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Music Review: Mad Buffalo – Red and Blue

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Where does the Mad Buffalo roam? Wherever guitarist/songwriter/vocalist Randy Riviere, (pronounced “Ri-Veer”), happens to be. He is a wildlife biologist who also records and performs under the name Mad Buffalo. He can be best defined as an Americana artist, or a Montana Americana artist to be more precise.

He now returns with his latest album, Red and Blue. He gathered a bevy of musicians to help bring his original songs to life. There are five vocalists, five guitarists, a drummer, bassist, two keyboardists, plus a violin, mandolin, and banjo player, which make the album a true group project.

Riviere is above all a storyteller who is able to paint portraits with words. He explores such themes as environmental concerns, freedom of living, and the human condition. His latest album also includes a few tracks that deal with the political polarization in our country.

His haunting music and themes meander across the musical landscape. The title track evokes memories and pictures of a Montana farm and its people, complete with cradles, babies, and union cards against a steady beat that fits people of the land. “Shiloh” revisits one of the bloodiest days in American history as he updates that time and era into a modern day warning. “Be Here Tomorrow” deals with the transient joys of materialism. “Walk This Life Alone” is about life’s decisions, their consequences, and ultimately responsibility. “Set The World On Fire” is an exploration of the darker side of the American dream.

His music and stories are a reflective combination of personal philosophy and American history. He has written a recipe for life and invites his listeners to reflect upon the results. Many times there are no answers to his stories but rather just a journey with unanswered questions.

Every few years or so Randy Riviere emerges from the Montana plains with his Mad Buffalo to issue an album of creative American music. So grab your hiking boots and open your mind to one person’s perspective on life and music.

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