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Last Night's Southern Rock Jam Was a Blast

Posted: May 17, 2008

Last night was great fun. Me and some of my Southern Rock pals played a show for the Relay for Life event for The American Cancer Society. The show was on the football field at Greer High School in between Greenville and Spartanburg, SC.

The planning for our show had been kind of loose from the get go, but the day of the event, it got even looser. A couple of the originally scheduled players bowed out at the last minute so we decided to do the set as an “unplugged”: acoustic show. We got together at Mark McAfee’s house in Taylors, which is near Greer. His in home studio is very cool, decorated with some great Marshall Tucker and Winters Brothers memorabilia.

Mark is a seasoned musician from Upstate SC who has played with many of the local legends, including Mickey Fowler, and has been performing for a while along side Donnie Winters.

Donnie is one of the two Winters brothers of the Winters Brothers Band. Donnie is a super hot guitarist and a great songwriter and singer. The Winters Brothers recorded a couple of great albums during the seventies and eighties, and the current version of the band, lead by his brother Dennis, continues to record and perform to this day.

Ricky Godfrey
is an Upstate legend, having played in Garfeel Ruff with his brother Ronnie. The band recorded two albums for Capitol Records, and established quite a following. In later years, Rick continued recording solo albums, and for many years became a staple of the beach music scene. Lately though, Godfrey has been steering it back toward his Southern Rock roots, which became obvious when we played together last night.

We rehearsed a while and got the songs down. Then when we got to the stadium there was a drum kit set up onstage, so Donnie and Ricky got together and brought in Ricky Kennemore on drums, and Mark moved to bass. Just that quickly, we were a full on electric band. Unrehearsed, but hey, it’s Southern Rock baby. You gotta think on your feet.

Earlier in the evening I had been asked to perform a handful of songs to fill some space, and I obliged, along with Donnie Winters on lead guitar.

It was a beautiful night, but unseasonably cold onstage. My fingers were numb, as a matter of fact. Still, when we took off on “Hand Picked” I could tell we were going to have fun. The set was cut short but stage announcements, drum competitions and other stuff, but we had a blast. We had intended to play Garfeel Ruff’s “Pine Neeedles Don’t Cry” and a couple of other Winters Brothers songs, but our time ran out. When it came time to close with “Can’t You See,” I invited my friend Cliff Marshall, pastor of Freedom Fellowship church to sing with me. He knocked it out of the park as always.

There were some real magic moments for me personally, including chunking the acoustic rhythm behind Ricky’s “I’m Hungry,”and jamming head to head with Donnie and Mark on “Can’t You See.”

The audience seemed to enjoy the show, and I am sure we all did. It was my first gig since Jam 4 George back in November, and all of the health issues just sort of melted away during those red hot onstage jams. It was great fun with great friends for a great cause, and I had a blast. Thanks to all the players who gave so freely of their time and talent. Let’s do it again soon.

Keep it Real. Keep it Southern.

Photos by Scott Greene


Buffalo, Mark, Rick K., Ricky G. and Donnie


Michael Buffalo Smith accompanied by Donnie Winters

Will The Circle Be Unbroken
Painting Her Toenails
I Want Paris Hilton to Be My Friend
Into The Light

Buffalo and Friends
Donnie Winters, Ricky Godfrey, Mark McAfee, Ricky Kennemore

Hand Picked (Dickey Betts)
Fire On The Mountain (McCorkle)   Vocal: Buffalo
I’m Hungry (Godfrey)   Vocal: Ricky Godfrey
Shotgun Rider (WInters)  Vocal: Donnie Winters
Once in a Lifetime Love (Godfrey) Vocal: Ricky Godfrey
She’s Got a Hold On Me (Smith)  Vocal: Buffalo
Sang Her Love Songs (Winters) Vocal: Donnie Winters
Can’t You See  (Caldwell) Vocal: Buffalo, Cliff Marshall, Donnie

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deltablue says...

Why do I miss all the surprise jams? Buff I will be at the Winters Bros jam in June. Hope to meet you and get you to sign my Carolina Dreams book.

Greenville says...

Michael I want to thank you and all the fine players who worked so hard to make our event a sucess. The total raised this year was over $230.000 and you gave the folks a show they will never forget.How could you not love a pastor who can and will sing Southern Rock songs with the best of them. Thanks again you made my last event the best ever.

copperhead says...

Any of you guys interested in playing Earth day in Myrtle Beach. We had a big event with 5 bands and Jamming this year. We are planning for next year. I'm with outlawcountry did yall record this???

outlawcountry says...

Did anyone record this? I'd love to hear it. Bet it rocked.

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