Buffalo 5 Piece is gaining speed in the front range music scene. They have become a favorite at the Jamestown Mercantile, the Rock N' Soul cafe, and the D Note. They've played private parties from Estes Park to south Denver. Where ever they play, they hear the same thing - “great set of tunes,” “you guys rock!” New friends are made.
"Progressive, energetic acoustic music"
Newgrass is a term that rightly describes Buffalo 5 Piece. Banjo, guitar, mando and bass sit at the core of the music; harmonica and rhythm instruments are sprinkled in for spice. The tunes are pulled from an eclectic songbook that include rock, indie, folk, country and, of course, the roots of bluegrass. Spirited, direct, and colorful - B5P’s guiding impulse is pretty simple: tell great stories through their music and have a good time.
Buffalo 5 Piece—John Whiteman, Steve Berry, Mike Dudley, Bridget Steed, and Robby Loeb -- are energetic performers with an infectious spirit. They represent the fresh sound of Rocky Mountain Newgrass.
Steve grew up listening to the music of his parents - classical, jazz and the Tijuana Brass. When he rebelled he found his generation's music on the radio. But, some years later, a new rebellion was on the horizon – a rebellion against the wasteland that was (is) corporate rock. Steve's musical interests now encompass a wide swatch of musical styles – jazz, classical, alt rock, new orleans funk, R&B, folk, country, French cabaret and on and on. After moving to Colorado, Steve picked up the bass and bluegrass, newgrass and all the variations of acoustic music became his new passion. Holding down the low end in the band with his stand-up bass and baritone harmonies, Steve also contributes a place to practice, sound engineering and Snappinis.
John has been picking and singing since he was a kid. While performing in various bands and groups over the years, it took the motley gang of Buffalo 5 Piece to bring his love for music into focus under the band's own brand of bluegrassy-new grassy-eclectic-traditional acoustic music. He loves finding old tunes that can be given a little twist to produce a new flavor and retro-ing recent songs to give them an old timey sound. As the writer of many of the B5P’s original tunes, John’s music captures the spirit of when people heard music on the back porch, at a barn dance or on an old time live stage radio show. John's favorite time each week is whooping it up at practice or performing with his music buds in Buffalo 5 Piece. Live music and live emotion are really at the heart and soul of the art, and we try to bring it to as many unsuspecting ears as possible. John plays rhythm and lead guitar, harmonica, a little old timey banjo and sings lead and harmony vocals.
Bridget Steed - When Bridget moved to Colorado from Chicago six years ago to be near the mountains, she had no idea that she would wind up singing in, what started off as, a traditional bluegrass band. Growing up with parents who kept the Beatles, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, Led Zepplin, and The Who in constant rotation on the record player, bluegrass wasn’t exactly on Bridget’s radar. While classic rock has been heavily influential, these days she can hardly even remember what it was like to play music without the chuck of a mandolin, the twang of a banjo, and the wail of a harmonica. While Buffalo 5 Piece’s sound is constantly evolving thanks to the musical influences of Gillian Welch, Crooked Still, Old Crow Medecine Show, Whiskeytown, Ryan Adams, and many others, the one constant is the pure joy that Bridget gets out of making music. If moving to Colorado was the best decision she ever made, then joining up with this rag-tag bunch of guys was her second best decision. She has never had so much fun, laughed as hard, or drank quite as many Snappinis. Bridget sings lead and harmony vocals and plays mean percussion.
Robby Loeb - Of all places, Robby’s bluegrass upbringing began in Venice Beach, California, where he found himself playing in a jamgrass band, monkeyGrass, after only playing the banjo for about a year. On top of gigs Robby found himself playing for endless hours out on the Venice Boardwalk on more occasions than he would like to admit. It was in this cultural melting pot that Robby learned to “let the music happen.” Once the city lights got too bright, Robby decided to head to West Texas where he studied the roots of bluegrass under banjo guru Alan Munde. Texas allowed Robby to solely focus on banjo; he studied and played from sunup to sundown, and sometimes from sundown to sunup. Eventually the dusty skies blew Robby to Boulder where he has been teaching banjo and playing in various music ensembles for the last six years. Since joining B5P he has been trying really hard to become the band’s head beer sommelier, but realizes that Steve carries a torch that is far too bright.
"Mando" Mike Dudley – Mike began his musical journey as a drummer. He started drumming in high school jazz bands, moving to punk rock, to other forms of alt. rock – generally anything loud and annoying. Over the years, Mike has found passion and refuge in acoustic music. Mike was inspired to learn the mandolin when he first heard Adam Steffy’s mandolin intro to the Alison Krauss song “Every Time You Say Goodbye” Mike was awe struck and ruined after that! Leaving the drums behind, Mike focused solely on acoustic guitar and mandolin, immersing himself in the sounds of The Stanley Brothers, Bill Monroe, Gillian Welch, Crooked Still and more recently Ryan Adams and O.C.M.S. The years behind the drum kit has provided Mike a strong sense of rhythm and timing which helps drive the energy of B5P. The high point of Mike’s week is the evening he gets to sing lead, harmony and play mandolin and guitar with his pals, Buffalo 5 Piece.