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Steam Donkeys Frontman Goes Solo This Friday

Filed under: Music

photo by Elmer Ploetz 2012“This is all Bob Stalder’s fault,” says Buck Quigley, songwriter for Buffalo-based original music act the Steam Donkeys. “I’ve known him since forever, when we were introduced by the late Mike Meldrum at Nietzsche’s in the 1980s. And I remember I always wanted to play one of his PeopleArt Coffeehouse gigs back in the day, but never got the chance. You have to remember that in the 1980s there were no Spot Coffees, no Sweetness 7s, no Caffe Aromas, no Starbucks. If you wanted a cup of coffee in Buffalo, you went to a Your Host Restaurant. So even calling something a ‘coffeehouse’ seemed exotic back then.”

Of course, the term coffeehouse as it applies to folk music is well known, although it’s apparent that Quigley does not quite grasp the concept.

“I remember going to see one of the ‘coffeehouse’ shows he put on in a tiny place on Lexington, I think it was. I don’t remember any coffee, but I do recall that the songwriters who were playing there were quite good. But ‘coffeehouse’? If you think you could just walk in and order a double espresso, dream on,” Quigley asserts.

One day last fall, when they were chatting on Allen street, Quigley floated the idea of playing one of the ongoing Friday night PeopleArt Coffeehouse gigs that Stalder has been putting on at the Unity Church for the past several years.

Stalder said “Sure.”

“That’s why I say this is all his fault!” Quigley laughs. “I’m perfectly at ease locking eyes with a drunk, rowdy belligerent biker in a honky tonk—but these folk music folks—I mean, did you know that Pete Seeger once cut the power to Bob Dylan’s PA system using an axe?!”

Luckily, Friday night’s show is completely un-amplified.

“Anyway, I’ve got a pretty big list of songs under my belt at this point. Not all of them are about strip joints, honky tonks, potheads and Jesus…so I’m thinking I can cobble together something appropriate to the venue. I might bring my homemade stomp box along, since it kinda looks like a piece of folk art, and I’m hoping that might assuage them,” Quigley muses.

The show starts at 9pm Friday (1/25), in the basement of the Unity Church, 1243 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY. $5