Arrow-right Camera
A&E >  Entertainment

Ex-Funk Buffalo Debuts With Good Effort As High Lonesome

In 1993, Spokane band Funk Buffalo was on the verge of becoming a huge band in this city.

That summer, the band released its debut album, which sold well locally, and landed opening slots for some prominent shows like Inflatable Soule at the Off Ramp in Seattle and Hammerbox at Gatsby’s and Hamilton Recreation Center in Spokane.

Yet, after gaining so much ground in a congested Northwest music scene, the folksy quintet broke up when singer Jen Lussier quit following a show.

That marked the end of Funk Buffalo.

Last March, three Funk Buffalo remnants - guitarists Chris Jentzsch and John Beauvais and bassist Chris White - reformed the band and reenlisted original Funk Buffalo drummer Kurt Sterzelbach, who had been replaced by drummer Ron Crenshaw.

The search for a new singer began.

Along came Gina Lancashire, who sang for the short-lived 7th House.

In fact, “the night they (Funk Buffalo) broke up,” said Lancashire, “the band I was with had opened for them.”

Irony? Maybe.

“I told them, `Keep your ad in the paper,”’ after practicing with the band a couple of times,” she said.

However, Lancashire became the obvious choice for vocal duties.

In full force, the band adopted the moniker High Lonesome.

Now, almost a year after assembling and with only a handful of gigs under its belt, High Lonesome, is releasing its self-titled debut album. (The band plays a CD release party tonight at the Big Dipper.)

And what a solid and remarkable album it is.

“I think what we’re doing now is something that we’ve always wanted to do,” said White, who recorded the album. “At the very end of Funk Buffalo, we recorded a couple tunes that were kind of heading in this direction but sounded like they were being held back by certain elements.”

The three guitarists wanted to take Funk Buffalo to heavier levels but that never happened.

Sterzelbach, a more rock-minded drummer, helped the band reach the beefier and crisper edge it wanted.

Lancashire’s riveting and moody vocal performance and mature song writing also make “High Lonesome” an outstanding gem.

The album should go a long way in securing High Lonesome a bright future in the Northwest.

The Clumsy Lovers opens at 9:30 p.m. The cover is $4. Bring your ID.

Elsewhere in the night

Heavy metal monster Snaut plays The Comet tavern in Hillyard tonight and Saturday. Solomon Kane opens tonight; Junkbox opens tomorrow. Noise at 9:30 p.m., cover is $4. Bring your ID.

xxxx Tribute band There’s a Jimi Hendrix tribute band, a Doors tribute band and a handful of Beatles tribute bands and, if that’s not enough, there’s also a Kiss tribute band. It’s called Black Diamond and it plays the Cotton Club in Hayden on Saturday. Black Diamond, which is actually managed by Kiss’ Paul Stanley, dons costumes circa “Love Gun” 1977. And, that’s not all. The group will wear the infamous Kiss makeup and will detonate lots of pyrotechnics during its performance. Union opens at 9 p.m. Tickets are $6. Bring your ID.