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Buffalo Commons makes Steamboat Springs debut

Bass player Denton Turner, guitarist Tyree Woods and banjo player Gabe Riding have combined their efforts to create the band, Buffalo Commons. The group describes its sound as "soul music from outer space.”
John F. Russell

If You Go

What: Buffalo Commons

When: 10 p.m. Saturday, June 25

Where: Schmiggity’s, 821 Lincoln Ave.





Bass player Denton Turner, guitarist Tyree Woods and banjo player Gabe Riding have combined their efforts to create the band, Buffalo Commons. The group describes its sound as “soul music from outer space.”
John F. Russell

— A light summer breeze meandered across the creek, initiating subtle notes on a wind chime. Soon, a melody emerged as the strum of a banjo picked up its tune.

During a Buffalo Commons rehearsal last week, Tyree Woods on vocals and guitar, Gabe Riding on banjo and Denton Turner on upright bass, took a break from playing to reflect on the common threads found in both music and people.

If You Go

What: Buffalo Commons



When: 10 p.m. Saturday, June 25

Where: Schmiggity’s, 821 Lincoln Ave.



“Someone who is 70 years old will say they like a song, and then the same song will speak to someone who is 17 years old,” said Woods, a Michigan native and military retiree who has been in town for two and a half years. “I feel like that, in itself, is pretty cool to be able to transcend generations through music.”

“I think these songs speak to a lot of different people for different reasons,” added Riding, a Fort Collins native who has been in town about five years now. “Even playing the songs, I sometimes get lost in it. The music kind of makes you forget about everything that’s going on in your life for a little bit.”

As Steamboat’s newest band, Buffalo Commons will have its formal debut at 10 p.m. June 25 at Schmiggity’s. Though the group has played smaller shows at venues such as Colorado High 5, McKnight’s Irish Pub and Ristretto, it plans to showcase its repertoire of songs it’s been fine-tuning through the past year at the June 25 show.

In addition, the band plans to perform at select events, such as the Saturday Farmers Market and Art in the Park, July 9 and 10.

Upon seeing an upright bass and banjo, Woods said most would assume Buffalo Commons is just another bluegrass band, but that’s not the case with this up-and-coming group.

“Someone dubbed our music as ‘soul music from outer space,’” said Turner, a North Carolina native known for performing with the Old Town Pickers. “But it’s rare in Steamboat to get a band that can perform original music and have a style that’s unique. It’s hard to find a group of people you can create original music with.”

Two years ago, Woods and Riding met at Colorado Mountain College; they later met Denton at an open mic night at Old Town Pub. Instantly, they said, they clicked and knew there was a chance to start a different kind of band for Steamboat’s music scene.

“I think finding someone you can play music with is three times as hard as finding someone you can fall in love with here,” Woods said.

CMC was also the source of inspiration for the band’s name.

“It was actually in biology class; our teacher was talking about buffalo commons that is this idea to release of a bunch of prairie land back to the buffalo and indigenous, native people,” Wood said. “The second our teacher said it, I thought, ‘Man, I want to name a band after that.’”

There are no gimmicks or sound alterations for this band. Its focus is not long jam sessions or solos, but rather on creating solid, original songs derived from the members’ eclectic musical interests spanning multiple styles.

“I think a lot of the songs will strike a chord with anyone who listens to them, because they are very down to earth, real and true to what people deal with, and it’s not made-up content,” Turner said. “People respond to what’s real. If they are pouring their heart and soul into it and working hard at it, it comes across on stage and through the music.”

Planning to record their first album this fall, the band members said the songwriting process consists of Woods “bringing in some ingredients, and then we’ll all cook it together.”

“I hope people walk away with a feeling, whether it be happy or sad or just that they felt something,” Woods said. “Because good music, when I hear it, I feel it in a place that I can’t even explain. And to do that for someone else, I feel like that’s validation.”

“Having ‘commons’ in the name of the band is about having music for the common people,” added Turner. “It’s music for everyone; come one come all.”

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1


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