Buffalo Gals are back in town!

Buffalo Gals

Hitch up your horses and join in the fun – Buffalo Gals are back in town!

Saddling up for Spring, last spotted in Somerset at the beautiful Tin Church as part of last year’s Frome Festival, National touring and internationally-awarded Buffalo Gals, who were formed in Frome, as the impromptu result of a benefit gig nearly 20 years ago, will be opening the outdoor theatre season on the Merlin theatre’s ECOS amphitheatre on 14th May!

An afternoon of old-time country and bluegrass joy, punctuate with funny-woman banter, the band is headed up by Frome-resident, American champion fiddler-player, song-writer, composer and aficionado of the ‘high lonesome’ voice singing style, Kate Lissauer. Indeed most of the band are based here in the South West and several are well-recognised and known Frome residents, often spotted around town.

Kate Lissauer moved here with her then-partner, and now-husband, banjo-playing John ‘Johnny’ Whelan 25 years ago as the growing and vibrant arts scene and relaxed vibe felt like a cosy, welcoming home to those far away from their native shores. The couple immediately became fans of the Merlin and were delighted to be two of many musicians playing a casual, lively benefit gig in 2003.

Nobody is more surprised than Kate and Johnny that, two decades later, a simple ‘Hey let’s make a string-band’ comment has produced a close-knit group of fun-loving performers who have taken both well-known and obscure tunes from the old-time tradition, as well as Kate’s own original compositions, around the UK Americana circuit and on tour to the USA itself, winning awards, repeat gig spots and making CD recording as they go.

In addition to words and music, the band places percussive dancer and body percussionist Sara Marshall-Rose front and centre. In this style of dance the feet, in a manner similar to clogging or tap dancing, beat out the rhythm like a drum. Slapping and clapping makes more percussion through the body and Sara, like all good ‘flat footers’, will sometimes take the stage and add all kinds of freestyle moves just for attention and fun!

Also in the line-up for the Sunday afternoon social on May 14th at the Merlin, will be Sue ‘Sooz’ Clare, another Frome resident, known to many for her amazing uke playing and perfect harmonies in local band, Feral Beryl. Bass is provided by renowned musician and singer, Jolene Missing, guitar lead by Buffalo Gals’ original, Pete Dunn and mandolin (plus any other instrument that passes in his vicinity) is multi-instrumentalist and Hayseed Dixie regular, Hippy-Joe Hymas.

Audience members are reminded to bring picnic blankets and, probably not necessary if you’re the get-up-and-dance type, a jacket, just in case …as the Merlin ECOS opens in festival-vibe with music kicking off at 2pm on Sunday 14th May.

Tickets via merlintheatre.co.uk A taste of Buffalo Gals can be found at buffalogals.co.uk