personally I’ve seen them 18 times

What’s it like to be in a DMB tribute band and catch an actual DMB show?

Well as a drummer it’s frustrating to say the least – their drummer is amongst the best there is, and is always changing things up. New drum licks etc… but I think I speak for the rest of the band that we just have an overall sense of eagerness. Being that we try as much as possible to mimic a similar atmosphere as a real DMB show, learning new jams that the band is doing helps to keep us fresh as musicians. I couldn’t imagine playing these songs for the past 20 years and not doing them with new jams associated with them every time. So in short, it’s a learning experience for sure.

Has Dave ever reached out to you? If so, what was that like? If not, is it something that you have all talked about?

He himself has not reached out to us, but they are certainly aware of our existence. Each member of the band has met different members over the years and have had discussions surrounding our existence. They are a band that takes a lot of pride in their music, so we really put a lot of effort in honing our skills. The last thing we want to do, is do them a disservice especially to those people in the crowd that have never seen DMB before. So just reassuring them that we take it as serious as they do is something I think we owe them.

Catch DMTB Dreaming Tree live at Buffalo Iron Works on Friday, May 3 (9pm – Doors at 8pm). 18+. Tickets are $10 – purchase tickets.

Catch DMTB Dreaming Tree on Facebook

If you would like your band featured on Buffalo Rising, please send an email to The only caveat is that you must have an upcoming live performance scheduled in a public venue, a tour planned, a new video release, or an album release. Oh, and you’ve got to be from Buffalo.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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