Rumor Has It
Don’t Call It a Comeback
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Back during the Before Times, one of my favorite things about being part of the Craig Jewell/Wild Buffalo ecosystem of friends and fans was that, from time to time, Craig would message me asking my opinion about a band or artist he was thinking about booking to play at his venue.
I don’t flatter myself that I was the only person to receive such messages. Craig is one of those people who believes that no matter how long he’s been doing a thing and no matter how good he might be at doing that thing, the best way for him to assess what his community might want to see and hear is simply to ask his community.
I’ve spoken to Craig off and on during the past year. Our relationship transcended venue owner and music writer long ago and I count him among my most enduring friends. Hearing from him is always lovely, no matter the topic or circumstances. But I have to say, I’ve missed the messages about potential bands for the Buffalo.
Until last week, that is.
My phone lit up, first with “Can you do me a huge favor?” When it comes to Craig, the answer to that question is always yes because it’s either going to be something totally great or something totally weird that is probably also totally great. That message was followed in short succession by the most beautiful words I’ve seen in a year (other than “Negative” on the various COVID tests I’ve taken, that is): “I’m starting to book shows again…” and that was, in turn, followed by him asking about a musician that shall go unnamed because that’s not really the point here.
The point here—in case you missed it, which I’m sure you haven’t—is that after a very long, very dark year, Craig is hard at work planning the Wild Buffalo’s next chapter and what that will sound like.
Don’t go getting too excited here. Any shows at the venue are likely still months away. Not only does the Wild Buffalo have to figure out its own processes and procedures, but the entire live music industry that supports venues the size of the Buffalo also has to be up and running in some fairly operational capacity.
The same goes for other venues in town, but with signs of life on the horizon, I can wait.
In the meantime, with Phase 3 loosening restrictions and increasing capacity, smaller bars and restaurants are beginning to book local acts for limited live performances, and karaoke nights have sprung up here and there. With COVID case counts still on the rise, I have complicated feelings about that, but with vaccine counts also on the rise, I can see a post-pandemic future—and it sounds great.