Hailing from somewhere in the Midwest, front lady Margo Price grew up in a farming town where music didn’t thrive. Fortunately, it did thrive in the more obscure parts of her lineage. Price traced her creative genes to a great-grandfather who played piano using only the black keys.
A restless soul brought her to Nashville in the early aughts where she met guitarist Jeremy Ivey. The two made a couple as well as co-writers and got married. In late 2008, they met bassist Matt Gardner whose guitar chops were so good, he eventually switched instruments. They added bassist Jason White later, and drummer Dillon Napier joined in late 2010.
Throughout the band’s formative decade, Buffalo Clover, even in its developmental stages, attracted a variety of talent. Price has worked on two different projects with Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes. Pianist Micah Hulscher, who plays with rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson on the road, recorded on Buffalo Clover’s last record, Low Down Time, and sometimes joins the band for live performances. They’ve also shared the stage with The Flaming Lips, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and legendary sax player Bobby Keys, proving their southern soul style can match up with anyone.
In the simplest terms, Buffalo Clover are vintage rock ‘n’ rollers, but the South tends to creep in. This brand of southern soul bears a striking resemblance to their idols, the Rolling Stones and The Band. Taking a cue from Bob Dylan with a lyrical poeticism inspired by the troubled times, and Janis Joplin with her rough-hewn-but-honest, bottom-of-the-heart soulful lilt, Buffalo Clover emulate their musical paragons in a style of their own.
Never playing the same show twice, the band’s genuineness translates to a loyal local fan base. It makes them just as much at home playing in the UK, which they toured last summer, as The 5 Spot in East Nashville.
Ever the victims of wanderlust, what Buffalo Clover has in mind for 2013 is getting back to those places, in both Europe and the states, and continuing to bring the southern soul to a wider audience.