Norton Buffalo Passes away after bout with Cancer

4 Nov

*Taken from Blind Pig Records
Renowned harmonica player Norton Buffalo died from cancer on Friday, October 30 at a hospital near his home in Paradise, California. His death came a short time after learning of the cancer diagnosis in September. He was 58 years old.

A prolific and versatile musician, Buffalo was widely acclaimed as one of the finest multi-genre harmonica players in the music business. His harmonica stylings were infused with originality and phenomenal musicianship, and he was equally adept at blues, rock, R&B, new age, country and jazz.

He appeared on 180 albums, had numerous credits in TV and film productions, including an acting role in Bette Midler’s “The Rose”, and recorded and toured with musicians as diverse as Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Cash, Olivia Newton-John, The Doobie Brothers, Kenny Loggins, the Marshall Tucker Band, David Grisman and Elvin Bishop. But perhaps his best known musical association was his 33 year stint as a featured performer with the Steve Miller Band, where he was introduced by the bandleader at each show as “my partner in harmony.”

Also noteworthy was his more than twenty year musical partnership with slide guitarist Roy Rogers, who recorded three albums together for Blind Pig. One of their songs, “Ain’t No Bread In The Breadbox,” was a staple in the live sets by the Jerry Garcia Band in the ’90s and another, “Song For Jessica,” was nominated for a Grammy in the Country field. Among the accolades was this quote from Downbeat: “All it takes is a sampling of the slide-guitar/harmonica dialog on any one of these songs to comprehend how potent – and exciting – the chemistry is between Rogers and Buffalo.”

Buffalo recorded two well-received solo albums for Capitol Records in the ’70s, one of which, Lovin In the Valley Of The Moon, remains a highly sought-after item by music aficionados. In 2000 he released his first solo release in over twenty years, King Of The Highway, on Blind Pig. More recently he worked on a children’s music CD with Kenny Loggins and an album with Hawaiian slack key guitarist George Kahumoku Jr.

For a more complete biography, click here: NORTON BUFFALO.

Publicity: Debra Regur [email protected] 415-550-6484
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  1. Jim Desjardins says

    This music man will truly be missed. I learned of his death as I watched Steve Miller on crossroads (Palladia) as I began watching the performance I kept watching for Buffalo. It just doesn’t seem natural to see Steve playing with out him.
    May he rest in peace

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