in performance: donna the buffalo

tara nevins and jeb puryear of donna the buffal. photo by jordy risk.

tara nevins and jeb puryear of donna the buffalo. photo by jordy risk.

“This is the nicest place we’ve ever been in a city we’ve never been to when it turns out we’ve actually been here.” That was the mouthful that guitarist Jeb Puryear let loose with by way of welcoming a sparse but spirited Kentucky Theatre crowd to the rootsy groove music of Donna the Buffalo last night.

The Buffalo gal, multi-instrumentalist Tara Nevins, and guys seemed to think the band had never previously played Lexington. A few enthusiastic fans near the lip of the stage insisted otherwise. Frankly, I don’t think it has been here either, at least not with the sort of headlining set that last night utilized pop-infused folk, jam band grooves, reggae, ska and zydeco.

Puryear and Nevins rotated lead vocal duties during the two-hour-plus performance. Puryear’s songs went for deep pocket rhythms, whether it with the fat pop-soul power chords and guitar hooks of Biggie K or the peppery island sway of Positive Friction. Nevins added feathery harmonies and washboard percussion to the latter. Throughout Puryear’s tunes, she also offered alert turns on electric violin and bayou-flavored accordion..

But on her own fine material, Nevins stuck to acoustic guitar, left the instrumental tightrope walking to the guys and emoted with a voice curiously steeped in traditional country. The resulting mix often leaned toward bittersweet pop-folk. But on Temporary Misery, churchy organ orchestration by David McCracken brightened and heightened Nevin’s’ world weary storyline.

Of course, when the two leaders played directly off each other, the fireworks flew, as on a reworking of Ring of Fire with Nevins again on washboard, percolating a New Orleans groove under Puryear’s massive Bo Diddley guitar strut. That’s when the Buffalo got to roaring but good.

Update: Well, the debate is settled. Donna the Buffalo has indeed played Lexington before. Bobby Ray, who booked shows during the glory days of Lynagh’s Music Club, informed me the band played there on Oct. 17, 2000. Total attendance that night: 92.

RUFFIN’ IT; Bake your own pet treats and maintain control of your animal’s diet. (It’s economical and fun to do, too.).(TASTE)

Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN) November 3, 2005 | Smith, Judy Romanowich Byline: Judy Romanowich Smith; Staff Writer Cliff came trotting into the kitchen as soon as the cooked chicken livers plopped into the food processor. He sat mesmerized, his tongue hanging out, as they whirled into a puree. He licked his chops as I measured out what I needed and as I put the rest in a freezer bag. “Do you want a treat?” I asked. His tail slapped the floor. Why bake your own dog treats? You can use all-natural ingredients. You know exactly what your pet is getting. Many commercial treats have artificial coloring and preservatives. But beware that you don’t add ingredients that can be harmful to dogs. (See accompanying list on T4.) It’s economical. Many recipes use basic ingredients, such as flour, rolled oats and eggs, that you usually have on hand. You can use items that might otherwise be thrown away, such as chicken livers or small portions of leftover meat, pureed. I boil scraps and bones to make chicken broth after boning chicken breasts. After straining, the broth is perfect for dog treat recipes. You can satisfy your desire to bake without having to deal with the calories. There’s nothing like baking to warm up the kitchen on a cool fall day, but sometimes having sweet baked goods around the house can sabotage your commitment to healthful eating. You’re not likely to be tempted by these biscuits. It’s fun. Have your kids help mix them up and roll them out. The recipes are very forgiving, so it would be difficult for a child to ruin a batch. Let them use whatever cookie cutters they wish, even the Santas and Easter bunnies. The dog won’t care. see here dog treat recipes

Your dog will love you for it. Cliff sat at my feet until those chicken livers were finally baked into treats. He snoozed a bit while they cooled and then eagerly sampled them. Now they are his favorite, and I can’t visit the freezer where they are stored without him trailing behind me and gazing up at me expectantly.

WITH TREATS, SAFETY FIRST There are thousands of recipes on the Internet for baking dog biscuits. Many contain ingredients that may be harmful to dogs. If you are using a recipe from the Internet, be sure it is from a trusted source. If you have questions, ask your veterinarian.

Here is a partial list of ingredients to avoid with dogs, from “Cooking the Three Dog Bakery Way,” by Mark Beckloff and Dan Dye.

– Bones from fish, poultry or other meat sources: Can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system.

– Chocolate and coffee: Contain theobiomine and caffeine, which can be toxic and affect the heart, perhaps fatally.

– Fat trimmings: Can cause pancreatitis.

– Macadamia nuts: Contain an unknown toxin that can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscles.

– Onions: Contains sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia.

– Raisins: Newly discovered to contain unknown toxins that may damage the kidneys when consumed in quantity.

– Salt: Large quantities may lead to electrolyte imbalances.

– Sugary foods: Can lead to obesity, dental problems and diabetes.

LIVE IT UP CHICKEN TREATS – X Makes about 100 thin strips.

Note: You can make chicken broth by boiling the chicken liver. To puree liver, try a food processor, potato masher or fork. Add broth to make the puree the consistency of mashed potatoes. A pound of liver made 11/4 c. puree. Liver in large amounts can cause vitamin A toxicity and be harmful to dogs, so don’t over feed. From “Doggie Delights & Kitty Cuisine,” by Martha Ward.

– 1/2 c. pureed cooked chicken liver – 1 c. chicken broth, plus up to 1/4 c. to make puree (see Note) – 1/2 c. dry nonfat dry milk – 1 tbsp. Brewer’s yeast – 1 c. soy flour – 3 c. whole-wheat flour – 1 c. rolled oats Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Mix liver puree, broth and dry milk in a large mixing bowl; set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, mix yeast, flours and oats. Add to liquid mixture, blending until all ingredients are moist.

Roll or pat out to a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into 1/4 inch strips on prepared sheet. Bake 20 minutes. Remove treats from oven and cool on a wire rack. Break into small pieces to serve. Store baked treats in an airtight container and place in freezer.

SIMPLEST DOG BISCUITS – X Makes about 75 small biscuits.

You’ll likely have most of these ingredients on hand. From “Tasty Treats for Demanding Dogs,” by Gregg R. Gillespie. in our site dog treat recipes

– 3 c. whole-wheat flour – 1/2 c. nonfat dry milk – 1/3 c. vegetable shortening – 1 large egg – 3/4 c. beef or chicken broth, or enough for processing Directions Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Lightly grease or use parchment paper to line 2 cookie sheets or baking trays. In a large bowl, using a fork or wire whisk, blend the flour and dry milk. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in shortening. In a small bowl, using a fork, beat the egg and broth together until smooth. Using a large spoon, a spatula or your hand, combine the two mixes, blending until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl and a soft sticky dough forms. If the mixture seems a little dry, add a little broth, a tablespoonful at a time. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured flat surface, and using a rolling pin, roll out to 1/4-inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out as many cookies as you can, reworking the scraps as you go. The dough will become stiff as it is reworked. Place the cookies side by side on the prepared cookie sheets or baking trays. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cookies appear very dry and the edges are light golden brown. Remove the trays from the oven and cool to room temperature. Turn off the oven. When the cookies have cooled completely, put all of them on a single baking tray and return them to the cooling oven. Leave them undisturbed, without opening the oven door, for 8 to 16 hours.

Smith, Judy Romanowich

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