Alvis Edgar Owens Jr. better known as Buck Owens was born on August 12, 1929. Buck and the Buckaroos had 21 number 1 hits on the country charts over the course of his career in the music business. While bucking mainstream country he influenced rock bands (the Beatles covered “Act Naturally” in 1965), created and defined the Bakersfield sound as well as hosting HeeHaw with Roy Clark for nearly twenty years.
A string of local NC luminaries backed by the talented John Howie Jr. and the Rosewood Bluff celebrated Buck’s birthday and his music in style on August 12th at Durham’s Casbah. Following openers Brett Harris and The Bo-Stevens, Mr. Howie and the Rosewood Bluff played a set of tunes from their 2011 disc Leavin’ Yesterday and then it was time for the birthday tribute to begin. A string of guest musicians took the stage and backed by John and the Bluff they paid homage to a great man and his music with a set of hand-picked favorites. “Act Naturally”, “Tiger By The Tail”, “The Street of Bakersfield” and “Hello Trouble” (which John covered with his previous band Two Dollar Pistols on Step Right Up) were my personal favorites.
Hopefully it won’t be a one time affair and a big thanks to both John Howie and the Casbah for organizing and sponsoring Buck Off this year. I’d love to see Buck Off II next year with the addition of local legends: Dexter Romweber, Chris Stamey, Peter Holsapple and Rick Miller and Mary Huff (Southern Culture on the Skids)!
Here’s a video of Buck Owens and the Buckaroos followed by the complete set list for Buck Off and several videos from the event. Enjoy!
Buckaroo (John Howie Jr. and the Rosewood Bluff)
Loose Talk (John Howie and Billie Feathers)
Foolin’ Around (Kevin Wolfe from Hearts and Daggers)
Ashes of Love (Daniel Snyder from Gambling the Muse)
Billie Feather: Electric and Upright bass and vocals
Nathan Golub: Pedal steel guitar
Tim Shearer: Electric guitar and vocals