Chasing a Dream: Buffalo Rodeo preps for fall tour

Buffalo Rodeo vocalist and keyboardist, Jordan Reynolds, brushes the hair from her face during their performance at Tidballs Friday night. 

Sam Osborne

Bowling Green has proved to be a hotbed of musical talent in recent years, with bands like Cage The Elephant, Morning Teleportation and Sleeper Agent making waves nationally.

Buffalo Rodeo, a band formed and based in Bowling Green, has emerged as another local band poised to make noise on the national scale.

Lead singer Zach Preston said the band was formed while three of its members were still in high school.

“Nate (Davis), Ryan (Gilbert) and I went to school together,” he said. “So, we went to Nate’s house I guess and started playing music with him. I don’t really know why we started playing…I guess we just thought it was cool.”

The band has expanded since its inception to include bassist Patrick Duncan and keyboardist and vocalist Jordan Reynolds.

Preston described the band’s sound as “loud, indie progressive rock.” The band is often likened to Kings of Leon. Preston said the group was a major influence when Buffalo Rodeo started, but pointed to an array of artists as inspirations as well.

“When we started, it was really influenced by Kings of Leon because that was what we were listening to,” he said. “Right now, we’re really influenced by Portugal. The Man and Local Natives.”

Preston also noted local musicians as a source of inspiration.

“We’re definitely influenced by Cage the Elephant’s sound,” he said. “But all of the local bands that we’ve played frequently with influence us in some way — whether it be how they sound, their stage presence, their writing or just how great of people they are and inspire us to work hard to make music happen.”

What started out as jam sessions among friends has evolved into something much more.

The group, a staple in the Bowling Green music scene, ventured away from home to tour in several spots on the east coast this summer and has plans to tour extensively this fall. Among these stops are Michigan and Chicago later this month and in October. In November, the band will embark on their largest tour yet, a three-week excursion through the south.

Preston and the rest of the band members are extremely excited for the opportunity, though he said it is a bit daunting as well.

“We’re going through Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and back up to Bowling Green,” he said. “It’ll be the longest tour we’ve ever booked, and it’ll be really exciting and also kind of scary. Hopefully, we’ll have enough gas money to get home.”

Reynolds said playing for new crowds is thrilling, but conjures a whole new set of emotions.

“Playing in your hometown is awesome and so rewarding because you see all your friends in the crowd singing your songs and dancing, and it’s the best kind of energy to feed off of,” she said. “Playing to new crowds is almost this mix between excitement and then a deep feeling of vulnerability.

“You’re always asking, ‘Will they like us? Will they remember who we are tomorrow?’”

Bowling Green junior Jennie Fowler lives with the band and witnesses their constant efforts to progress as a band firsthand.

“I see the amount of work that goes into their tours, shows and everything else,” she said. “They have so much dedication and perseverance that they can’t go anywhere but up.”

The band has released four EPs on their Bandcamp page, including their most recent release, “Home Videos.” Preston said the newest EP evokes themes of nostalgia.

“We really liked the idea of the title ‘Home Videos’ because a lot of the songs are about childhood and growing up,” he said. “Each song is kind of like a home video clip that you would watch, but it’s a song rather than a video.”

Reynolds said watching other bands in Bowling Green make a name for themselves has served as an impetus for Buffalo Rodeo to do the same.

“Everyone in the scene inspires us to do great things,” Reynolds said. “Everyone comes out to support fellow bands at their shows in Bowling Green and even some will drive down to Nashville to support a Bowling Green band.

“We definitely feel a strong connection to other musicians in Bowling Green. Basically all of our friends have a connection to the music scene in one way or another.”

Buffalo Rodeo will stay busy with a hectic touring schedule looming, and they have no intention of slowing down.

“The ultimate goal is to make this our career — to not have to have other jobs and just be able to play music for the rest of our lives,” Reynolds said. “Whatever it takes to do that is what we want to do.”