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Band Blues Americana


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"Shane Speal on 'Buckeye'"

'Buckeye' weaves a funky mix of Fat Possum blues, Beck influenced rhythms and great song selections. [This] blues/punk duo plays some mean Prim Rock (primitive rock) on homemade cigar box guitars and drums; they've been called "the White Stripes of Prim Rock."

-Shane Speal, curator of the National Cigar Box Guitar Museum and self-proclaimed 'King of the Cigar Box Guitar' - Cigar Box Guitar Forum

"Matt Borzcon of 'Doomtown Jug Sluggers'"

I got to say [Withrow] is one of my favorite players as well. His solos CD 'Hogtie The Devil' is one mind blowing album that never fails to find something new to give you if you listen. Buckeye is a great band with the best live free or die energy and his solo stuff would make Dock Boggs proud.
- Cigar Box Guitar Forum

"Rollie Tussing 'One Man Band' on Buckeye"

Not sure if I have already said it but "The new tunes are some of the best shit I have ever heard on myspace!" - www.myspace.com


Buckeye 'Box Fetish' Insurrection Records

Kirk Withrow 'Yesterday Will Be Better' Dark Holler Records
Kirk Withrow 'Hogtie The Devil' Dark Holler Records

Music from Kirk Withrow and Buckeye is featured on the soundtrack of 'How I Get Down: The True Story of Grandpa Bill' as well as the upcoming PBS documentary 'Songs Inside The Box.' Their music and homemade instruments have also been featured on local news, National Public Radio, and can be heard on the internet radio station 'Tha Goat' at www.live365.com.



[buck-eye] (n.): a good luck charm thought to bring good fortune due to the serious mojo it contains; also, an awesome 3-man band that plays rockin’ country blues and pure primitive boogie on killer homemade instruments

Before there was Buckeye there was just a banjo player. That is until a chance encounter afforded Withrow a new instrument with very old roots- the cigar box guitar. When questioned about this, Withrow said: “I sometimes think about all that has happened since he gave me that first box. It’s like he was my ‘musical guardian angel’ in a way, sent to save me from the monotony of three chords and six strings and pull me out of the mundane musical spiral into which Guitar Center will inevitably hurl you headlong.” With that simple, handmade instrument, all the rules that had governed music were destroyed and replaced with a simple new rule: there are NO rules. Longtime friends Phil Neuheller and Chris Luker on drums and gutbucket/bass respectively joined Kirk Withrow on cigar box guitar and Buckeye was born.

Free from the admittedly self-imposed limitations of conventional, store-bought instruments, there was no limit to what sound could be achieved. Could a cigar box be made to wail like a strat? Definitely. Could a one string diddley bow really sound good? Absolutely. Is there really such a thing as a ‘gutbucket?’ You better believe it. The knowledge and freedom that came with the cigar box guitar led Withrow down the path of musical exploration that would ultimately emerge as a sound that is distinctly Buckeye.

The sound of Buckeye has been shaped by widely varying musical influences that run the gamut from Fred McDowell and R.L. Burnside to Roscoe Holcomb and Dock Boggs. Buckeye can play pure primitive country blues one minute and rockin’ old-time tunes the next. The only commonality that can be heard in their music is a raucous vibe and an exhilirating ‘live free or die’ energy that can’t be stopped.

Buckeye has performed at multiple festivals including the Annual Cigar Box Guitar Extravaganza and Sloperfest. It’s not uncommon to see the band give away a cigar box guitar after a show. Their debut album ‘Box Fetish’ was released on Insurrection Records and plans for the second album, ‘Voodoo Box,’ are underway. Additionally, Withrow has released two solo albums entitled ‘Yesterday Will Be Better’ and ‘Hogtie The Devil’ on Dark Holler Records. These albums feature many old-time tunes which are often a part of a Buckeye setlist. Withrow and Buckeye, along with Birmingham hip hop artist J-Dub, supplied the soundtrack to the documentary ‘How I Get Down: The True Story of Grandpa Bill’ which premiered at the 2007 Sidewalk Film Festival. Lastly, Buckeye and their music will be featured in an upcoming PBS documentary entitled ‘Songs Inside The Box.’

So what sets Buckeye apart from the rest? Apart from the above, ask one of the band members and you’ll likely hear, ‘“It’s the homemade mojo, seriously. Take the cigar box away and it’s like cutting Samson’s hair. We’d be just another blues band playing songs at a bar no one ever goes to.”