While Buffalo Tom had its biggest successes in the 1990s, the band was born at the University of Massachusetts in the 1980s.
The group — Chris Colbourn (bass/vocals), Tom Maginnis (drums), and Bill Janovitz (guitar/vocals) — reached its commercial peak in the 90s with Let Me Come Over, followed by Big Red Letter Day, and Sleepy Eyed. After 1998’s Smitten the group mostly stopped being an active band, though it never broke up, usually played at least few shows a year, and always communicated with its dedicated group of hard-core fans.
In 2007 Buffalo Tom reemerged with Three Easy Pieces, am under-looked masterpiece that showed a band could mature while still retaining its sound. The group came back again in 2011 for Skins, an equally delightful new album that showed maturity while also still giving the fans what they wanted.
Since then, the trio has been mostly quiet. Janovitz has been the most active on the solo front, doing everything from spending about a year releasing a cover each week, to producing a solo record, and an album with his group The Needy Sons. Aside from a couple of shows a year — generally in and around Boston — the group has mostly been silent.
That’s about to change and Buffalo Tom has big plans. The group not only has some live shows lined up, it also has launched a campaign on Pledge Music to fund a new album.
What is Buffalo Tom doing?
Pledge Music lets bands crowdfund an album while letting their fans be part of the process. Fans can do everything from pre-order a digital version to ordering a vinyl copy, purchase a meal with the band, or even buy a special live show. Buffalo Tom explained their goals for the campaign on the group’s Pledge Music page:
We are excited to be underway with our ninth album, the first in about five years. You can pledge and participate in the campaign here, from simply pre-ordering the digital download, to a variety of physical limited-edition product bundles (CD, vinyl, a new t-shirt), or even one-of-a-kind experiences. See all of the unique offerings below.
The group also announced some tour dates and a charity tie-in for the new record:
It is going to be an exciting and busy year, kicking off this week with the Boston House of Blues show with our old buds, Dinosaur Jr on Nov. 25. We are also doing a bit of touring in London, Amsterdam, and Brussels in June. All of that should dovetail perfectly with the 25th anniversary reissue of our breakthrough album, Let Me Come Over.
A percentage of the proceeds of this campaign shall be donated to Greater Boston Food Bank.
How can you support Buffalo Tom?
Contributions on the group’s Pledge Music page start at just $9.99 for a digital download of the upcoming album. The promotion runs until January 23, but some of the special items (like T-shirts and signed guitars) are limited edition and will run out.