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Buffalo Nickel Band

416 North Stonestreet – 2014 (Patuxent)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Buffalo Nickel Band

This compilation of recordings from 1989 to 1991 showcases the D.C. area Buffalo Nickel Band's pure western swing sound, with nicely chosen covers of standards as well as some relatively obscure tunes. Two of the strongest cuts are the Tex-Mex flavored "Compadres in the Old Sierra Madres," a cover of the Riders in the Sky tune from 1981, and the frequently covered 1941 Louise Massey classic "My Adobe Hacienda."

Bob Wills is predictably well represented, with covers of "Yearning Just For You" and "Got A Letter From My Kid Today," as are Duke Ellington ("Mood Indigo") and Glenn Miller ("Chattanooga Choo Choo").

Perhaps the strongest jazz standard is an effective rendition of "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea." Other highlights are the bluesy "Trouble In Mind" and the Zeke Clements country ballad "Why Should I Cry," both famously recorded by Eddy Arnold.

The instrumentation is solid throughout with Marv Reitz (clarinet, tenor sax, pedal steel, lead and harmony vocals) and his wife Kathy Reitz (string bass, tuba, harmony vocals), as well as Chance Shiver (guitar, percussion), Pete Hinz (fiddle, percussion) and Tom Mindte (accordion, lead and harmony vocals, mixing and mastering), who runs Patuxent Music and plays mandolin in the D.C. bluegrass band Patuxent Partners.

With authentic performances that sound like they could have been recorded in the '40s and '50s rather than the '80s and '90s, this is a fun listen.