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Cryin' D.T. Buffkin and the Bad Breath Don't Want Your $13

Photo: Photos by VENESSA HILL SHAHAN, License: N/A

Photos by VENESSA HILL SHAHAN

Cryin’ D.T. Buffkin and the Bad Breath belting out the blues at Hi-Tones

Photo: , License: N/A

Travis Buffkin channeling Satchmo at Hi-Tones. Or is it Billie Holiday?


I share with him the story of Astor Piazzolla, the Argentine genius (and inspiration for the Austin Piazzolla Quintet) who revolutionized tango and came up with his own sound. Before Piazzolla created the New Tango, in the mid-1950s he went to Paris to study under composer Nadia Boulanger and showed her his classical compositions. She was unimpressed and found them derivative. “Where’s Piazzolla?” she kept asking. He then showed her his New Tango pieces, and she exclaimed: “Now, that’s Piazzolla!” thus changing his life.

So I ask, “Where’s Travis Buffkin?”

“It’s there [on Tattooed Rose],” Buffkin said. “You just have to listen. I can sing any way I want, but I’m not bullshitting when I growl. But I never sound better than when I just sit at home and play the piano or guitar by myself. Honestly, that’s when I sound best.”

And that’s what I want to hear.

“Just send me some songs, demos you record at home with ‘your own voice,’” I request. Days later, he delivers three wonderful new songs his band is incorporating into their live set, just his voice and guitar on the recordings: “Honey Bee,” “Today Was a Liquor Store” and “Tie One On,” three unclassifiable songs that sound folky but could be easily turned into a Cryin’ D.T. Buffkin format. In them, what he calls his “own voice,” really is apparent: Satchmo is still there, but it is Travis Buffkin that strikes the listener most.

“I’ll take Louie Armstrong but I won’t take Tom Waits anymore,” he said. “Now I’ve found my voice and I feel like Billie Holiday.”

Whatever the voice, and whatever the future holds for his band, first things first: there’s a show on Saturday, and, heck, Buffkin decided to give promoting it a shot. So he posted the following on the band’s Facebook (yes, FB) page:
“We, Cryin’ D.T. Buffkin & the Bad Breath, are playing a show at Nightrocker that will cost $13 at the door. Clearly, $13 is an outrageous amount of money to pay to see even the best band in town, which, clearly, we are. However, if you use this promo shit posted below, it will only cost $8. [the coupon was only good until July 13]. $8 is too much to pay to see us too...BUT, wouldn’t it be funny if you did pay $8 to see us. I mean, you like us (or you don’t), or you’ve certainly heard we’re good. Maybe you haven’t seen us in a while. Or you know us. Hmm. The gig is July 27th at Nightrocker.

If it makes you feel any better, Girl in a Coma tickets cost like 19 bucks. Us. Them.”

If less than 20 people show up, the organizers (Afton Shows) will cut the band’s set short, accordinf to Buffkin. The future of Cryin’ D.T. Buffkin is in your hands. If you don’t go, this is what’s going to happen:
“We’ll show up with three or four guys, play for about 20 minutes and they’ll say, ‘You didn’t sell any tickets, so you won’t make any money and it was all for nothing,” Buffkin said. “It’ll be like, ‘Fuck you! We never want to work with [your band] again!’”

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