Oliver Buck & The New Madrids
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Oliver Buck & The New Madrids


Band Americana Blues


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"Review of "Prodigal Son""

"In the past year or so Buck has made several changes. He has moved back to Cleveland, put together a kick ass three piece band, but still kept the dextrous acoustic guitar picking that made 'Rust Belt Blues' such a listenable album.

On the faster songs such as 'Once Round the Sun,' 'Milwaukee' and the title track, Buck sounds like a man possessed. The analogue production in tight, and beautifully complements the taut, yet funky as hell arrangements. . . .

It is apparent that Oliver Buck is edging ever closer to the classic album that he so obviously has inside him. He is a fine guitar player and arranger of songs, and The New Madrids have lifted Buck's songs to a new level. It will be interesting to hear what this talented artist comes up with next."
(July 18, 2008) - Americana UK

"Review of "Prodigal Son""

"Prodigal Son benefits greatly by its rough-hewn, warts-and-all production by giving the songs the feeling that they poured out of Buck leaving him scrambling to catch them on tape before they disappeared. The slippery slide guitar, the tinny cymbal crashes, the near distortion of over-modulation all contribute to enhance Buck's tales of lost girls, loneliness on the road, and coming home broke but satisfied. Prodigal Son is sparse but filling." (August 2008) - Miles of Music

"Review of "Prodigal Son""

Oliver Buck's voice is "as sweet and pure as Lyle Lovett's. . . . There's not a bad song on this first-rate recording."

-Cleveland Free Times review of "Prodigal Son" (May 21, 2008) - Cleveland Free Times

""Buck Stops Here With New Solo Album""

After 15 years away, singer-songwriter-guitarist Oliver Buck is back in Northeast Ohio.

It's been a long journey for the 1992 Hawken School graduate, who has traveled the country as a quintessential troubadour, setting up shop in Montana, Rhode Island and Kansas. In fact, his latest gig came with rising alt country act Percival, which was in the middle of recording its debut album in New York City when the band's lead singer unexpectedly quit.

"When Percival broke up, I was up a creek and it was either back to school or continue with the music," Buck said. "And by this time, I had a bunch of original songs. I was developing them and just starting to become a songwriter for the first time.

"So I decided to come home to Cleveland where I grew up and started a solo career. My first solo album, 'Rust Belt Blues,' was kind of a combination of old school country and blues. I recorded it in my kitchen and it came out last year. And then I wrote 20 more songs while I was touring that record."

This led to the quick recording of his sophomore album "Prodigal Son," which receives a proper CD release show Saturday (May 24) at the Beachland Tavern. Buck feels his new disc truly marks his debut with 10 original songs, including the up-tempo title track and his favorite "Milwaukee."

That's not all that's new in Buck's career. He now has a back-up band The New Madrids, which will make its debut at the upcoming Beachland show.

"I think we've put together one of the coolest bands in Cleveland right now," Buck said. "This will be our first show as a quartet. We're really excited and will be doing fuller versions of songs on the record and there will be one or two surprise covers thrown in. It's really like a coming out party for the full band."

It's yet another new start for Buck, who has already experienced a lifetime of new beginnings. Mostly this is associated with going to school and finding a career in academia. Prior to joining Percival, he was halfway towards his PhD in American History and on track to become a college professor. Even though he was so close, his music kept calling him back.

"It's like a disease, I just can't shake it," Buck laughed. "When I left grad school, it was the third time I had quit an academic course of study to be in a band and the only difference now is it's my band, whereas before it was always somebody else's band I was playing in. At least now it feels like a real career."

The future naturally remains uncertain; however, Buck is tackling his latest musical incarnation as a seasoned artist with dozens of live dates planned around the Midwest for 2008. He's hoping his experience will work in his favor, especially considering he's now the father of a soon to be two-year-old.

"I definitely feel like a veteran when I'm out on the road because a lot of the bands I play with are younger than me," Buck said. "I'm in my mid 30s and I haven't hit it big, obviously, but hopefully these songs catch people's attention. And honestly I've revised my expectations over the years.

"Basically I'm happy as long as I'm able to eat and make a modest living. I just think part of being into music for the long haul is to realize the goal really should be to just make a living doing what you love. I feel like I've kind of learned what to expect. I've learned some nights you'll get paid well and some nights you're not, and it's not a reflection on you. It's just the way the business is." (May 20, 2008) - Cleveland.com / Cleveland Plain Dealer online

""Rust Belt Blues" named a "favorite album of 2007""

Rust Belt Blues is "one of my favorite albums of 2007."

-Stellasplice (January 23, 2008) - Stellasplice

""Rust Belt Blues" one of the Top 10 albums of 2007"

"Rust Belt Blues" is "one of the Top 10 Albums of 2007."

-European music critic and DJ, Johanna Bodde aka RadioGirl (January 2008) - RadioGirl, European music critic and DJ

"Review of "Rust Belt Blues""

"The truth is that with Rust Belt Blues, Buck has managed to breathe life into stripped-down, bare-knuckle country. . . . This is a superbly direct album, [it] speaks from the heart and gets straight to the point."

-Maverick magazine (UK) review of "Rust Belt Blues" (February 2008) - Maverick magazine (UK)

"Review of "Rust Belt Blues""

"That intimate, stripped-down sound gives [Buck] a chance to showcase his wonderful voice and excellent musicianship, a combination that gives way to consistently good songs. . . . Oliver Buck has already accomplished much as a musician, and Rust Belt Blues adds to these accomplishments while also revealing more of his traditional roots. We don't know where Buck will be going next, but it will definitely be exciting to see where he takes us."

-The Lawrencian (Lawrence, Kansas) review of "Rust Belt Blues" (August 2007) - The Lawrencian (Lawrence, Kansas)

"Biographical piece / review of "Rust Belt Blues""

"I love [Buck's] strong voice, with a beautiful timbre, it goes perfectly with the guitars. To do this kind of thing an artist needs good songs with convincing arrangements, a personality too, maybe even a bit of an attitude. . . . When I see Oliver's smile under his hat, the brim covering his eyes, I know he will never have a problem with that!"

-Insurgent Country (Germany/Netherlands) review of "Rust Belt Blues" (June 2007) - Insurgent Country (Germany/Netherlands)

"Review of "Prodigal Son""

"Being a folk-influenced indie artist may seem en vogue now, but Buck stands out among the acoustic din."

-Cleveland Plain Dealer review of "Prodigal Son" (June 6, 2008) - Cleveland Plain Dealer


Oliver Buck & The New Madrids * "Prodigal Son" (Cuyahoga Records, 2008)
Oliver Buck * "Rust Belt Blues" (Cuyahoga Records, 2007)



Oliver Buck's songs reflect the universal themes of love, longing, and loss and channel hope and heartache in equal measure. Hope and heartache? He's from Cleveland. Having lived in places as far apart as Missoula, Montana and New York, Providence and Lawrence, Kansas, Buck also sings about American roads and homes imagined, all-too-real, and lost. Buck writes about people he's met (the inspiring and the unsavory), and also about his own personal struggles, tough choices, and ambitions as someone who has experienced life in the East Village, the Midwestern prairie, and the Rockies--and who just returned to his Rust Belt hometown.

Buck's latest album is "Prodigal Son," a homecoming record featuring the New Madrids--bassist Adam Rich, drummer Ernie Richmann, and guitarist Joe Landes. Americana UK calls the band "kick ass" and says of Prodigal Son, "Buck sounds like a man possessed. The analogue production is tight, and beautifully complements the taut, yet funky as hell arrangements. It is apparent that Oliver Buck is edging ever closer to the classic album that he so obviously has inside him." Many now think "Prodigal Son" is that classic album.

Oliver Buck's turn to professional musicianship came later than most, at age 32. During the past two years, however, he has made up for lost time, releasing two albums and writing songs for a third. He has appeared on club and festival bills with The Black Crowes, Keb' Mo', Los Lonely Boys, The Radiators, Leon Russell, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Jason White, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Eric Lindell, The Slip, Will Hoge, Joe Bonamassa, Marc Ford, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, and the Everybodyfields. Buck was selected to play at the 2008 North By Northeast (NXNE) Conference in Toronto, and was one of six national finalists in the 2007 Telluride Blues & Brews Festival Acoustic Blues Competition. Currently, Oliver Buck & the New Madrids are at work on their third album.