The Austin Sessions (Dreaming Buffalo) is the first release from Spartanburg, SC artist Michael Buffalo Smith since 2005's Something Heavy. The four-song EP contains songs written by Smith that include "Painting Her Toenails," a song written several years ago after observing his wife sitting on the front porch of their house late one night, sipping wine and painting her toenails. The only light available was reflecting from the huge Harvest Moon overhead, which inspired the song.
"Empty Eyes" was written in the 1980's but never recorded for release until now, and "Karl Childers Blues" was written about the main character in Buffalo's favorite movie,Slingblade. The song is dedicated to Buffalo's buddy, the actor and screenwriter who created Karl, Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton.
"She Likes to Ride a Fatboy" is a song about a woman and her obsession over Harley Davidson motorcycles. What did you think it was about?
The session took place in Austin, Texas in December 2016 at Green Garage Studio, and was produced by local heroes Billy Eli and Jim Hemphill, both of whom also played on the album, along with Joey Parrish (Silver Travis Band) on bass and Michael McGeary (Jerry Jeff Walker) on drums.
Tom Clarke, KUDZOO Magazine, May 2018
As a youngster in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Michael Buffalo Smith loved pop culture in general, but really thrived on Southern Rock music, especially the peerless songs of his hometown heroes, The Marshall Tucker Band. Smith made it his life’s mission to propagate the genre in any way he could. Capricorn Rising: Conversations In Southern Rock, his fascinating book of interviews, shows just how much respect he’s earned from many of Southern Rock’s iconic players. But besides his avocations as a prolific author, founder and editor of several magazines, and the curator of the Southern Rock Hall Of Fame and Museum; the man’s a damn fine singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Finally back at it following a 13-year hiatus, The Austin Sessions EP reintroduces an artist in peak form. Plus, its four original songs serve as a very worthy prelude to Makin’ It Back to Macon, Smith’s upcoming full-length album of entirely different tracks, cut recently with renowned producer Paul Hornsby (more on that in a future issue). Smith travelled to Austin at the tail end of 2016 to record these numbers, and worked with a quartet of local champs including producer and guitarist Billy Eli. The set begins on the great country & western melody of “Painting Her Toenails,” a light, tender ditty written for the love of his wife as he watched her self-pedicure by the light of the moon. Smith sings in a voice high in emotion, but even in tone. It’s deeply Southern and lonesome, and ideal for the songs at hand. With “Empty Eyes,” the band conjures an image of the sweeping Southwestern plains, and thoughts of Tucker guitar marvel Toy Caldwell by Jim Hemphill’s tasty leads. Smith conceived “Karl Childers Blues” quite cleverly on the basis of the lead character in his close friend Billy Bob Thornton’s unforgettable movie, Sling Blade. The song’s soulful, haunting refrains rightly capture the isolation, sadness, and sacrifice of the subject. At the opposite end of the spectrum, in the easy riding “She Likes to Ride a Fatboy,” Smith sings with tongue in cheek of a lady who craves those Harley Davidson’s, and perhaps something a little more risqué on the side. Southern, Texas, country, and serious talent—the definition of some great American music. What more do you need to know?