Columbus rockers, Dave Buker & the Historians, opened their CD102.5 Frontstage Live show with “We Gave Up” from their 2013 album, What Can Bring You Back To Me? With Buker singing “nothing is as good as the way it was”, the sense of nostalgia runs deep, not only on this track, but throughout the band’s music. Watching the band perform, you can just picture them hanging out with the likes of Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Glenn Frey, and others in the 1970s. The music, lyrics, harmonies, and stage camaraderie epitomizes everything that was great about that 70s breezy, melodic California rock.
Three and four part harmonies weave throughout Buker’s songs, showcasing his own vocal talents, as well as those of Leanna Stansell and Paul Valdiviez. Stansell’s beautiful voice, and her perfect harmony with Buker, shines on “What Can Bring You Back To Me?”. Valdiviez, who also serves as co-lead of Columbus band Fields & Planes, is perhaps slightly underutilized in the Historians, and it might benefit the band to let his keyboard and vocals to the front a little more often. Like many bands with multiple talented vocalists/instrumentalists, it can sometimes be difficult to use everyone to their full potential on each track. On “Who’s Side Are You On” from their latest album, 2015’s For Every Heartbreak, Stansell also shows off her skills on the melodica, the always cool, breath-powered keyboard. Watch out for a new EP from the band, expected to drop this summer.
Closing out the night in the Big Room Bar was Daniel Dye and the Miller Road Band, whose Americana style feature Daniel Dye on acoustic guitar, banjo, and lead vocals, and his nephew, Andrew Miller, on banjo and mandolin, and his niece, Carrie Miller, on violin and vocals. Dye hails from Springfield, Ohio, which he noted had been named the saddest city in the United States after three years of research. Dye acquitted himself as an able vocalist, but the lyrics and music of his songs are the band’s strength. Dye and the Millers put on an easy-going and fun set that was perfect for sitting in a bar enjoying a great beer and the company of good friends.
Frontstage Live is hosted by Columbus radio station CD102.5 each Thursday at 9:00 p.m. in the Big Room Bar, located above the station’s studio at 1036 S. Front St., Columbus, OH. The free show features a different local band each week, and the first two songs of the show are broadcast live on air.