The following article was written by guest columnist Paul Painter of Columbus, OH.

Donna the Buffalo and The (New) Salty Caramels

12/14/12 – The Woodlands – Columbus, OH

written by Paul Painter

photos courtesy of and edited by Ryan Neeley

Sometimes I find myself reflecting on my early memories of music.  Awareness of music for me came about in the late 60’s and early 70’s.  Riding in a car with my parents, the radio playing and staring at the mountains where we lived in Colorado just daydreaming.  I can still remember the first time I heard Ring of Fire and I was instantly singing along to it as I just knew where the song was going because I felt it.  I was maybe 6 or 7 years old at the time.  It does not have to be about the genre of music to make one feel, it is something much deeper.  Music is an ancient thing, a thing that exists for whatever reason and is infinite just like knowledge is infinite.  Pearly mandiscovered the ability to create music by thumping a stick on a log with another beside tapping time with his foot…and all of a sudden there was dance and groove and smiles and bonfires.  We can only surmise and while these things are lost to time they make me wonder about things.   Nature too has its music whether it be from the wind whispering through the trees, the sound of a babbling brook, a cascading river, waves rolling onto a shoreline, birds chirping, or whatever it may be that is innate sound.  These innate sounds make us feel and through this feeling, musicians are able translate their own interpretations into something that others can feel along with them.  It is the organic sound that some bands manage to harness that really captivates me.

Donna the Buffalo have that intangible organic sound that is what I describe as feel good music.  Their live performances are just captivating from the first notes to the last.  You dance, you smile, you feel.   Donna The Buffalo manage to translate their musical thoughts into all these positive vibes that somehow manage to open a window into a faith in humanity and a positive spin on a way to live, love, and be part of the part of life, that is wonderful.  I like that feeling and I can sense from the folks around me at a Donna The Buffalo show that they like that feeling as well.  DTB has played once per year for the past three at Woodlands in Columbus, OH.  Their show there on Dec 14, 2012 was outstanding as always and the local Columbus band the Salty Caramels supported the show in the spirit of the feel good way.

The Salty Caramels are an all girl band that was formed by Molly Winters and includes Emily Ng on bass, Sarah Overdier on vocals and percussion, Paige Strickling on drums and Molly on acousitc guitar and vocals.    The band originally consisted of three girls but is now a 4 piece.  Bands sometimes go through changes and sometimes that is bad and sometimes it is good.  According to Winters, in the case of The Salty Caramels it was necessary as the other two original members who have been replaced just did not have that feel good feel that Molly has and continues to seek in her music.  The new line-up has hit the feel good part spot on.  Sara Overdier has a vocal range that is very complimentary to Molly’s vocal stylings and they really create great harmonies.  Hearing them sing together really just makes your spine tingle, it sounds so natural, so organic.  Molly is also a talented songwriter and she has played a number of solo support spots in 2012 for great performers including Anders Osborne, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, and Billy Joe Shaver.  It is great to see Molly’s new Salty Caramels line-up so keep your eyes and ears open for these talented ladies.  A simple quote from them describing themselves “it is through the creativity and empowerment that music provides us that we come together as friends to create something that is intense and beautiful”  I am personally grateful for their ability to share with us the intense and beautiful music they are creating.

Creativity and feel good can come from a place as well!  There are lots of music venues and clubs in the world and music venues have the capacity to evoke feelings.  Woodlands in Columbus, OH has that sense of being super comfortable with a genuine feel good atmosphere.  Two stages, a patio with a fire pit, and just a great place to go to see quality live music and be comfortable while listening.  Woodlands just has that magical connection for people and they are linking successful good vibes there night after night after night.  Check them out at