The Reno music scene moves in only one direction, forward. I’ve lived here less than 20 years, but have witnessed amazing growth. We are currently sitting on a goldmine of talent and style — I compel you to get out and appreciate it.
There always have been “Reno bands.” The first I recall included 7 Seconds, The Saddle Tramps and Livitz Livitz. The next was Jelly Bread, Keyser Soze and Buster Blue. I heard about Buster Blue repeatedly, but never had the chance to photograph them. So needless to say, I was excited when I heard they were putting on a reunion of sorts at The Saint.
It feels good again to be together. We all love where we’re at now, but to rekindle something we love is special.”
Singer Bryan Jones, now touring as Buffalo Moses, and the rest of Buster Blue parted ways and he moved to Seattle. It’s been six years since the elementary school friends from Gardnerville have played together. Saxophonist Rachael McElhiney said that time and their music is still a big part of their hearts.
“It’s nice to revisit home,” McElhiney said. “This will always be something we want to come back to.”
She recalls not knowing exactly how her sax would fit into Jones’ folky stuff. He’d ask her to sing dirtier or play dirtier. She ran with the request and is now in the dirtiest band in Reno, Failure Machine.
“It’s been long enough,” McElhiney said. “It feels good again to be together. We all love where we’re at now, but to rekindle something we love is special.”
The night began with Gina Rose and Josiah Knight.
Gina is something else. Her sound is sultry and intoxicating. I’ve only seen her once before, but I found myself singing along to her songs. They are emotional, but approachable.
Josiah is true folk. He aggressively chicken-picks his acoustic guitar while singing richly through a foot of beard. His wild guitar work balances his calm and soulful vocals.
Jones started his set playing solo. It took a turn when he told the audience to shut up a handful of times. Something about being told, “I love you, but shut the fuck up” doesn’t sit well with me. But, I am maturing, and giving him the benefit of the doubt. I realize it’s hard to display your art in front of people. It also made me respect all the other talented people I’ve seen play in loud, sweaty Reno bars and not curse at the audience.
The night took a final turn to a better horizon when his former bandmates and Adam Landis of Silver and Rigorous Proof took the stage with him.
Jones later apologized for the aggression.
“Now that the band’s up here, you can be as loud as you want,” Jones said. “I don’t give a fuck.”
They looked happy to be together again. Oh yeah, and a dude played percussion on a bucket. Dope!
– Tony Contini