2007   JULY 15   #196

Buffalo - Stars Of The Bars

1. Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way (2:23)
2. Good time Charlie's Got The Blues (2:54)
3. A Little Boy's Prayer (5:41)
4. Rambling Man (2:52)

You might think from looking at the cover that the title of this album is 'Tars Of The Ars' but look closer and you'll see an S and a B made of little red stars, making the title Stars Of The Bars. Clever huh? Buffalo were that rare beast, an English country and western band operating out of West Lincolnshire. I originally bought this album for the cover and those retina-burning outfits the guys are wearing. That combination of turquoise polyester flares and vests trimmed with pink satin, over yellow satin puff-sleeve shirts was too good to resist! However, any heterosexual man wearing such a get-up back in 1978 in un-cosmopolitan Lincolnshire would surely have been lynched. The back cover features the band members' heads done up in Native American war paint, clumsily superimposed on cave paintings of (you've guessed it) buffalos. One appears to be emerging from out of one of the beast's back passages. It just doesn't get any better than this! The music is C&W by numbers. It's actually quite acceptable on the whole with only the occasional bum note and missed beat. So I have only included four tracks here. Two of these represent what the trio do best, good time rocking country tunes (although try not to laugh too much at their shaky delivery and terrible accents). The best of these is a cover of Waylon Jennings' Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way, although it's ironic to hear chunky vocalist Keith singing the lyric "Looking at the back side of me". Sporting such voluminous blue strides it's hard to do anything else! The other two tracks fall into the mawkish style: Good time Charlie's Got The Blues sees weedy double-tracked vocals competing with an over-loud, reverb-drowned guitar, while A Little Boy's Prayer (a hit for Hank Williams Jr) is one of those toe-curling narratives. Over 5 painful minutes we learn the tale of a little boy who's already lost his mum to some unspecified illness and is worried that his pa is going to top himself. After listening to this we'll all be reaching for the nembutals.

- Contributed by: David Noades

Images: Front Cover, Back Cover

Media: Album
Label: Pixie
Catalog: PIX 008
Date: 1978
Credits: Produced by Buffalo. Jim Craig (Steel pedal guitar), 'Carl' (piano), Carol Anne Pegg (backing vocals).