Joe Risdon was still in high school in 2012 when he first put The Buffalo Ryders — name inspired by Niel Young’s band Buffalo Springfield — together with some friends.
They wrote and recorded a six-song album called Beefstock on his computer. It’s a solid album and sets a high bar for the rest of Risdon’s career.
Risdon grew up with a love for blues and guitar and studied under local guitar legend Mike Lenz. He’s been the one constant member of The Buffalo Ryders — playing guitar, singing, and writing the songs. He met his current bandmates, drummer Mike Lupica and singer-bassist Kevin McManus, through mutual friends in the local music scene.
The trio released music they’ve been working on all year this summer with the album Where the Liars Go. It’s their first studio-produced album and the first album that features McManus. It’s also the first thing they’ve released since before COVID.
While some of The Buffalo Ryders’ earlier albums have a mellow, almost beachy vibe, their later albums have a heavier metal influence. Where the Liars Go is the heaviest yet, with lyrics about the year 2020 to match the mood of the music.
Risdon wrote the album with Lupica while cooped up at home in spring 2020. He finished the lyrics while camping with friends over the summer. He calls the album a reflection on the events of that year, observed from the outside. They didn’t move forward with it until they brought McManus on as a member of the band in December.
McManus, who was a member of The Outside Voices and Nick WIlkinson & The Featured Players, brought with him a relationship with Neil Tuuri from Amish Electric Chair Studios in Athens, Ohio. McManus, Risdon and Lupica spent a weekend in Athens tracking Where the Liars Go with Tuuri in February 2021. Risdon describes the experience, his first time recording in a studio, as “the best weekend of my life.”
Where the Liars Go is a heavy, methodical, lineup of grounded songs that sound best when played loudly. The music is no-frills — straightforward guitar, bass and drums — with relatable, sobering lyrics about life, love, and the state of the world. It has a bluesy rhythm and persistent bass lines, sprinkled with ambient, expansive moments of clarity, rest, and stadium-worthy guitar solos. Classic Rustbelt Rock, if you will.
Risdon describes his newest album as “kind of like a rollercoaster.” His favorite song to perform is Ghost because it offers a release from the intensity of the rest of the songs, and the audience sings along with the catchy lyrics.
The Buffalo Ryders had a record release show for Where the Liars Go at Musica in July 2021. Risdon says, “It was amazing. It felt more like it was for everyone than just us.”
To see their upcoming shows, find The Buffalo Ryders on social media or go to their website www.thebuffaloryders.com. Listen to Where the Liars Go and the full discography on Bandcamp and Spotify.
Emily Anderson has plants in every room of her house.
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