Georgia-native Jason Lovell wrote music and practiced guitar on the Sunday-Monday weekends he got working as a chef. Music was his passion, but because of his demanding job, Lovell stuck to open mic nights and other low-key events.
He said his wife was equally displeased with the job because it took up his weekends and usually entailed long hours.
“Plus, I was just kind of always jaded,” he said.
So, when the couple moved to Texas in 2013, Lovell’s wife told him he could try his hand — at least for a while — at a full time, professional music career. Lovell started looking for auditions.
After one of these auditions, he found himself outside, talking to Brad Haefner, who suggested Lovell join the group Haefner was forming. He told Lovell the band was called the Buffalo Ruckus, already had a bass player and a drummer and even had a few gigs lined up.
“So, I said, ‘Let’s do it,’” Lovell said.
The band started making music, and the public started to notice.
In 2014, the Ruckus won the Texas Music Showdown and the Shiner Rising Star competitions, dropping their self-titled debut album the same year. The band started gaining attention, playing large music festivals and touring across the country. In September, the band released its second album, “Peace and Cornbread.”
Lovell said he often describes the band’s sound as southern Americana.
“But we range anywhere from pretty hard southern rock to soft Appalachian folk,” he said. “And that was one of the things we wanted to do when we started the band … we didn’t want to box ourselves into a certain genre and have the exact same sound in every song.”
The band’s musical influences range widely, including — but in no way limited to — the Grateful Dead, Waylon Jennings, Jeff Buckley, Led Zeppelin, the Allman Brothers and Doc Watson.
“I listen to a lot of different stuff, but I always seem to come back to blues and southern rock,” Lovell said.
Lovell is the lead singer and plays guitar. Haefner also plays guitar, but sometimes picks up a mandolin or banjo instead. Michael Burgess covers bass guitar while Jerrod Ford is on drums.
The Buffalo Ruckus is scheduled to perform 9 p.m. today at the Cowboy Saloon and Dancehall. Though the band has stopped in Wyoming before, playing Sheridan and Jackson, the show tonight will be the band’s first in Laramie.
There is no cover, but the band will be selling CDs and other merchandise. Go to www.thebuffaloruckus.com for more information.