Spirit of the Buffalo

By Alex Teitz

Of all the places to hold a benefit the Buell Theater doesn’t immediately come to mind. This is a 5000 seat house designed for the touring productions of Tony winning shows and the overpriced tickets that accompany them. At the beginning of November it was transformed.

Gone were the pretenses of class or race, or in some cases, politeness. Instead the Theater was coming alive that night for two great performances: Nina Storey, and Indigenous.

The Theater was still barely filling when Nina Storey and her band took to the stage. Storey continues the Shades tour, and her set was filled with songs from that CD. Nina Storey was dressed in black and sang as passionately that night, as FEMMUSIC knows she did, opening for Johnny Lang’s US Tour.

Storey is a blues singer of the highest caliber. Her band is tight, and they work with each other in a synchronist motion. Storey’s songs included “Let Us Walk”, “If I Were An Angel”, “Crown”, and “If I Met A Man.” Storey’s voice echoed in the cavernous space of Buell even to the end of her set. The space was both intimate, and too large.

Now rumor has it there was a second band that night. FEMMUSIC does not agree. Lewis and Floorwax, two local deejays, think they can play instruments. They’ve found a group of experienced musicians who want to perpetuate this fantasy with them. They call themselves the Groove Hawgs, and play covers of blues standards. The best thing to be said is that with the exception of Lewis and Floorwax the talent of one Groove Hawg can drive a band by itself. The realistic thing to be said is that Lewis and Floorwax drive the Groove Hawgs off a steep cliff by not knowing if they want to be deejays, musicians, or comedians. So far they have proven themselves bad at all three. That night was no exception.

The headliner that night was Indigenous. Indigenous is a group of four Nakota siblings from South Dakota. Indigenous has played blues with the likes of B.B. King, Johnny Lang and others. Read our short interview with Nte. Friday November 5, the night FEMMUSIC saw them, was the same weekend they won three awards at the Native American Music Awards.

Indigenous plays blues incorporating strong lead guitars, and bass with blues, rock and rockabilly. Where Nina Storey’s voice echoed in Theater, Indigenous overpowered it. The levels seemed set for an outdoor event, not an intimate benefit.

The music is strong, and well done. For being as relatively young as they are, Indigenous plays hard. Keep an eye out for this group. Much more is on the way.

For more information visit http://www.ninastorey.com


December 1st, 1999