(L-R: John Prichard, James Percy, Eric Burkhart, Steve Epstein, Alan Novidor)
"Little Buffalo plays Rhythm & Country, and funky Rock & Roll, with a whole lotta laid-back, swampy Americana soul!" - Reverb Nation
Little Buffalo is: songwriter and bandleader Eric Burkhart, audio engineer Guy Lento, and the fabulous and talented David Wilbur on all things art-wise.
Eric Burkhart is a fourth-generation SF Bay Area native, born in San Jose, CA and currently living in Berkeley. He absorbed many styles of music and art growing up, including some of the seminal artists that shape his songwriting and the sounds of Little Buffalo: J.J. Cale, Mark Knopfler, Creedence Clearwater Revival,Merle Haggard, Bob Marley, Gram Parsons, John Prine, Mad Magazine, Monty Python, and the Three Stooges, to name a few.
Eric learned to play snare drum, starting on kitchen pans and the dinner table, then with a marching band at age 7 (thank you, Ringo!) He then took up saxophone (cheers to Cannonball Adderly!), and towards the end of high school, guitar and drums (hoping to meet some girls, of course).
At the suggestion of a high school bandmate, as well as through the guidance of his English teacher/mentor, he started writing songs that would work well with his baritone (1 octave, maybe!) vocals.
Although Eric has played in and around the Bay Area for many years, it wasn't until the creation of Little Buffalo that he began to find the "sound" he'd been hearing: music that has a strong rhythmic center, but is soaked in killer riffs and uses melody, harmony and storytelling to evoke wide-open spaces, human stories, and a laid-back, funky good time!
EB won a song-writing contest through an East Coast radio station (WWUH - Hartford, CT) back in 2000, which jump-started his desire to turn his newly-aquired home basement into a recording/rehearsal space. He eventually wrote, recorded, mixed and released his debut album as Little Buffalo (along with his musical partner, audio engineer Guy Lento - see below) in 2016, and has been rehearsing and performing locally since then with a stable of talented bandmates.
He is currently writing and recording new material and figuring out what LB's next moves are in the midst of current affairs. Stay tuned!
Guy grew up in the NYC area. He got his first tape recorder (3" reels) as a Christmas present at the age of 10 and started recording songs off Top-40 radio and producing short radio shows with friends. In high school, he started recording songwriting friends and eventually built a bass guitar, amp, and pa system and started a band with a couple of friends that lasted through high school, college, and a couple of years after, all the while learning more about the recording process. That band played mostly original material and played the usual junior-high school dances, Elks clubs, finally graduating to bigger clubs like CBGB, Max's Kansas City, The Showplace in Dover, NJ, and Eddie's Rock Lounge, home of the Disco Lunch.
Guy built a home studio based around a Tascam 4-track cassette deck and some home-built processing gear and started recording musical friends as well as original songs. This grew into go-fering at a local professional studio, and then a full-time job in a state-of-the-art pro studio in Times Square, NYC, and then another, until he got tired of the advertising clients and "personalities" in NY and moved to the Bay Area when he had the chance in 1990.
In Berkeley, he got a job at Fantasy Records Studio doing studio maintenance and he eventually rose through the ranks to become chief engineer by 1997. He left Fantasy in 2007 after it had been sold and took a job running the recording studio at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, CA. He rebuilt and expanded the studio there and engineered for more than 600 student projects until retiring in 2019.
It was at DVC that he met Eric Burkhart who had volunteered to be a guinea pig for the recording class. Guy and Eric immediately clicked as friends and co-conspirators and he helped upgrade Eric's studio and started working with him as an engineer on what became Little Buffalo. Their creative relationship continues to this day, (thanks to the Internet!) even though Guy now lives in Wilmington, Delaware. Currently they're working on Little Buffalo's second album as well as a solo record by Eric.