128. Chase the Buffalo – Pierce Pettis
CHASE THE BUFFALO (1993)
I have commented several times that it is a very rare instance in which someone covering a Mark Heard tune can create a version that is equal, let alone superior, to the original. One of those very exceptions is Pierce Pettis’ cover of Heard’s “Nod Over Coffee.” The wonderful version that appears both on the Mark Heard tribute album, Orphans of God (discussed previously), but also on Pettis’ finest work, Chase the Buffalo, is not the only highlight to be found here. Pettis has also gone on to cover a Mark Heard tune on every album since.
Chase the Buffalo is the work of an artist painting a wonderful canvas with guitar and lyric. Sounding at times a little like Bruce Cockburn (labelmate on High North Records), and the comparisons expand beyond just the voice. Pettis shares Cockburn’s musical influences and wonderful knack for writing great songs.
Pettis never has established himself as a household name, but also like Heard and Cockburn, is admired by other artists. He is the artist that other artist listen to. One of those other artists is producer David Miner who produced Chase the Buffalo.
Like any truly great singer-songwriter album experience, it is often best to simply lay back and let the album come to you. Chase the Buffalo is best experienced in its entirety. It ebbs and flows throughout as the artist paints his landscape. And what a landscape this artist conjures up here.