When I was a teenager doing what all teenagers do, complaining about being bored, slacking, driving around aimlessly, I always found myself enthralled with comedy albums or cd’s. Weird Al, Ray Stevens, but most of all, it was when Adam Sandler put out the “what the hell happened to me?” album that I really couldn’t stop the obsession to hit repeat. Random skits, jokes amongst songs that were so well crafted that you almost forgot he was a comedian. I always wondered what a serious songwriter tune from him might have sounded like. In later years, Rodney Carrington rose to fame with his haphazard take on life along with some funny as hell songs. I kinda lost touch with this art form, well, that was until I met Buck Fuffalo. Carismatic, whitty, and one hell of a craftsman when it came to the lyrical game. This past February with the release of Fables & Folklore of the 21st Century Buck confirmed my suspicions of him being just that, a craftsman.
Putting out a debut album is one of the most anxious feelings I’ve had since becoming a father. You just are filled with so much hope and worry at the same time. I just hope finally having music out there translates into more opportunities. When I decided to pursue music as a path I had three goals- 1. Make an album 2. Get a song on the Radio 3. Play Larry Joe Taylor's Texas Music Festival
This year all of those things are happening. It’s a really really weird feeling to see it happening considering I used to make footlong corndogs at ljt. Now that I’ve done what I’ve set out to do it’s time to make new goals for myself. Some of which seemed like pipe dreams just a few years ago but now I feel like they could be obtainable. As for now I’m going to keep being the best entertainer I can be, and continue to polish my craft. Ben Hussey called me to congratulate me on the day my album was released, which the fact that he took the time to do that made my heart warm. Then after he congratulated me he said, “enjoy your album today because tomorrow you start working on the next one”.
With a slew of songs aimed at your funny bone: My Cousin's Hot (I mean, come on, any song that talks about how using crack is bad for you and hot kinfolk has to get you going). Don't Be a Pussy (the all to real look at fathers wanting their sons to grow up strong but in a mis-guided, alcohol fueled uber-macho redneck sort of sense). Barking at the Moon (Is this the origin story of the mythical Buck Fuffalo). All joking aside, there are some deep cuts on this album, some downright fantastic songs.
Music offers so many ways to tell a story and set a mood. The more I work with professional musicians the more I’m fascinated with its seemingly endless possibilities. I was planning on recording an an album a few years ago but then life happened. I got a divorce and DUI in the same month. The money I had saved went to lawyer fees and everything else that cost money when you go through a divorce. I fought the DUI all the way to trial and won but still took time and money I really didn’t have. At first I was discouraged and contemplated ending my pursuit of a music career. Then I was asked to join Rift Management group and that outlook of just playing little acoustic shows here and there to aiming towards an ultimate goal of being a professional gave me hope I was on the right track creatively. After wrapping up with this album I’m so glad I waited. The friends and connections I’ve made over the years that helped me make this album far exceed my expectations. Calling on Larry Joe Taylor and Nino and Marco of the Dirty River Boys. Working with Ben Hussey and Josh Serrato at Melody Mountain Studios was so much fun the let me throw out any ideas and we rolled with it. One of my best friends and fellow songwriter Billy Hartman played an upright bass and did “the prologue” track. I got Shea Abshier's drummer Chase Chancellor and Doug Moreland’s Fiddle player Wesley Holtsford, plus Josh Serrato did the lead guitar parts in everything but “Moonshine”. Shea Abshier and Giovannie Yanez came into the studio just to add ideas and be a part of the process. I feel like I put a super group together but mostly I was making an album with friends. Still makes my heart happy knowing how much everyone cared to work with me on this project.
I never wanted to get away from what got me into music in the first place which was being silly and just having fun. Growing up some of my favorite albums were the comedy records by Adam Sandler so epilogue is my homage to his bits. I also could’ve done just a straight up funny album but I didn’t want to get pigeonholed as that since I take pride in my serious songs. After my dad passed away I had several gigs booked and really didn’t feel funny and the last thing I wanted to do as an artist or entertainer is portray something I am not. That same time period is when I wrote Moth song which is a metaphor for transitioning into a new part of my life. I’ve literally had people hear the opening line and laugh because who starts a song with “when I was a caterpillar”? But by the end of the song they’re moved. Witnessing my words have such an affect on a person and an audience is incredibly rewarding as a songwriter. So when I write out something that’s not funny, I’m conscious that it better be well crafted and in the right order or the transition from song to song will come off as confusing.
Hopefully my music comes off as diverse and authentic. On the album especially I wanted each song to be able to stand on its own and provide something different for the listeners whether it be lyrically, vocally or just the overall sound from track to track. I’ve always had a hard time defining what “kind” of music I play... I know I’m not the best guitar player or singer so I strive to be the best entertainer I can be. My goal is to be unique and different but not so far out of the box that loses an audience.
While Buck continues to gain traction amongst his peers and the not-so-sleepy college town of Stephenville, I feel as though more and more people need to experience his kind of music. It's funny, real, humorous, naughty, and just plain good. I'll leave you guys with a video Buck made for us for what is probably my favorite cut off of the album, a tune simply titled "Arizona."
It was recreated, the girl I wrote it about, her and I had this on again off again relationship and one of the times we “broke up” I left her a drunken voicemail which she saved. “See ya never” was kind of a catchphrase between the two of us. I added the voicemail into the song because I felt like it enhances the story that’s told throughout the song. Really a lot of things that were done on the album are references to little things I enjoyed in old albums like Dr. Dre’s “the Chronic”, where you would get into the world of this artist almost like watching a show.
I think that in today's world we try way too hard to play the serious card. Work is serious, troubles are serious, anger is serious, but in reality it's the small inaccuracies in and of life that make it worth living. When the plans fall through and don't go exactly as we want them to is when the really cool stuff seams to happen. We need to chill out, learn to laugh at our own mistakes and love one another. But who am I kidding.
Aaron Lee Bentley