Conehead Buddha
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Conehead Buddha

Coxsackie, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Coxsackie, New York, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Jam


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"moe. Taps Conehead Buddha Horns for Sabbath Cover"

Published: 2014/01/01
moe. Taps Conehead Buddha Horns for Sabbath Covermoe.’s New Year Eve performance which took place at

Albany’s Palace Theatre featured a variety of new elements. The band surprised audience members at the outset of the three set affair by stepping out on a small platform in front of the main stage, which still had its curtains drawn. They then delivered a five song acoustic set that featured “Shoot First,” “Blue Eyed Son” (with Al Schnier moving from guitar to mandolin), “Willin’,” “Backwoods” and “Wildflowers” (the final tune featuring only Schnier, Rob Derhak and Chuck Garvey). The first set then concluded with a full-on electric run from “Water” into “Time” and then a 23 minute version of “Recreational Chemistry.” The second set opened with “Mar-DeMa” which led into a version of “Meat” which approached the 25 minute mark, and closed out in fine fashion with a run from “Four” into “Jazz Wank,” “Spine Of A Dog” and “Buster.” The third set opened with “Sensory Deprivation Bank” which brought the band to midnight after which the Conehead Buddha Horns stepped out. The Horns which feature Shannon Lynch on saxophone, Shaun Bazylewicz on trombone and Terry Lynch on trumpet contributed to moe.’s debut covers of Paul Simon’s “Late In The Evening,” Black Sabbath’s “The Wizard” with Terry Lynch on vocals and Little Feat’s “Spanish Moon” (moe. had jammed on the song early in their career and joined Gov’t Mule for a version on 6/24/12). Before the encore, Schnier thanked lighting director Jason Huffer, and announced his departure after five years with the group before moe. ended the night with “Bearsong” and “Wind It Up.” The complete setlist appears below, drawn from our Box Scores section.***moe.
Palace Theatre Albany, NYSet I: Shoot First^, Blue Eyed Son^@, Willin’, Backwoods, Wildflowers^^, Water > Time > Recreational ChemistrySet II: Mar-DeMa > Meat, White Lightning Turpentine, Four > Jazz Wank > Spine Of A Dog > BusterSet III: Sensory Deprivation Bank , Auld Lang Syne > Late In The Evening$+, Spaz Medicine$ > Not Coming Down$, The Wizard$+, Nebraska$, Spanish Moon$+ > Threw It All Away$, Plane Crash$Enc: Bearsong, Wind It UpNotes
^Acoustic, band on small stage
@Al on mandolin
^^Only Rob, Al and Chuck (on acoustics)
$with Conehead Buddha Horns: Shannon Lynch (sax), Shaun Bazylewicz (trombone), Terry Lynch (trumpet, trumpet & vocals on Wizard)
+debutSource: - / Relix

"Cover Alert | moe. Tackles Paul Simon"

Upstate New York natives moe. celebrated New Year's Eve in the city where they spent many years learning their craft - Albany, NY. For their show at The Palace Theatre, the group was augmented by the Conehead Buddha horns. moe. used "Sensory Deprivation Bank" as a countdown song and then following "Auld Lang Syne" they debuted a cover of Paul Simon's "Late In The Evening."

[Photo by Paul Citone]
Aided by the horns, moe. delivered a quick and fun version of Simon's 1980 classic with Al Schnier handling lead vocals. An audience recording of moe.'s NYE show is available on Let's take a listen to moe.'s "Late In The Evening":

For more from moe. New Year's, stream the entire show:

[Published on: 1/15/14] -

"moe. :: Palace Theater 12.30.13-12.31.13 :: Albany, NY"

Words & Images by: Paul Citone

New Years Runs are always something special and moe.’s two night stint at the Palace Theatre in Albany, NY was no different. The two night stance brought crowd favorites, amazing collaborations and the always fun cover songs.

Albany is somewhat of a home for moe., making this run at the Palace a very special one. Albany seems to draw a special crowd for the band, due to them playing countless smaller bars and venues (including the soon relocated Valentines) around the capital district area, in the 90's. Drummer, and fellow Niskayuna grad Vinnie Amico, still lives in the area with his wife Debbie and family. Go Nisky!

Eastbound Jesus a local up and coming capital district based band opened the show with a fast paced 45 minute set of acoustic rock. They are currently on tour and will be appearing at Red Square in Albany for a live album recording January 31st. Check them out.

Night one was filled with moe classics such as “Y.O.Y”, “Skrunk”, “Zed Nought Z” and a killer performance of “Opium’! moe. raged through a 17 minute “Timmy Tucker” transitioning into Akimbo winding back in to Timmy Tucker for 17 more minutes of bliss. Very we'll done to get the run started... For the encore the plan was “Spaz Medicine” & “Dr. Graffenberg” but the boys were feeling something a little more exciting. The show closed out with a crushing rendition of “Godzilla” and left the crowd yearning for night 2 to begin.

New Years Eve began with a surprise acoustic performance stepping out front of the main stage in front of the crowd and in their own words “wanted to do something different” and they sure did. We were treated to a 5 song acoustic one mic set, including Vinnie Amico drumming on a cardboard box, of: “Shoot First”, “Blue Eyed Son”, “Willin”, “Backwoods” and “Wildflowers”. What a way to start the last show of 2013! All of this awesomeness was followed by a return to the main stage, for a sweet drum solo by the ever talented Vinnie Amico, that rolled into the tune “Water”. The set also included a swanky twenty minute “Recreational Chemistry"

Second set took us to “Mar-DeMa” which led into the always rocking “Meat". The band closed this set with classics “Four” > “Jazz Wank”, “Spine of a Dog”, and “Buster”. As 12:00 approached we were treated to “Sensory Deprivation Bank” jam followed by the countdown to 2014 celebration. Cheers from the band and a touch of “Auld lang syne” (sung by Rob) and included the horn section of Conehead Budda. First song of the new year? A excellent rendition of Paul Simon’s “Late in the Evening”, horns included. “Late in the Evening” also included Marley Amico on saxophone, Eddie Derhak on Trumpet, Ayla Schnier on the keys, and Ben Schnier on percussion. Its nice to see they are making music a family affair! The Conehead Budda horns joined moe. for the entire set including “Spaz Medicine”, “Not Coming Down”, “The Wizard” (yes Black Sabbath, with Terry Lynch on Vocals), “Nebraska”, “Spanish Moon” and “Threw it all away”.The Horn section included the ever talented Terry Lynch on trumpet, Shannon Lynch on sax, and Shaun Bazylewicz on trombone. As one of upstate New Yorks early 90s Jam Bands, Conehead Budda is resurfacing in a big way. Look for more of their great music to come... The set closer was “Plane Crash” with the horns belting out the intro. The encore began with a powerful version of “Bear Song” finishing with “Wind it Up”. It was an unbelievable 2 nights of music, Happy 2014!

JamBase | Happy moe. Year
Go See Live Music! - JamBase

"Review: moe.down 14, Day Two"

moe. threw down in Turin, New York Saturday night for the final performance of day two at the 14th annual moe.down (August 9-11). Shortly after kicking off the first set with a “Skrunk” opener, the band invited guitarist Chris Michetti (Conspirator) to sit in on a cover of Blue Oyster Cult's “Godzilla.”

A horn section comprised of Conehead Buddha's Shannon and Terry Lynch accompanied moe. as a special treat on “Plane Crash,” replacing the song's recorded signature string medley with their beautifully arranged, front and center, overlapping brass. They stayed, danced, and jammed on stage closing the first set.
It was Al Schnier's turn to write the setlist (“Tailspin” wasn't played first set, and “Cajun Moon” was also omitted) and the guitarist dialed up a dark, smoldering “Smoke” for the second set opener.

Percussionist Jim Loughlin nailed his tune, “Chromatic Nightmare,” before the band embarked on an epic jam journey through “Recreational Chemistry,” “Akimbo” > “Tubing the River Styx,” before eventually landing on a delicious “Meat,” which had Rob Derhak ripping and slapping his bass like a monkey about to eat your face.

Rob’s sick bass solo segued into “Brent Black,” sealing this second set's fate as a can't-miss set in the jam band history books.

For the encore, Rob dedicated a sweet cover of JJ Cale's “Travelin' Light” to the late musician and also noted the anniversary of the death of Widespread Panic's Mikey Houser.

Making one last major move, moe. threw it into overdrive with “Dr. Graffenberg” to close out Saturday night of moe.down 14.

Check out the full photo gallery of highlights from the first two days of moe.down 14. - High Times

"The Masses Gather for Conehead Buddha at The Hollow"

The Masses Gather for Conehead Buddha at The Hollow
by Susan Rice and Bryan Lasky

Friday, October 18th was filled with the rowdiest of characters down at The Hollow in Albany for one of Upstate New York’s original jam bands, Conehead Buddha. The eight-piece band originally from the Capital Region started back in the early 90s and continues to provide the best energetic dance parties this side of the Hudson River. A bigger band means more musicians with more instruments providing a killer combination of genres and a powerful sound. Conehead Buddha dishes a high level of ska from its horn section, blasting a rebellious yet playful melody throughout the night. The band has a dedicated fan base that puts others to shame with their nonstop slam dancing, only a fraction away from moshing.

One of the best parts about Conehead Buddha is the ability to create an upbeat, fun loving song with lyrics full of heartache like “Hey Jody.” Chords are climbed as drum beats are danced upon words of a sad story, but you are too busy having a good time dancing to notice. “My Side of the Story” started with heavy bass bombs with echoing lyrics and a twist of dark space. The second set started with “Vinnie” a saucy, exotic upbeat song that eased the crowd right back into the groove with a light reggae vibe. One of the highlights for the night was the cover of Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up” resulting in wild crowd scream/sing along. The interaction CB has with the crowd expands their music to new heights while recreating the original jams that made fans fall in love with them in the beginning. Conehead Buddha will making stops all around the East Coast before ending their fall tour with Funktapuss at Nietzsche’s in Buffalo on Saturday November 23rd.
Set 1: Ain’t No Better Way, Safety In Numbers, Wear You Down, Fly on the Bedroom Wall, Mountains, Hey Jodi, Cielo Drive, My Side of the Story, Crumbs, Bobby Brooks, Johnny, Rockets
Set 2: Vinnie, Mind the Question, Forget Me Not, Carbonation, Must Be You, Leaving the Brothel, Swedish Girls, Smiling, My Way, Deaf of Blind, SWM, Present Perfect

Susan Rice
Susan is a 20something, currently living in Albany, New York, where she has called home for almost a decade. Ms. Rice graduated from the University at Albany in 2009 with a B.A. in English. Her passion for music was reignited after discovering the jam band scene through moe. and more importantly, Phish. She has loved being apart of UpstateLIVE music guide which has created lasting friendships with musicians and artists alike. Music has always played an important part to Susan but within the past few years, it has truly saved her life.
Share this: - Upstate Live

"Conehead Buddha and Funktapuss Lay It On Thick in Buffalo"

Conehead Buddha and Funktapuss Lay it on Thick in Buffalo
by Jeremiah Shea

A little cold weather and snow has never gotten in the way of a Buffalonian’s plans. On Saturday, November 23rd, the city experienced the first bitter cold temperatures of the year, but that didn’t stop the funk fanatics of the Queen City. Conehead Buddha and Funktapuss were in town and Nietzsche’s was packed with eager fans that fought the elements just to check these two out.
With Conehead headlining the show, Funktapuss kicked things off with their soulful/bluesy style of funk. The five-piece from Cape Cod opened their set with a new song titled, “Unmistaken Reality.” While it started off like a slow rolling funk current, it really opened up as Ryan Tivey took the night’s first solo on sax and got the crowd buzzing. The end of the song had a heavy feel to it, similar to Lettuce’s brand of funk, and will keep me Googling the song name waiting for its official release. The band kept the pace after that, but really hit their stride on an old school/new school, back to back, funk history lesson. The guys took on a classic, covering Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground”. Lead singer Latez Crawley’s voice shined with a couple of fans drawing comparisons to James Brown. From there, they went into a cover of the Lettuce song, “Do It Like You Do”, showcasing the bands tight control of rhythm and wrapping up the history lesson.
As the set progressed, the band played songs off of their self-titled album as well as some other fitting covers. Brian Vanderbeek’s virtuosic bass opening to “Shakey Ground” was Wooten-esque and only reinforced why this guy should be known worldwide for what he can do with his instrument. It would be an insult to say he’s one of the best up and coming bassists as his skills are on par with all of the top names we’re familiar with. The band kept the funk pumping all night, only stopping briefly in between songs to really pack their set. Besides the opener, the group played two other new songs, “February” and “Soul Specific”. The three new songs as a whole were delivered with rhythmic precision and illustrated how Funktapuss is continuing to evolve their sound. Whereas their first album rode the soulful side of funk, the new album might see them kicking things up a gear as the three newbies on Saturday were simply incessant. To cap off their set, the group threw in one last cover, Tower of Power’s “What Is Hip”. This is a staple of theirs and the group absolutely nails it every time. Brian Vanderbeek’s heavy bass on the closer really drove the set home and had the entire crowd dancing to the throwback. With the band still relatively new, there was a resounding buzz in the crowd preceding the performance, wondering who these guys were and where they came from. This band is due to break out anytime now, and with every show it seems they’re gaining more and more momentum.
Setlist: Unmistaken Reality > I Got to Groove > I Know > Higher Ground > Do It Like You Do > Lesson > Shakey Ground > Threadin’ the Needle > The Truth > Go If You’re Gone > February > Night Life > Soul Specific > What Is Hip

Conehead Buddha took the stage next to keep the crowd moving. There was a lot of anticipation for these guys, which wasn’t surprising though as their blend of influences results in a feel-good vibe that anyone could dance to. The appropriately titled, “Aint No Better Way,” was the perfect way to start off the set. The high energy of the song immediately had people smiling and grooving around the dance floor, setting the tone for the remainder of the night. The stage was just as packed as the dance floor with the eight-piece band settling in to Nietzsche’s cozy stage. As the Latin rhythms carried in “Cielo Drive,” more and more of the crowd began to join in, coaxed from the outskirts of the club. The show was in full swing now and it seemed like Conehead had full control over its momentum. Mid-set approached and the band slowed things down with “Fly on Your Bedroom Wall.” The reggae feel was the perfect break to all of the energy that preceded it. The highlight of the night though, was during their song “Rockets,” as guitarist Justin Cross came out of nowhere and electrified the crowd. Up to that point, he was just blending in and contributing to the great feel, knowing all along he was going to blind side everyone in attendance. The solo lasted almost four minutes and showcased his chops while proving he had the control to hide it up until that point. For any musician, it’s a skill to know when to take the lead, but even more of one to show restraint. His surprise attack easily topped the night and left the crowd begging for more. These guys have been around the block a few times and tricks like this only reinforce that. They closed the night with an encore of “Safety in Numbers”, leaving all sweating and looking forward to the cold air. The walk back to the car was a welcomed one and definitely not requiring the jacket in tow.
Setlist: Aint No Better Way > Mind the Question > Cielo Drive > Forget Me Not > Fly on Your Bedroom Wall > Crumbs > My Way > Wear You Down > Rockets > Vinnie > My Side of the Story > Present Perfect > Shades of Green
Encore: Safety in Numbers - Upstate Live

"518 Music Review: Conehead Buddha's Present Perfect"

518 music review: Conehead Buddha's 'Present Perfect'
New album by re-formed group sounds as if they never took a break
By David Malachowski
Published 9:37 am, Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Based in Coxsackie, and led by wunderkind singer, songwriter and guitarist Chris Fisher, the ever-popular Conehead Buddha has been around, broken up, regrouped, and now are back with verve.

Fisher and Terence Lynch (trumpet), Shannon Lynch (saxophone), Shaun Bazylewicz (trombone), Mike Dunn (piano, organ), Ben Carle (bass) and Tommy Goss (drums) favor funk, and their default setting is a reggae approach a la The Police, though not exclusively.

All of these well-crafted tunes were penned by Chris Fisher, like the urgent kick-off track "Ain't No Better Way," a funked up, horn-drenched party. In "Mind The Question," he insists he's "got it under control." The driving "Wear You Down" tells of a determined man and really rocks out at moments; "Fly On Your Bedroom Wall" is a clever voyeur's fantasy; the smooth "Present Perfect" has a luxurious, slippery synth solo.

It sure doesn't sound like they took time off; instead, a seamless cohesive unit emerges, shaping Fisher's vision, and his excellent put-a-smile-on-your-face music.

What would Buddha say? Make beautiful music to soften people's hearts.

Check them out at

David Malachowski is a freelance writer in the Hudson Valley. Submit your 518 Fresh Tracks to - Albany Times Union

"The Return of Conehead Buddha"

The Return of Conehead Buddha

Conehead Buddha – Revival show
4/6/12 @ Valentines – Albany
written by Phanart Pete Mason
pics by Andrew Hill
Kicking off a weekend of celebration for Albany promoter Greg Bell who commemorates 20 years of bringing the best of live music to Albany, classic jamband and homegrown talent Conehead Buddha took to the stage of Valentines for the first time in six years. Featuring Ben Carle of Moon Boot Lover fame on bass, the eight piece band induced the packed upstairs crowd into a sweaty dancing herd, hands in the air in exultation to the music.
Shannon Lynch, one of the founders of the jamband shared her thoughts on the reuniting after many years off: “The band has put a lot of time into really being prepared to come back and hit hard. I feel good about how the band sounds with our new drummer Tom Goss.” Listening to the show and having just seen Strangefolk perform for the first time (as the original quartet) since 2000, the benefit to practice is evident, and the time spent working on their music paid off throughout the night. Practice makes reunion tighter.
Their ska/reggae sound wrapped in a jamband that plays for quality, not quantity, was augmented by the horn trio of Shannon Lynch, Terry Lynch and Shaun Bazylewicz, blaring their upbeat and energetic sound through the crowd while the bass/drum interplay at times gave some African vibe to exquisite funk, particularly on Hey Jody and Wear You Down. The second set included Vinnie, SWM, Wear You Down, My Way, Bobby Brooks, Must be You, Shades, Hey Jody, My Side of the Story, Sights->Psycho Killer->Sights with an encore of Johnny and his Fighting Boys with a Get Up Stand Up section. During Sights the band took off and eventually fell into a cover of Talking Heads’ Psycho Killer, setting the fuse of the crowd off in the process.
Not surprisingly, the crowd was loud and dancing, akin to a Mighty Mighty Bosstones show, thriving, swaying and jumping with more energy as the night progressed. Dave Geoghegan from Dr. Jah and the Love Prophets, when asked what it was like to see Conehead Buddha, a group who, like many bands that came through Albany, opened up for you Dr. Jah in their early years noted “It’s cool because their music has really evolved. Some of their horn songs are so big, I feel like I’m at a stage show and the guys are really kicking it out now.”
While this was a reunion night, it was also a celebration. Promoter Greg Bell marked 20 years of bringing the best live music to Albany and did so by reuniting one of the bands he helped bring to the big time, along with the likes of moe., Moonboot Lover, Ominous Seapods and numerous others. Greg pumped up crowd before the sets and again before the encore, keeping the crowd’s momentum electric until the last note was played. Shannon Lynch shared her thoughts: “Greg Bell has been very supportive of all the awesome bands whether they draw people or not. He knows who the good musicians are and has supported the scene; any (music) scene that exists in Albany right now is because of him. He’s been great to us and we’re very happy to be here for him.” Likewise, Dave Geoghegan looked back on the twenty years of the Albany music scene that Greg has presided over and remarked “There’s been a resurgence lately, with the Dirty Paris guys and Timbre Coup, it’s a kinda new scene and I think it’s really cool. We get to play with a bunch of them and the old school reggaes mixed with the new. I think it’s still a vibrant music scene.” As long as Greg Bell continues to promote show, Albany will continue to be the epicenter of live music in Upstate New York. - Upstate Live

"Conehead Buddha, the crooked i, Erie PA - 4/20"

There was a collective sigh of relief and overwhelming rejoice amongst a vast conglomerate of music lovers this past February, when Albany, NY jamsters Conehead Buddha announced they’d be touring once again after a 10 year hiatus from the stage and road. For those not in the know, Conehead Buddha had a fruitful career in the jamband scene from 1993 to 2002, as part of the fertile New York jam scene which included the likes of moe., God Street Wine, Yolk, Ominous Seapods, and Moon Boot Lover. Conehead Buddha shared the stage with all of these acts and were staples at such venues as Valentine’s in Albany and even the legendary Wetlands Preserve in New York City. Needless to say there were a lot of happy people in Erie, PA when they learned that Conehead Buddha would be making a stop at local hotspot the crooked i. This would be the band’s first return to the Gem City in almost 14 years, making this a very special 4/20 for many, who were eager to celebrate this unofficial holiday in style. They would not be disappointed. The room began to fill early that evening, with quite a mixture of people, curious how the band would sound. There were fans in their mid-40s, who had clearly been seeing Conehead Buddha since their heyday. Folks who had been turned onto the band after they had taken a break were eager to see them for the first time, while some had no idea who Conehead Buddha was or what they would sound like. None of these three groups went home disappointed.The band took the stage and launched into their familiar ska-influenced, pop rock that sent the room into full-blown dance-party mode. The horn section was blazing while vocalist Chris Fisher delivered his uber-catchy lyrics and even had many folks singing along with him. The band was able to stretch out all night and play two full sets that covered all six if their albums from 1993’s Easter Island Vacation to their newly released Present Perfect. The band had the energy cranked up to 11 for the entire night, with blazing versions of classic favorites like “Vinne” while showcasing newer tracks like “Ain’t No Better Way”. The new addition of keyboards to the band’s rhythm section added fullness to the band’s sound, as well as a new instrumental soloist voice. Together with Justin Cross’s fiery guitar work, there was a fresh rock element that drove band’s sound and helped navigate them through sonic landscapes with ease.By the end of the night Conehead Buddha had before them a sweating mass of fans old and new that had had the time of their lives, eager for the band to come back through town. Clearly Conehead Buddha is geared up for a strong resurgence into the festival scene. Already lined up are spots at Strange Creek, The Gathering at Chaffee’s, as well as a stop at Brooklyn Bowl in New York City. In the current land of jamtronica and newgrass, Conehead Buddha brings a welcome uniqueness that is surely going to win over a whole new generation of music lovers. Prepare to meet one of your new favorite bands. -

"Conehead Buddha: Present Perfect"

Conehead Buddha
by Josh Potter on December 20, 2012

Earlier this spring, local concert promoter Greg Bell celebrated his 20th year in the business of booking live music. Headlining the night was a band whose history goes back nearly as far, who rose to regional prominence on account of many of the jam-centric bills Bell booked in the mid-late ’90s. Growing up in New Hampshire, I never saw a Conehead Buddha show, but their name certainly drifted that far east on the label of Maxell tapes stuffed in the glove box of Volvo stationwagons and in the pages of tour zines like Homegrown. Formed in 1993, the H.O.R.D.E. veterans never achieved the following of a moe. or a Strangefolk—or their horn-fueled funk bretheren Deep Banana Blackout—but their trippy name had its place in the freaky constellation of northeastern jambands.

After disbanding in the early part of the last decade, elements of Conehead Buddha lived on locally through Lynch, a funk and hip-hop oriented group built around saxophonist Shannon Lynch and her brother, trumpeter Terry Lynch. It’s the seasoned horn section, along with trombonist Shaun Bazylewicz, that most stands out on Conehead Buddha’s new CD Present Perfect, and really seems to justify the band’s return to regular gigging. It would simply be a waste for a group this tight to let their chops go dormant.

It was guitarist-vocalist-percussionist Chris Fisher, though, who reignited the band late last year and who penned and produced the bulk of Conehead Buddha’s new material at Easter Island Studio in Coxsackie. There’s a strong pop and R&B sensibility to Fisher’s approach, with a glimmer of the slick ’90s alt-rocker in there to boot. The sound, though, has unadulterated good-times funk at its foundation. Album opener “Ain’t No Better Way” is full of slap bass, sing-along choruses and plenty of evidence that trombone should figure more prominently in music at large. Reggae though, is the other gear the band most prefer—and not some watered-down hippie variety. “Must Be You” is heavy, dub-laden one-drop with doubled vocals and a nice little reference to Bob Marley’s “Zion Train” in the horn arrangement. Tracks like “Mind the Question” strike a balance with skanky guitars and a SoCal ska feel. Most surprising might be the band’s forays into Latin rhythms, like “Move On” and the Afro-Cuban “Carbonation.”

Present Perfect is a solid return to form for Conehead Buddha, but only hints at the band’s onstage prowess. This is a party band and we’re fortunate that they’re back in the business of bringing the party. - Metroland

"Daily Gazette"

Gazette Reporter Date: October 4, 2012 Section: D: Life & Arts
From all indications, Conehead Buddha is back to stay. The legendary
Albany ska/reggae/jam band had its original run from 1993 to 2002,
releasing four studio albums and touring all over the Eastern U.S. When
the touring grind became too much, the band parted ways, and with the
exception of a few reunion shows the group remained on hiatus until April
of this year.
Since their initial comeback show at Valentine's, the band has performed a
number of club dates in the Capital Region. The group's closing set on the
local stage at PearlPalooza last month was rained out after two songs, but
the band just opened for Rusted Root at Pinhead Susan's annual block party
last Saturday. Their next gig is at Putnam Den on Friday night with Moon
Boot Lover opening.
New album
The revitalized seven-piece lineup hasn't just been trotting out the back
catalog during this reunion. In July, the group released its fifth studio
album, "Present Perfect," featuring brand-new material and songs from the
band's previous run that were never recorded.
The band is even feeling up to hitting the touring circuit again
eventually. According to founding member, guitarist, percussionist and
vocalist Chris Fisher, this was always the plan for the reunion.
"I mean, otherwise, what's the news? Otherwise, it's just another band
reuniting," he said recently from his home studio in Coxsackie. "Plus I
continually write music. The new album is -- it's a logical progression
musically, I think anyway."
Along with new music, there are other differences in this incarnation of
the band, most notably the expanded lineup. Bassist Ben Carle, drummer Tom
Goss, trombonist Shaun Bazylewicz and keyboard player Mike Dunn are new to
the group, having not appeared in any previous incarnations of the band.
Dunn is also the first keyboard player the band has ever had.
"I had played with [Dunn] a couple years ago -- I played in this jazzy
thing with him," Fisher said. "I just think that it sounds fuller; he
fills in a lot of the void. When we do something Latin, he can play the
piano part underneath it. A couple new songs on the new album kind of push
the envelope -- I don't know if you'd call it techno, but it's in that
direction where there's keyboards, like a Moog."
The core of the band remains Fisher, the group's only original member, and
Terry and Shannon Lynch, the band's longtime sibling horn section.
The reunion first began to take shape when Terry moved back to Coxsackie
and began playing in Fisher's new group, Mao Say Fun, which also features
Dunn and Goss. Soon Shannon was joining the band onstage as well, which
led to Conehead Buddha reuniting to play at Terry's wedding about two
years ago.
Beginning of reunion
"For me that was a big milestone, I guess -- to know that I wanted to do
it again," Fisher said. "But we didn't really start right away; we were
kind of all doing our own thing at that point. I had put this band
together, Mao Say Fun, which was a similar style. Then Shannon started
coming and playing at all the gigs, so I thought we might as well do the
Conehead thing too."
Fisher first formed the band right out of college. Originally a
five-piece, the band soon expanded when the Lynches joined up.
"There's a big push for me -- I went and saw David Byrne play at SPAC, and
thought, this is what I need to be doing," Fisher said. "I had played
music all my life, but to know that I could do it in the context of a band
never crossed my mind until after I got out of college. I was so stubborn
and driven, that no one could tell me otherwise."
Eventually, internal struggles coupled with Fisher's health issues from
constant touring led the band to split.
"It's a stressful way to live, not all that healthy," he said. "I've
realized that now, for me -- it has to be fun for me. I can't think about
the business aspects. At that time, it was a rolling train that we had to
keep feeding. The business aspects became as important as the musical
ones, and that kind of sucks the life out of it. So now I try to make the
musical aspects the most important part."
Getting re-established
The band has had to work to re-establish its place in the local scene. - Schenectady Gazette


Still working on that hot first release.



Conehead Buddha has had a long, storied career since their inception in Albany, NY in 1993. They were one of the top drawing bands in the New York jamband scene, which included bands such as moe. and God Street Wine, until taking a much-needed hiatus in 2002. In 2011, Conehead Buddha front man and originator Chris Fisher reunited with brother and sister duo and longtime Conehead Buddha horn players Terry and Shannon Lynch to rejuvenate the band and hit the road hard with a newfound intensity, playing high-profile venues and events throughout the northeast.

Raging lead guitar, funky organ and analog keyboard sounds, co-mingling with the full horn section and percussion breathe new life into Conehead Buddhas unique blend of rock, funk, ska, reggae, and salsa. The bands captivating live show has been steadily winning over a new generation of concert goers, providing the party and keeping audiences dancing from start to finish. Conehead Buddha is the band that people will still be talking about on Monday morning.

Conehead Buddha is now taking booking submissions and is eager to play your venue or event. If you are interested in hosting this stellar live act, please direct all inquiries to:

Ryan Bartosek of Rubber Tramp Live

Band Members