Whenever you find yourself in a bar that has a radio problem, count your blessings that we a unique live music space like the Big Room Bar in our fair city.

Thursday evening, I had the pleasure of seeing Dave Buker and The Historians play live from the epicenter of radio station support for local music. They played a tight, flowing 10-song set that was aurally pleasing.

The assembled crowd was somewhat sparse, and could be blamed on the sub-freezing temperature outside the venue. But inside, Dave Buker and The Historians enveloped everyone within the warm embrace of wonderful harmonies and mellifluous sounds.

Kicking off their set with We Gave Up, there was a subtle “early-era Phish-vibe” to the interplay of both the instruments and the vocals. That’s not a knock on the band, but rather a compliment to the flowing and accomplished musicianship that was on display.

Dave Buker and The Historians (Photo Credit: MiM)
Dave Buker and The Historians (Photo Credit: MiM)

They rolled immediately into Scared, followed by a wonderful Patterns Don’t Change. The prose and rhythm of Say Ave. showed a distinct lyrical symmetry with the songs of Randy Newman in his heyday.

Joe Spurlock (drums) and Tim Jennings (bass) kept the groove moving, while Leanna Stansell’s vocals shone through when they needed to.

Classic was beautiful in its simplicity, while The Sun in The Sky was eerily reminiscent of “Rift-era Phish”, and gave this author goosebumps with the similarities. Closing one’s eyes, Dave’s vocals recalled a younger Trey Anastasio.

They fun-filled Whose Side Are You On? was punctuated by keyboardist Paul Valdiviez’s “Whoop!” throughout the song.

The band segued into How Long Can I Pretend? before closing with the uptempo, foot-tapper Ode To The City.

Throughout the tight, concise set, the extraordinary musicianship that played out before the crowd ensured rapt attention from all. Adding to the wonderful music were the beautiful harmonies of Dave, Leanna and Paul. It reminded this author of Crosby, Stills & Nash’s harmonies. Adding to the pleasure was a very good sound mix in the room.

Our recommendation is to go see Dave Buker and The Historians as soon as you can. We are sure that you won’t be disappointed, while leaving with a smile on your face.

Setlist:

  1. We Gave Up
  2. Scared
  3. Patterns Don’t Change
  4. Sweeter tears
  5. Say Ave.
  6. Classic
  7. The Sun in The City
  8. Who’s Side Are You On?
  9. How Long Can I Pretend?
  10. Ode to the City

 

 

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