You’ll have to excuse the long post. It’s a special one that has been in the works for a long time.
The first time I saw Kristina Moore of Where Are All The Buffalo play, it was in the dimly lit, intimate lounge of Crescent Ballroom. I was entranced. I walked up to her after the show and the first thing I told her was, ‘You are magical.’ And still, every time I hear a song by Kristina, I think the same thing. It’s hard to listen to the music of Where Are All The Buffalo and not become enamored with its unique sweetness and raw honesty. What also captivated me was the variety and incredible talent she has with the instruments she plays – ukelele, auto harp, accordion and piano. What’s even more amazing is that Kristina is self-taught. She has been singing since she was a child and took some piano lessons, but it wasn’t until her late teens that she picked up the auto harp, accordion and ukelele and just started playing. Kristina found the auto harp at her babcia’s (Polish for grandmother) house and discovered an old 120 base accordion that belonged to her great grandfather.
Upon meeting and getting to know Kristina, I found that her instruments, lyrics and inspiration are all deeply intertwined with her background, family, childhood and who she is now. The song performed for this video, “Mamidło,” is Kristina’s first song written in Polish. She is half Polish and grew up going to the Pulaski Club to polka on the weekends, making pierogi, gołąbki and chrusciki for every holiday, singing Polish songs and listening to amazing stories her babcia and mother used to tell about the Polish people and history. Though she is still learning the language, Kristina wanted to write a song in Polish to challenge what she knew and pay homage to a culture and heritage that has been so integral in her life. According to Kristina, the song itself is basically about becoming free like a child again.
I feel like it’s a common theme in songs I write, this idea that if one removes themselves from all of the experiences that have transformed them into the neurotic person many of us are, they feel like a child again, free to be a part of the world in really simple ways.
And the location of the video ties into this sense of nostalgia. When I first got to know Kristina, we quickly discovered our shared love for the desert and remembered spending our childhoods exploring the mountains west of the city. It seemed only right to shoot her video here. At sunrise. In December. And last but certainly not least, Where Are All The Buffalo has recently acquired the accompaniments (for selected songs) of Dylan Pratt, Dominic Armstrong and Janna McCluskey. Dominic Armstrong, a good friend and former bandmate, plays the glockenspiel in “Mamidło.”
Where Are All The Buffalo just released its first EP and it’s available here. I strongly encourage you to take a listen, love it like I did, then follow her on Facebook. And for goodness’ sake, go see her live!
Try to listen to Sareena Dominguez without loving her style, talent and the incredible feeling she puts into her performances. Seriously. Try. Sareena is another Phoenix-based musician who came highly recommended by several friends. So of course, I had to track her down, shoot a video with her and share her beautiful voice with you all. I can’t even put her music into a genre. She’s just GOOD. And you’ll have to go see for yourself. Or listen. Sareena just released her first album this year, Moonbeams, under River Jones Music Label and has an official music video. And if her talent wasn’t enough, she brings to the stage her band members and an amazing presence that engages the listener and viewer completely. I strongly urge you to check out her page and go see her live. She plays several shows around town and this is only the beginning for her.
This post is a special one, as Sareena had just written this new song and was more than happy to share it. She also performed an A cappella cover of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine.” Be sure to watch the second video as well for this special treat. Listen and stay updated here:
***Note on the location. The videos were shot in the live performance and art gallery, Burnt Sky Studio, located in Downtown Phoenix. Burnt Sky promotes the creativity of our local artistic community through paintings, photography, sculpture and live performances. Please stop by during a First Friday and support Phoenix’s creative endeavors and talent. Thank you to Todd and Jennifer Stevenson for generously opening the studio for the shoot.