For their seventh studio album, Silverlined, veteran roots-rock act Donna the Buffalo don’t stray too far from their trademark hybrid of folk, reggae, Cajun, zydeco, rock and country. As a staple of the festival circuit for 20 years now, the band certainly is attuned to what their devoted fanbase wants to hear, and this latest collection lays down ramshackle, danceable grooves that give structure to songs like “Tomorrow Still Knows” and “Biggie K” that might otherwise devolve into freeform jam-band improvisation. As usual, multi-instrumentalists Tara Nevins and Jeb Puryear trade lead vocal and principal songwriter duties here, with Puryear’s contributions reflecting an environmentally conscious lyrical bent while Nevins’s songs skew more toward traditional country and folk songs about relationships. While it would give the album greater focus and heft were they able to intertwine these two distinct themes, both types of songs fit comfortably within the band’s homey aesthetic. Without any particularly noteworthy songwriting, it’s the Buffalos’ always spirited performances that carry Silverlined, which comes as close as any of their records to capturing the energy of their live shows.
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