Donna the Buffalo's eclectic mix of rock, country, folk, reggae, zydeco, and bluegrass isn't nearly as inexplicable as its handle, which means... well, we're not quite sure, actually. Suffice it to say, there's no Donna among them, and there are certainly no big woolly mammals granted onstage access. The defining figures are Tara Nevins and Jeb Puryear, who co-front the scrappy upstate New York-based quintet, serving as its primary singers and songwriters. Etched in the jam-band template, Donna the Buffalo plays roughly 100 gigs a year, making the members regulars on the festival circuit and demigods to a loyal group of devotees their version of Deadheads who dub themselves the Herd. Given the band's rural roots, it seems appropriate that its latest effort, Life's a Ride, was recorded in a remodeled chicken house. But Donna's spiritual gaze and social commentary also meld well with its starry-eyed optimism. After nearly 20 years, the populist approach continues to find new devotees wherever these Buffalo roam.
Donna the Buffalo performs Wednesday, January 3, at the Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Admission costs $14.99. Call 954-564-1047, or visit www.cultureroom.net.