Who….or what… is “Buddy South?”
Buddy South is more than just a man. Buddy South is a conglomeration of fully-grown men.
Buddy South is uninterested in becoming what passes as manly by today’s standards. Buddy South would rather be out in the wilderness hunting or fishing than playing some kiddy game on his cell phone.
Buddy South was brought up right and loves his Mamma and Daddy. Accordingly, he is a gentleman. Buddy South looks a man in the eye when speaking to him….and when listening. He shakes hands with a firm grip when meeting either gender. He is always the romantic and swift to hold the door for a lady. He’ll fix your broken toilet and then sweep you off your feet.
Buddy South values what was right about the good old days and cherishes and carries that with him, but he also knows what was not so right, and he stands for correcting such injustices. Buddy South stands with the righteous.
Buddy South always enjoys a cold beer, but he can serve up the best martini you will ever taste. He enjoys cocktail parties, but he is NOT a member of the “drinking class.” To him, Redbull is a sneaker, not something to imbibe.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Buddy South plays real country music……Cowtown Rock style.
Buddy South is:
Brian Barber — Drums, Recording Engineer, Fashion Consultant, Administrator of the Lair
At a very young age, Brian’s parents noticed that he was exceptionally gifted at repeatedly counting to 4 in relatively equal intervals. Fearing the worst, they waited as long as they could to buy him a set of drums. When he was about 13, he got a kick ass 4 piece vintage Gretsch set. The kind with the gold swirl wrap. Like a lot of mid to late 80s dumb ass drummers, he traded that in for a massive Pearl set with shitty composite shells. Ask him about it today, and the only response you get is a 1000 yard stare and incomprehensible mumbles.
In high school, he joined local Oklahoma City alternative rock band Blunderwheel, which is rumored to still have a significant following in South America. From there he went to California to complete his snob school education and studied the now defunct music business. Shortly after the introduction of the mp3, he left his post (and a stack of unsigned mechanical licenses) at a record label in LA and returned to Oklahoma City to sling cowboy boots on the internet, figuring it would be some time before those could be compressed enough for download.
In the years since he’s been back, he’s played in two line ups of Oklahoma City rock band the Moons and a funk and soul band, Basement Dynasty. Buddy South is his first semi-pro venture into playing with a primarily southern rock and country band. He hasn’t yet successfully convinced Buddy South that a country funk fusion band would revolutionize Oklahoma’s red dirt scene, so he mainly approaches the songs using the driving 4/4 attack he developed early in life.
Myers Briggs: ENFP
Relationship Status: Friend Zone
Prior Convictions: Sealed
Favorite Movie: Carlito’s Way
Book: The Outsider
Album: Rubber Soul
Unhealthy Dislikes: The movie Titanic, 4 Non Blondes, and Alanis Morrisette’s ‘Ironic’
Nathan Guilford — Pedal Steel Guitar, Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Saxophone, Gadgets, Songwriter
Guilford crawled out of a wheat field one day to learn that the world had changed during his long winter’s nap. Coffee no longer cost a nickel and girls no longer wore poodle skirts. The biggest horror of all was that “bro” country and commercialization had taken over country radio. Initially he tried to recreate the past by playing music from his heroes – Ernest Tubbs, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, The Statler Brothers….etc. He soon realized however that these artists are dead and gone and their music is gone with them. Despair filled his cold, cold heart until an old friend one day handed him a recording of Son Volt. His world changed. He soon discovered The Bottle Rockets, The Jayhawks, The Tractors, Steve Earl, Townes Van Zandt, Wilco…etc. It appeared that the roots of that old sound are still here! And even better, there is a spirit of originality and experimentation in “Alternative Country” or “Cow Punk” or “Americana” that really inspires!
Now armed with his pedal steel skills and new digital doohickeys and gizmos, he has aligned with a group of like-minded dudes from Buddy South to spread this good news to the world. The revolution is starting right here in Stockyards City, OKC!
John Ran Smith — Vocals and Yodeling, Electric Guitar, Fryer Cook, Curmudgeon, Songwriter
JR, a come-here to the great state of Oklahoma from the Crooked Trail of Southwest Virginia, spent much of his youth firing off large-caliber handguns and helping his grandaddy keep his back-holler still well-hidden while tending to the mash. Raised by his wedding-planner mamma and barber/tooth dentist pop, JR showed great propensity for music, when he was discovered at a young age humming Perry Como tunes. He later “found” a discarded early-60s Kay Stratotone featuring five strings that he taught himself to strum. It wasn’t until decades later that he discovered that guitars feature six strings. To this day, he just leaves out the B string in his strumming…..and plays everything in G.
Past Bands: Treetop. City Limits. The El Rays. Waldos. Ancient Lizards. The Velvet Marias. The Trailer Court Marshals. Buddy South.
Musical influences: Perry Como. Boxcar Willie. The Cowsills. Leo Sayer.
Favorite movie: Tie: The Gods Must Be Angry and Idiocracy.
Hobbies: Making old tubes glow red; shooting little birds; frying mountain oysters; collecting original art by Kevin Lee Wells.
Favorite Quote: “Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world and I’ll stand on Bob Dylan’s coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that.” Steve Earle
Bart Young — Lead geetar, Sound Expert, Psycho-Analyst/Motivational Speaker, Songwriter
Bart was born and raised on a creek surrounded by wheat fields in Kansas where he learned to catch frogs, snakes, & snapping turtles. Growing up in a small rural community often meant developing interesting forms of self-entertainment. Driving too fast (and not always particularly straight or well), bottle rocket and BB gun battles, sneaking the occasional alcoholic beverage, and playing lots of golf and music were the answer to that dilemma. The only remaining vice is music. Otherwise he managed to become a normal well-adjusted adult (barring evidence to the contrary). He strongly believes in the concept of plausible deniability. From early exposure to music of the 60’s-70’s, his musical pursuits expanded to 12 years of classical piano and learning a huge catalog of rock guitar by ear. With a diverse musical background and interest he can often be heard blasting hard rock riffs in rehearsal, much to the chagrin of his band mates, but his own personal delight.
Past bands: include no-one you’ve ever heard of, such as Dead Giveaway, Stolen Youth, Skinny Lewinsky, Granite, Sundown. . .
Musical Influences: Everything; good music influences him to play like that; bad music influences him to not play like that. He considers artists such as Mark Ford & Rich Robinson (Black Crowes), The Jayhawks, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Rev Billy Gibbons, Zac Brown Band, and several others (Edward Van Halen, Kansas, Rush, etc) on the right side of that line.
Current musical infatuation: Shane Smith and the Saints
Kevin Lee Wells — Bass Guitar, Fine Art Direction, Long Bed Pickup Truck Enthusiast (it’s standard)
Kevin started out at the age of 15 as a roadie for his dad’s band, The RythmRyders, playing venues all over southern Oklahoma. This is where he picked up a six string and started learning chords. It’s also where he got his hands on a four string and decided “that’s what I am, a bassist.” After dropping out of art school and a stint in the U. S. Navy, Kevin returned to art school and ran into some fellows that needed a bass player. In bands such as Silent Fury, Alchemy, 911, and Lodestone, they rocked Grady county, Oklahoma.
A bitter divorce ended all of that and forced him into semi-retirement until he happened upon JR Smith during a clandestine fine-art deal. Smith, whose crib features more than one of Kevin’s works of art, talked him out of musical retirement and into joining Buddy South.
Kevin’s playing is most influenced by the great jazz bassists, as well as Geddy Lee, and John Paul Jones.