Wild Pink begins its northeastern tour in Buffalo this Thursday, April 21, at the Town Ballroom, with local bands Rue and Timothy Alice & the Dead Star Band opening the show at the more intimate Oxford Pennant Stage.
Wild Pink’s heartland indie rock, influenced by Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen, feels like a cloudy, humid day in Florida – frontman John Ross’s home state – trying hard to rain. Ross is joined by Buffalo native Dan Keegan on drums and bassist Arden Yonkers, who together also compose the rhythm section of opening band Rue.
The overlap in musicians speaks to the strength of Buffalo’s local music scene, refreshed from its pandemic-induced metamorphosis with new talent seeking refuge from bigger cities. Some of these artists, like Keegan, and Rue’s dynamite vocalist Bella Buscarino, are Buffalo natives returned home.
In Buffalo, always the city of good neighbors, the rhythm section of Wild Pink, along with roommate Jacob Smolinski (also of Wylie Something and Clump), found the space and the goodwill to host bi-weekly hootenannies, with a rotating crowd of local bands playing in their petite north Buffalo backyard. Neighbors were invited to enjoy the shows and, in apt pandemic fashion, could sometimes be seen hanging out of windows to listen and cheer from adjacent yards. They still haven’t gotten a noise complaint, though perhaps not from lack of trying.
Through these hootenannies and other homegrown creative venues, Keegan, Yonkers, and Smolinski, met singer Buscarino and Harry Graser, and the five formed all-star band Rue in the fall of 2021. Born of fun jams in the hootenanny house, Rue’s original indie dance songs bring the house party with them.
In 2018, Buffalo natives and lifelong friends and music lovers Timothy Alice, Matt DiStasio, and Bub Crumlish found themselves back together in Buffalo and began playing as Timothy Alice & the Dead Star Band. Last winter they recruited sound engineer and guitarist Andrew Kothen at his family’s Buffalo business, Select Sound Studios, and recorded their second LP, “Used Cars” due to be released next month. While Buffalo has always been a strong presence in their music, this has never been more pronounced than on Used Cars, where the city haunts the album’s characters and asks “what happens to people?” Drawing on classic rock, soul, old country, and British garage rock, the band combines catchy hooks, driving rhythm, and haunting harmonies.
Catch Wild Pink, Rue, and Timothy Alice & the Dead Star Band on Thursday at Town Ballroom – 681 Main St, Buffalo. Doors at 7pm. Tickets $14. Ages 12+, minors under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. See Facebook event for details. Get tickets here.