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Houston, Texas, United States | INDIE

Houston, Texas, United States | INDIE
Band Americana


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"Buxton Hits a Home Run at Discovery Green"

Playing before what was probably the youngest and most family-oriented crowd the band had ever seen (save the odd crawfish festival), Buxton emerged from their studio sessions at SugarHill Studios Thursday night to headline Discovery Green and debut a handful of new songs from their forthcoming sophomore LP.
A cool early-summer breeze coming through the lawn set the mood as the Saint Arnold's began to flow and the gaggle of children up front danced up a storm. The same kids were slamming to opener the Small Sounds like they were in a trance, so in ten or so years we just might have a new dance movement coming. You heard it here first.

This was the first time a lot of people had heard Buxton away from venues like Mango's and Walter's On Washington, and the assembled were hushed and reverent. Compared to most shows we have seen on the green he usual family chatter on the lawn was almost nonexistent.

Aftermath had seen Buxton outside before (Summerfest 2009) but this was a different band Thursday. Not in the sense of a line-up overhaul, because it's the same dude plus utility man Austin Sepulveda, but the sense that they seem to be getting gruffer and grander. The new work fit in well with the band's already established set, but you could still hear brawn in the still wet-behind-the-ears tracks. We still don't know what to make of that, but that's where we are after Thursday.
Things have gotten tighter in Buxton's sound; people are falling into their grooves with time. Bassist Chris Wise does this thing where beats his bass in time like he is dancing with it. Lately drummer Justin Terrell has amazed us with each go-round, keeping the band galloping. We hadn't really been able to see him work unfettered until Thursday (his kit is usually obscured in smaller clubs), but he's a beast in the back. Singer Sergio Trevino has added a kick to his step onstage. Simply put, these guys are getting ridiculously good.

Closing staples, the woozy "Doctor," "Boy Of Nine" and the carousing "Feathers" brought it all home as the sun was already gone from the horizon and a gigantic moon hung over the green. Ten more adults joined the cast of kids dancing, and it was like watching an Astros home run clear the Crawford Boxes.
Hurry up and finish that record, guys. - The Houston Press - Craig Hlavaty

"Buxton, On The Brink of Something Big at Walters"

In the past year or so, both Rocks Off and our staff have written over and over about how impressed we are with the talent and diversity of Houston's current crop of local musicians, wondering many times out loud, in print and online just how long we're going to be able to keep this fertile scene a secret. More recently, we've been moderating (or at least monitoring) a spirited online discussion about how many of those artists are even interested in courting a wider audience, down to the most basic local grass-roots level.

After Buxton's brief set Tuesday at Walter's, we realized just how fast the clock may be ticking whether those artists like it or not. Opening for Warpaint (a stunning L.A. quartet reminiscent of an all-female Disintegration-era Cure; catch 'em at SXSW) and Akron/Family (by which point we were long gone), Buxton debuted several new songs that burnished the wide-eyed folk-rock of the quartet's 2008 debut A Family Light with thickets of gruff electric guitars, scruffy harmonies (exacting in spirit if not quite in sound) and a haunted air crackling with the ghosts of Americana past and present.

Early in the set, songs like "Down In the Valley" and "Bread" dropped those old and new elements into a musical steel cage and let them battle it out, emerging as trail-rider yodels riddled by the machine-gun guitars of singer Sergio Trevino, constantly bobbing-and-weaving lead man Jason Willis and extra hand Austin Sepulvado. It wasn't far away from the fire-and-brimstone folk of one of Aftermath's favorite bands of the late '90s, Denver country-Goths 16 Horsepower, especially when Trevino broke out a banjo and began shouting at the devil on "Satan."

But just when we were wondering what Buxton must have done to incur such serious hellhounds on their trail - especially for five guys still so young and genuinely nice (see below) - they snapped back like a rubber band with perky Beatlesque rocker "Doctor," Sepulvado's handy-dandy tambourine pacing both bassist Chris Wise and drummer Justin Terrell. Closer "Feathers" did the same, only with the Pete Townshend surround-sound guitar effect upped by a factor of 10.

?It was the song in between, though, that really brought Buxton - and, to a lesser extent, everything that's been going on at Walter's, Mango's, the Mink, etc. in the past few months - into focus. A patchwork of ethereal vocals and rootsy grit, "Boy" was but an eyelash away (if that) from the everything-old-is-somehow-new-again sound of contemporary indie darlings like Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses and Blitzen Trapper.

Watching that song especially, Aftermath couldn't help but think that if we were in Chicago, Seattle or Brooklyn instead of Houston, the local blogosphere would already be beside itself about Buxton and the band would have at least one Pitchfork festival, Sasquatch or All Tomorrow's Parties appearance under its belt, plus a booking agent forced to turn down gigs right and left. Hell, judging by the number of cameras and media wags at the show - which filled up immediately after the doors finally opened around 9 p.m. - we may already be more like those cities than we know.

But this is still Houston, a point driven home by something that happened before Buxton even played a note. While Aftermath and a couple of colleagues were waiting in line to get in, we ran into Wise coming out of the club. At that moment, he realized that he had forgotten to put us on the guest list and slipped us a $20 bill. We gave it back to him, of course, but in a scene that's still uncertain about how it measures up elsewhere, it's gestures like this that only confirm what's going on in Houston now is like no place else. And we couldn't be happier to be part of it - The Houston Press - Chris Gray

"Feature: 7 Inches of Buxton"

Saturday night at Mangos Buxton will deliver a 7" slice of prime USDA Grade HPOP - on Vinyl no less. If you haven't already heard Feathers or Flint yet, you're in for a treat. Feathers alone is my call for song of the year. The intro is better than any cup of coffee with Justin Terrel's drums pounding your skull as guitarist Jason Willis does more with one note on the guitar than most guitarists do with a whole fretboard before leading into a lovely guitar line that ebbs into Sergio Trevino's soft spoken and emotive voice as bassist Chris Wise rolls softly in back. The song continues through soft quiet breezes and hurricane like furies. It's a shining example of HPOP at it's best. Great dynamics, smart instrumentation, addictive hooks, and the bright upbeat shit we love here in Houston. It's the stuff that will get you dancing and will take your darkest days and make them bright and joyous. I cann't speak any higher of a band who can do that. - Free Press Houston - Ramon Medina

"Review: Houstonist Listens: Buxton's Feathers/Flint 7"

There are several things that have a special spot in our heart: Lone Star on tap at Walter's, our favorite pair of underwear, the fries at Barnaby's, and listening to records on a turntable all fall into the above category. Houstonist wants you to know, reader, that local music stalwarts Buxton have obtained notable rank among these things we cherish.

Fact is, these boys have been making some fine music for nigh on six years, and we've been fans since we first heard them roll through our town. This weekend they'll be unveiling their new seven-inch single, Feathers/Flint. We were fortunate enough to be given a sneak preview.

Here's what you need to know: the songs are awesome. Feathers kicks off with a sad horn intro before launching into a rollicking two minute jam that gives way to frontman Sergio Trevino's signature vocals. Justin Terrell's percussion and the guitar tones of Jason Willis are perfect, and at the end of this five and a half minute ditty, all we want is more. When we flip over to Flint, we are greeted with a honky-tonk shuffle, Trevino's embattered vocals, and a walking bassline from Chris Wise before the horn floats back. A hot lick from Willis and Terrell's staccato percussion round out this number.

The songs are classics; they definitely pay the past a nod, but the band has built solid tunes on a time-tested foundation and then adorned it with a dash of modernity, giving them a timeless quality. Throughout the songs one will find the smoky scent of whiskey, the sweat off an old Lone Star, the solid smack of an old boot heel, and the soft comfort of an well worn pearl snap shirt. The allure of Buxton lies in their familiarity: even if you bristle at the notion of country, the music has already been written in your heart, having captured it before you have noticed.

On top of all this, the production is astounding: it is one of the best assembled local releases we've heard recently. And, while it might not count musically, we find the album artwork to be stellar.
- Houstonist - Marc Brubaker

"Review: Buxton's Light Meets Dark"

Buxton has always been a compelling band. Consider Sergio Trevino's wild, warbling voice; deft instrumental work by Jason Willis and Chris Wise (recent addition, drummer Justin Terrell, rounds out the group); and the novelty of kids barely into their 20s experimenting with folk music to create something that sounds fresh.

The La Porte-based band's latest album, A Family Light, however, finally delivers on the promise of previous recordings, reeling in some eccentricities to reveal a maturing sound.

Trevino's voice continues its haunting ways, telling painful stories of bitter family feuds and women who leave. There isn't a single song that doesn't allude to the speaker's isolation, but set that isolation to a bluegrass tune (Westward) or a simple country rhythm (Joseph Collins) and it almost sounds like freedom: "I packed my things, headed westward / took my Strat, my boots and best shirt / and I left a note on my mother's dresser / explaining how I wish I missed her."

Light gets rowdy on Holy Water Revival, a searing cut that borders on rockabilly, and the gypsy-inflected, mandolin-heavy Blood on the Streets. Each Horse With a Name is a beauty, benefiting from fierce drumming and some sparkling guitar work. Bones, on the other hand, is a quiet, moaning song with a whisper of organ and unsettling imagery: "Bones in your car, lover won't you stay where you are / sirens seem so far traveling through the dark."

It's a disconcerting ride the whole way through. Disc closer Living Room — the story of an angry son burying his estranged father — also is the disc's darkest ("How can I respect him who thought of me as no more than a seed / and now the seed must bury him and tend his dying need"). It's the capper on an album that weaves heartbreaking tales and thoughtful musicianship with folk, country and indie-rock ideas to create an electric, exciting collection of songs.
- The Houston Chronicle - Sara Cress

"Feature: From The End Of This Pen"

As surprising as it might be, I actually am going to write about something coming up in town rather than something that has passed.

I know. It is surprising. I am not usually very good about letting people know about things ahead of time, but I am excited about a show coming to town and I want everyone to have ample time to make plans.

So, in March when we were traveling around Texas playing little towns and big ones, we met a band from the Houston area named buxton. We were all playing in Abilene together and ended up hitting it off.

buxton formed in 2004 as a strictly acoustic endeavor, playing shows around the Houston area. After some home recordings and D.I.Y. CD production, they did some touring around Texas and the Gulf, eventually heading up the East Coast.

It was then they decided to drop the acoustic-only approach and added a drummer to the already written material for their second full-length record.

In January 2008, “A Family Light” was released to acclaim. buxton crosses so many genre lines so quickly but holds it together. That is the impressive part to me; they could pull off opening at Grand Ole Opry or for Radiohead.

We see a lot of bands and to stand out is special; to stand out and not be a bunch of *ssholes, well, that’s even better. These guys work hard, play well and are some of the sweetest you’ll meet.

They are coming to town Wednesday, Oct. 29, performing at The Percolator downtown. The Lusitania is also playing and you know I love them; it should be a hell of a show.

So if you can, make it a point to go and see a band you haven’t seen before, bring a few bucks for a CD or a shirt and help them get to the next town. I hope to see you there.

Editor’s note: Jim Ward is a member of Sparta and Sleepercar, but above all, a die-hard El Pasoan.
- Whats Up El Paso Publication - Jim Ward

"Preview: Buxton Brings It's Story To Amarillo At The 806"

When indie rock band Buxton wrote its second album “A Family Light” last year, none of the songs were written with drums. Since then, drummer Justin Terrell joined, and drum tracks were added to the album, which was released in January.

Terrell’s input means the group’s music is written with the drums playing an integral part of the process, which creates a slightly different sound for Buxton.

“We sound somewhat similar to the Old 97’s and Okkervil River,” said bassist Chris Wise.

The band will be bringing their newest sound to The 806 on Saturday.

Wise, vocalist Sergio Trevino and guitar, keyboard and mandolin player Jason Willis round out the band.

Saturday’s show will be the first time the band plays in Amarillo.

The audience can expect a really energetic performance, Wise said.

“A lot of our songs are stories, interesting stories to tell. ... They’ll have a lot of fun.”
- Get Out! - Amarillo's Entertainment Guide - Leasa Salazar

"Review: Buxton - A Family Light"

At the risk of posing a question that might have a scary answer, what are they putting in the water over there by Galveston Bay?

First, from the chemical spew of Baytown there came the ­Morrissey-meets-Neil Young glory that is Scattered Pages. And now, from across the Fred Hartman Bridge in LaPorte, there's Buxton, an even younger band with a broadly similar, twang-tinged indie rock palette.

Simply put, this album's a stunner, from the Fahey-esque guitar intro of opener "Mane of Gold" onwards. You can get your brood on with the atmospheric, slow ten-minute suite of "Flame" and "Bones" in the middle of the record, or put on your step-dancing clogs to the hillbilly rave-up "Westward." "Mothers" reminds me of some kind of Russian Cossack dance of the damned, while album closer "Living Room" poses some of the same eternal patricidal questions put forth in The Brothers Karamazov.

If that sounds eggheaded, it's my fault. At surface level, you can just enjoy the beauty of the sounds. A Family Light is great highway music, big sky songs that are cinematic in scope. Frontman Sergio Treviño has an anguished yelp that cuts through the band's hummably melancholy, wood-grained banjo-pedal steel-acoustic guitar arrangements, and the band has an all-too-rare sense of dynamics and knack for strong choruses and male-female, call-and-response vocals.

Hats off to producer Reggie O'Farrell. Not only does he coax a great shimmering sound out of the core band (Treviño and multi-instrumentalists Chris Wise and Jason Willis) and a revolving cast of eight more backing musicians, but the sequencing maximizes the emotion ofthe ride.

Treviño might not be the guitar player M. Ward is, but he's a better singer, and this record at its best will take you to the same wind-whistling craggy peaks that Ward's do. How could a town as bleak as LaPorte create music so dazzling?
- Houston Press - John Nova Lomax

"Feature: Sitting Down with LaPorte's Buxton"

La Porte quartet Buxton are fresh off their most successful tour to date, a weeklong all-Texas jaunt that took them as far west as Marfa, as far north as Lubbock and as close to home as College Station. Seated at a table at the Black Lab five days after that tour ended, the band seemed to be getting along together remarkably well.

"This one was fun," says multi-­instrumentalist Jason Willis. "Some of our other tours have been real downers. One time we rented a van and it broke down on the way to our first show, so we ended up doing that tour with three of us in three different cars."

"Then there was that one we did with By the End of Tonight," the 21-year-old adds. "It was fun, but a lot of stuff happened. It was like, 'God hates us.'"

"The four original members of By the End of Tonight all broke up on that tour," says 24-year-old singer-guitarist Sergio Treviño.

"I don't mean this in a bad way, but they replaced their guitarist with our drummer, while we were on tour with them," chimes in bassist Chris Wise.

Man, that's pretty pimpin', like somebody stealing your date at the prom. But it's unlikely that Buxton will be on the receiving end of such indignities ever again. Since then the band has added a full-time drummer (with more dedication) in 19-year-old Justin Terrell. (Terrell, the only non-La Porte native in the band, is from the little town of Tarkington up by Lake Livingston.) What's more, the band's sound has blossomed into a rich, textured and dynamic glory, and their full-length debut A Family Light is a very strong album from a band that just happens to be local.

There's a theatrical Decemberists vibe to some of singer Justin Treviño's lyrics and vocals, though he doesn't share Colin Meloy's Morrissey fascination. (That lack of Morrissey mania likewise helps set them apart from the broadly similar Baytown band Scattered Pages.) "We do like the Decemberists, but only through Picaresque," says Treviño. "None of us really liked The Crane Wife."

Elsewhere on A Family Light, the barn-burning "Holy Water Revival" and "Mothers" each recall early Violent Femmes at their most hell-bent and creepy. (Think "Country Death Song.") "Each Horse with a Name" has a distinct M. Ward feel, and A Family Light also sports more than a twinge or two of twang: "Blood on the Streets" opens with a lovely little stone-country pedal steel riff, while "Westward" is a straight-up mountain music hoedown.

One of the things I like about Buxton is that they both shoot for grandeur and better yet, attain it, as especially exemplified by "Each Horse with a Name." Better still, they don't try to call down the angels' wrath on every song, as do all too many bands in this post-Arcade Fire era.

"If the song doesn't call for it, don't put it in there," says Willis. (Willis plays a dizzying array of instruments including pedal steel and lead guitar, mandolin, and keyboards. "I did a little bit of banjo on the album too," he says. "But I don't do that live.")

Treviño's voice is an angsty yelp, but it's not overdone, and he uses it to deliver odd, memorable little lines like these, from "Blood on the Streets": "There's too many mothers that name their daughters after towns and names of streets, there's too many fathers that name their sons after heroes on TV" and "There's too many whispers and too many secrets in the town of Cypress Creek."

Themes of parent-hatred run through much of the album. Take these from harrowing album-closer "Living Room": "How can I respect someone who would look upon his only son as only a failure for the things he'd never done." Though they sound autobiographical, Treviño insists that they are not.

"My parents are so nice" — until last week, they owned and operated the now-closed La Porte indie venue The Forum — "so I am trying to justify myself where stuff like that comes from. I don't set out with the intention of writing anything in particular. I just write. So I really think this is me looking at other people's parents. My family, everyone was really close. My sister and I were best friends for years and years, and I've always had a great relationship with my parents, and now I grow up and see other people's relationships with their family, and it was just an eye-opener."

When you rip A Family Light into iTunes, it is one of those albums that pops up in the CD Database as "Unclassifiable." Another local record of note in the same category is Jug O'Lightnin's Nuts N' Bolts, and while A Family Light is neither as bluesy as that record nor not quite as groundbreaking and original, it is likewise a neo-roots record that is devilishly hard to pigeonhole. More than a few critics have described Buxton as a folk band, so I asked them if they were comfortable with that.

"Sure, but we have also been called 'new-grass' and I don't really like that," says Treviño. (New-grass? Buxton has about as much in common with the likes of Béla Fleck as Slayer does with Jack Johnson.) "But I guess I would be more comfortable in saying that we are not a folk band, but a band that made a folk album."

"The new songs we are writing now have more of a Yo La Tengo feel," says Wise.

Mia Kat Empire
Buxton: "Did somebody just call us new-grass?"
Buxton perform as part of the Westheimer Block Party on Saturday, April 12. Their set will be on AvantGarden's outdoor stage (411 Westheimer) at 3 p.m.
Buxton, La Porte, Texas, Westheimer Block PartyThat's one current. Here's another. Though the band is not overtly religious, Treviño is heavily into mountain gospel. "My wife [Amanda] and I are writing some stripped-down folk-gospel tunes," says Treviño. "Kinda Gillian Welch, John the ­Revelator-type stuff."

And here is a third. Treviño is also a big fan of fellow neo-roots music enthusiasts Sideshow Tramps. (Formerly known as Medicine Show.) "I love them," he says. (Like them, the band sports the occasional odd touch of quasi-Russian, Gypsyesque sounds.) "Their live show was a huge inspiration for me. I would go see them at Helios two or three years ago at that Monday night thing. They would go until crazy-late and they would have these huge sets, people would dance the whole time, and I was like, 'Wow, I wish I could do that. I wish I had that power of suggestion. Or talent.' I'm really excited that we are playing one band away from them at our show at Westheimer Block Party."

Now, people do dance at Buxton shows, especially to the hoedown song "Westward." "Mostly they do it sarcastically," says Willis. "Kind of this exaggerated hillbilly stuff."

"Yeah, that's what pisses me off," says Treviño. "They are not seriously ­dancing."

That they can and do make fun of themselves is one of the most heartening things about Buxton. This is not a band to rest on its laurels, nor one to rush shoddy music onto the Internet or disc. Jorge Luis Borges had a pithy path to becoming a great writer: "Read a lot. Write a lot. Never rush into print." The same goes for music. Many bands would do well to do as it seems Buxton does — to listen more, practice more and not rush their recordings out into the open.

"The CD we did before this one [the EP "Red Follows Red"] is bad," Treviño says. "I always tried to explain to these guys that I wasn't proud of that album. They would tell me it was good, that it could have been better but it was still good. Nope."

Willis adds that the band takes the opposite approach to most young bands today. Instead of throwing a bunch of demos up on MySpace, they take their own sweet time. "We spent a year working on A Family Light, and we are really proud of it."

As well they should be. This might just be the best thing to come from La Porte since the Battle of San Jacinto
- Houston Press - John Nova Lomax


'Nothing Here Seems Strange' - Out January 2012 on New West Records

1. Wolves & Owls
2. Fingertips
3. Blown a Fuse
4. Broke From Bread
5. Riverbed
6. Boy of Nine
7. Down in the Valley
8. Lynchburg Ferry
9. Oh My Boy
10. Body Count

'Feathers' 7" - Self released in the summer of 2009 - Out of print

1. Feathers
2. Flint



Buxton is an Americana band from Houston, TX. Together since 2005, and 3 albums later, they caught the ear of New West Records. Through all of 2009 and 2010 they wrote and recorded their upcoming album 'Nothing Here Seems Strange', which will be release in January of 2012.