Andy Gabbard: Buffalo Killers guitarist releases new solo album
by Don Thrasher
Buffalo Killers guitarists Andy Gabbard, performing at the Yellow Cab Bldg. in Dayton on Friday, July 28, released his second solo album, Plenum Castle on July 14.
Andy Gabbard gets to inject his share of sweet melodies into his work with Buffalo Killers, the band he co-fronts with his brother Zach. Of course, those songs have to fit into that group’s framework of early-’70s-style guitar rock.
That’s not a concern when Gabbard strikes out on his own.
The Dayton-based musician, performing at the Yellow Cab Building in Dayton on Friday, July 28, released his second solo album, “Plenum Castle” on July 14. It’s pure pop-rock with sing-along choruses and indelible vocal and musical hooks. The dreamy, keyboard-heavy album is quite a departure from Gabbard’s grunge-pop debut, “Fluff” (2015).
“I didn’t want it to sound like my first album,” Gabbard said. “That’s just where I was at, I guess. I didn’t force it or anything but I tried to record it differently. I demoed the songs a lot to try different stuff and do some things I’d never done before. It’s the album I’ve always wanted to make on my own.”
On songs like “Fireworks,” “The Dance” and “Moonlight Skating,” Gabbard’s lyrics explore dating, young love and other coming-of-age concerns.
“The whole album is super childish,” he said. “In a way it’s kind of a concept album, because of the way my brain was working at the time. Sometimes I’d write a song about one of my kids or somebody presently in my life and then I’d instantly jump back into writing about a school dance in sixth grade. At the time I had a lot of that nostalgic stuff in my head, but I got it out of my system with this record.
“I’m just trying to be myself and as a big fan of music, it’s really hard to do that sometimes,” Gabbard said. “I’m trying not to be so serious. For a long time, when I was writing songs I felt like I was preaching or trying to teach some kind of lesson. I don’t want to act like I have all this knowledge that I don’t.”
That laid-back approach worked for the prolific songwriter, who has already completed another pair of solo albums. A new Buffalo Killers album will be released in October.
“I have friends that get discouraged when they work hard on something and it comes out and they don’t become a star or something,” he said. “I’ve lost any delusions about that. I really don’t have any goals as an artist but I have so many songs and that’s why I started doing this. It’s been great to have an outlet to get everything out there.”