I’ve had the pleasure of talking with some of the most enjoyable people that a person could ever talk to and Buffy Lawson is certainly one of those at the top of that list. When I first met her and interviewed her, she was part of the incredible country/rock duo…BOMBSHEL. (See T.E.N. interviews July, 2007) Then after leaving the band to take a much deserved break and take her career down another path, she met up with T.E.N. to share part of her life stories. (See T.E.N. interviews Feb. 2010) After that interview, Buffy again began to develop a desire to perform live and realized that music is her heart and soul and began yet another chapter in her life book. She immediately contacted T.E.N. for an exclusive interview to announce her new band: “IN THE BUF” which is one of the hottest acts to burn up a stage before your eyes! On the front page of this website, I state that some of the people that I meet along the way, have become really good friends of mine and Buffy’s a perfect example of what I mean. She recently called in to give insight to the development of her new band, other major announcements in her career and once again leave me infatuated over a question that she refuses to answer.
Buffy Lawson– Troy? What’s shakin baby?
The Entertainment Nexus– How have you been?
BL– I’ve been doin so good. Like I was tellin you, my new band “IN THE BUF” had just started playing out and it roooocks so hard! Is so fabulous and we are getting ready to launch our new website for it and I thought I would love and be so proud and so honored if you were the one who did my initial interview for it. You do such good interviews. I’ve also got a guy named Paul King and he is with Nashville Hype but he doesn’t do interviews, he does reviews of things. He was kinda similar to you when I had to lay down for a couple of years and take a nap after I left BOMSHEL. I didn’t even know if anybody still cared what I was doin and the two of you were so instrumental in my wanting to get back up and keep doing music. Both of you reminded me how much I love music. Like I told you before, “You know more about my career than I do!” (Laughs) So I thought it would be a really cool thing for you to be the first one to work on this and see what you can come up with.
TEN– Absolutely! We can do this!
BL– Anything that you want to ask me…
TEN– Tell me about your band: “IN THE BUF.”
BL– Well, I had decided after I left my record deal, whenever that was…I can’t remember. I honestly and truly did not think that I would ever put together a band again. I really was focused on the songwriting aspect of my career. I was very peaceful in my soul and I was very committed to getting myself some cuts. Ya know, kinda getting off the road and having a more normal life. So, I started teaching a songwriting class that was an all-day deal. There were two guys in the class that just looked like “little stars.” They had the most gentle, humble way about them…yet they were dressed like rock stars. It was very dichotomous. Their demeanor was so peaceful and gentle and yet I knew that they were talented just by looking at them before I even heard their music. Part of what I promised to do was to teach each person a song and give them my interpretation of what could be better or not, but I just knew they were talented. I could just tell by the questions that they were asking me. I blurted out; “Hey, if I ever decide to put together a band, do y’all wanna be in my band?” They were like: “Duh…well hell yeah! Of course we do!” Of course I had no intention at that moment of putting together another band but it was kinda fun to imagine that if I did, I would at least have two cool guys in it…in my little pretend, fictitious band up in my head. Time went on and I ended up doing a couple shows in Michigan.
I have a pretty good fan base in Michigan, who have been loyal and just incredible to me throughout this whole journey and I just got bitten by the bug. I mean literally. I was thinking to myself that I was gonna get so nervous because it had been so long since I had been onstage. As soon as I belted out that first note I was sucked right back in. I came back home and I decided that I have gotta try to put together a band here and do something, not to try to get a record deal, not to try to get on radio, not to try to do anything except that I took a long enough break and music is just as important to performing in some way, as it is for me to have my right arm. It was a pretty cool experience. Emotionally, for me, it was very healing…just feeling like I was ready to go back and play music for all the right reasons again, with the same spirit and energy and rawness and the same excitement that I had, when I first showed up in Nashville twenty something years ago…but this time with the wisdom of knowing completely in my heart that I will do it exactly how I wanna do it.
It was especially cool because not only did I have the enthusiasm and the joy I have 20 years ago, but I also have the experience both onstage and in all areas of music to know what I would and wouldn’t do. I was not going to be having to go through any of this process being naïve like I had done in my early days. I knew that there was nothing to lose. I had already written so much music over so many years and decided to make all of the songs that were gonna to be played by this band, were gonna be my favorite music that I enjoy performing…period. I made a conscious effort that this was gonna be an “assholeless band.” So, with that being said, I went through all the songs that I had saved from my class that I’d taught, spending a full day rummaging through all of my suitcases and backpacks to try to find the CD that had these two guys on it…who I couldn’t even remember their names. I knew that I would remember what the CD looked like and I found it. Their phone number was on the CD and I called them and said; “This is Buffy Lawson, I don’t know if you all recall this but, I had asked you to be in my band when you took my class and ya’ll said; “Hell Yeah!” You look like honest, good, nice citizens so I’m assuming that you aren’t lying to me. If you’re interested, call me back.” The two guys are Shawn Durr and he plays lead guitar and then there’s TJ Taylor and he plays drums. They called me back immediately and they were completely thrilled. We met over a six pack of Miller Lite at a little bitty bar down the street and we just sat down and I said: “Guys, here’s the thing; if we do this, we are gonna do this, it is gonna be fun, but we are gonna approach every part of it like are a national act. You are going to be treated by me, not as a bar band but you will be treated with so much respect and like you’re my “dear little superstars.” That’s how we’re gonna approach this town. We’re not doing cover tunes, we’re doing all originals and we are gonna do one-hour shows. We’re gonna do something that everybody in town will be telling us that we can’t do and that that doesn’t work here. We’re gonna have fun and it’s gonna be quality music and it’s gonna be and “assholeless band” so how’s it not gonna work?” (Laughs)
They were fired up and I was just thrilled. When we sat down and started talking about my vision for this, they were interjecting all of these amazing marketing ideas and we all made a pact that we were not going to allow anybody to be in the band that was not completely on the same page as everyone else. We were not gonna to have any egos and we were not gonna have anybody that just always is a thorn in your side. These guys are in their 20s and they got “Mama Buf” over here and they were embracing so much of my experiences and my journeys. It was kinda like being on a first date with someone that you end up getting married to. Or, in this case, meeting somebody and jamming on guitar and just knowing that you’re gonna know this person the rest of your life. That is how I felt. Well, that’s been six or eight months ago and we ended up taking our time because if you’re gonna try and find that caliber of players that fits these criteria: “Did I mention that we can’t pay you?” (Laughs) So here’s the stipulation, in a nutshell; you have to be hugely talented, you have to be extremely willing to play all original music, you have to be available when we say, you can’t be an asshole…and…we’re not gonna pay you! (Laughs even harder) But, because I’m having such a fine time and I’m the furthest thing from a diva, and I have a sense of humor with each part of what I say has a genuine chuckle behind it. I think what made this so exciting is that everybody had for whatever reasons, had just gotten out of a band where it was tough. Once you’ve been enough bands, it’s kinda like being married to five people whether you’re doing it on a small level like we are or if you’re out on the road. The importance of people getting along together and having fun…you really realize that once you’ve been in a couple of bands. We then found our last two folks, Eric Brock and he is just a major, awesome, incredible bass player. He’s got a deep pocket but he is so quiet, which is funny because, I remember going to him and saying; “Eric, are you happy? Remember when I said I couldn’t pay you…I was serious, I just want to make sure now that we’ve done a few shows that you’re happy with this.” He goes “No, you’ll find out that I’m pretty quiet but also don’t complain.” As I have gotten to know him and I have spent more time with him practicing and so forth, he’s just a delightful person. Our final guy, who sings backup harmony and plays guitar is Brandon Eaves. He’s been playin in his own band here in Lexington, and came in with an incredible reputation as a player and as a person. When we brought him in, he backed it up! We went through out first rehearsal without me hearing anybody play. Basically what we did instead of having any rehearsals is that we asked permission with a small club in Winchester, KY called the “Toy Tiger” if they minded that we started rehearsing there well before anybody would show up. Ya know, just so we could have some time and it was actually onstage. The same guy who owns “Cadillac Ranch” is a partial owner of the “Toy Tiger” and he was familiar with my music from years before and he was so accommodating to us and they let us go in there and start practicing. The coolest thing happened, people started coming to the rehearsals. I’d have my hair up in a pencil and blue jeans and flip flops and a Kentucky t-shirt and people were just gathering around. As it turned out, we never even had an opportunity to have one single rehearsal before we started getting a following. We were like “Well guys, play through it” and I would say: “Everybody welcome to…” we didn’t even have a name! So, “We don’t know who we are, we don’t even though the songs, but were so glad that you’re here and if you’re willing to hear a few bad notes…we’re willin to play them for ya”
This thing turned into a little “Thursday night deal” and there was a gentleman who I called: “Sir Donny.” He started making homemade beef brisket. It is the best and he made it free because he loved what we were doing. I actually took the pencil out of my hair and I finally got to the place where I’m like; “Guys, it’s time to bust out the high-heeled shoes!” We started doing our Thursday nights, Chris Mackey who is a primary owner of the “Toy Tiger”, would come and run lights for us. We started doing shows until we felt like we were no longer gonna be able to grow and we felt like we wouldn’t be able to grow them (Toy Tiger) either because of us being there so frequently. We decided to put on a show at “Cadillac Ranch.” It was our first big show and there were 600 to 700 people that night and it was one of the most exciting shows that I have ever done considering we put this thing together with nothing except just having a blast in our minds. I was so impressed with the band and their professionalism, how quickly they gelled and how supportive they were to me. It was a very emotional process because honestly there was a point, which I had mentioned earlier, that I thought I would never get on a stage again. Everything that has never happened before has happened now like getting gigs. One of my guys has a degree in graphic design so he’s designing our logo and our web site. They’re all musicians and they all have jobs! This is craziness! We just got our first major gig opening for a national act. We’re opening for Luke Bryan on October 16th, 2010 in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. We’re all hard-working businesspeople by day and rock stars by night. It’s pretty amazing. This “IN THE BUF” band is sprinkled with magic. I have never enjoyed anything musically more in my entire career!
TEN– That’s a very big statement to say.
BL– It really is. Now I’ve had moments, like with Neil Diamond but they weren’t long-term, day after day, growing kinds of things. They were moments that were amazing. This band has been an entire experience and it’s something that I’m just loving and I feel that is so authentic…so me. It is goofy, it is fun, it is rockin, and it’s just everything that I have ever wanted to say, wear, think and feel. I have nothing standing there telling me “Don’t do it.” I can say, do, think, wear my hair and my shoes…anything I wanna do…I’m doing it. And I don’t care if it makes it or not!
TEN– Do you think you’ll be releasing a CD?
BL– Absolutely! The first song that we would like to record is a song called: “Hair Of The Dog.” It’s a tender, little love song. (Giggles)
TEN– Coming from you, I just bet that it is…
BL– (Busts out laughing) It’s a tender little love song about having a nice Bloody Mary after perhaps a little bit too much whiskey the night before. It’s really fun and we’re finding that a lot of people relate to it which makes us feel better about ourselves. (Giggles again) Eventually we are definitely gonna record a CD and we are gonna to choose the songs on the CD based on what the fans love. Right now, the songs that we are finding that are getting huge attention with our audiences are: “Hair Of The Dog,” “I Wanna Go Runnin Nekkid In The Rain,” and another tender little of song called: “You’re Ugly.” But of course, we’ve also have our ballads that are very heartfelt and on the complete opposite side of that spectrum musically, that take our show in a completely different direction. The thing that I love about the show is that it’s got “Tina Turner rockin out” kinda vibe to it, it’s got a sense of humor and it makes you cry. It’s the way that I like shows to be. It’s the same kind of shows that I liked to have watched over the years. So yeah, we will be putting together a CD and that was a really long answer for a really simple question! (Laughs)
TEN– You’re a trip!
BL– Tell me about it!
TEN– Is there any place online that people can go to hear your music?
BL– Yes, as soon as the web site is up.
TEN– I am glad everything is going great for you. You certainly deserve it.
BL– Well thank you so much. It’s gonna be interesting. I don’t think I have ever been more intrigue to see how something unfolds than this. And, in the meantime, I am getting cuts. I’ve got a song on Bo Bice’s new CD and I’ve got another one that is HUGE that I am not allowed to talk about yet but it’s gonna be a career changer.
TEN– What is the name of the cut on the Bo Bice CD?
BL– It’s called “Keep On Rollin.” It’s the first song on his new album called “3.” It is about how times are hard right now and every last one of us, whether you’re sittin on a bazillion dollars over the past 15-20 years of your life, or your struggling and you’ve probably never struggled harder than you are right now. But, there is something beautiful about the fact that people are reinventing themselves and people are finding out that they are better at things that they never even realized before because they have been placed in a position of sink or swim. This song is about you just got to keep on rollin. Ya gotta find new ways to get what you want. It’s a very inspiring song and is my understanding that Bo his opening to show with the song and it has grown its own legs in Europe. I understand that it is charting very high in Paris and for the first time I can actually say Paris, France and not Paris, Kentucky. I’ve actually got a song that really is in Paris, France and it is charting.
TEN– So he is actually opening to show with your song?
BL– Yes he is and he is a fabulous writer. An amazing person and we really hit it off. I am very pleased with the song and we have future writing appointments scheduled. I hooked him up with several of the songwriters on this project. I feel like I was able to help some of my songwriter friends that I think our brilliant and give them an opportunity to work with Bo. I think it really helped Bo be able to get with some of just really fabulous writers in Nashville that he was not familiar with before. It’s just been fun all the way around and it was really great to be able to help. I kinda feel like I was part of that album even more than just the song that I wrote with him and Todd Cerney. My other cut that is coming out, which I can’t talk about very much except to say that it are three legendary icons that are recording it. I can’t say who they are at this point but it was a stunning, beautiful moment when I heard about it. It has been recorded and is in the process of being mixed and is gonna be so crazy special when it comes out.
TEN– You can give me a hint?
BL– I can’t…I can’t…I can’t because believe me; nobody wants to come out there and be able to tell ya more than I do. (Giggles) The record label has such a huge launch in mind for this that they’ve asked that we keep super quiet. It’s kinda cool that these awesome cuts have happened since I left Nashville. When I decided to stop watchin the water boil…ya know…and kinda re-create my own self like I was sayin before. Sometimes you can get in a rut and I’ll be the first one to say I think I’ve gotten in a rut and I’ve gone as far as I can go on a full time scale. That’s not to say that I don’t go and have fabulous, very concentrated, fun songwriting appointments that I set up and I’ll write four songs in one day. Four songs the next day and four songs the third day and then I’m home and I don’t worry about it. I’ve hired a “song plugger” in Nashville and she calls me up and says “Hey, ya gotta cut!” and I go “Whoo Hoo!” It’s a lot more fun this way.
TEN– Ok, I’m going to ask you this question again. Tell me something disturbing about yourself that you’ve never revealed before an interview. I’ve asked you and I’m going to keep on asking you until you answer me.
BL– (Busts out laughing) If I told ya…I have to kill ya! (Laughs even harder)
TEN– That’s what you keep telling me. (Laughs)
BL– See, one of these days we’re gonna do an interview when I’m about 70 and I’m going to be sitting there with a martini in my hand and I will have picked up every bad habit that I let go along the years because of a certain time. I won’t care anymore and I’ll be havin a nice stiff martini and you’ll say: “Ok, I’ve got one more question for ya.” We’re going to do this one person and I’m going to say “Honey, (Giggles) you’ve waited long time for this and I don’t know if you knew what you were gettin into” and I’m gonna spill the beans and you’re gonna be “jaw on the ground!” (Laughs)
I want to thank Buffy for once again thinking of T.E.N. when she has something to share about her life and career.
For more information on “IN THE BUF” please visit their Facebook page and keep watching for their brand new website coming soon.
For exclusive photos of Buffy visit the “Showing Some Love For T.E.N.” gallery.