Life can teach you many lessons, even ones that you don’t want to learn, but for rhythm and blues singer/ songwriter, Buffalo Nichols has taken those life challenges and channeled them into a brutally honest and authentic hard-working music career. Better or for worse, married to the music as well as his guitar, Nichols has traveled the globe from Milwaukee to West Africa to Texas and Europe with the mission to turn an artist’s dream into reality and bring blues music into the future by putting stories of black Americans back into folk music.
His latest stop on his journey has brought him to the iconic Lollapalooza BMI stage. In front of a packed audience of young and old and every color, Nichols sang his heart out. A company just by his guitar and a drummer, he held the audience’s soul in the palm of his hand. With the audience hanging on his every word, he admits his captivating stage presence is not one that he developed overnight. “It’s definitely learned and not natural,” he said. It’s evident that his undeniable stage presence has been one that has been earned through years of setbacks, challenges, and strife culminating in an excruciating pressure that only develops the world’s rarest gems.
As for his music, it seems to have hit a cord with the masses given the pain brought on by the pandemic. He acknowledges with songs like “Living In Hell,” his music has been resonating with more and more people, “I think… a lot of people were trying to escape from the darkness of the last two years, but I think a lot of people are giving into it…not in a negative way but just accepting it. I think that’s why people come to my music.”
Accepting one’s fake can be a love and hate relationship, which is something he can identify with when it comes to his guitar. “It means everything and nothing,” he says about his six strings. “I tried so hard not to play guitar and do something else with my life, but it just [keeps] calling me back,” he admits. “I love it; it’s ruined my life and saved my life,” he said.
As for the next chapter on Nichols’s Journey, well he’s back on the road. His next stop will be AMERICANAFEST before heading to New York, New Jersey, Kentucky, Texas, and Little Rock Arkansas.