Suvarna Garge (Editor)

Grant Lee Buffalo

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Years active  1991-1998, 2011
Grant Lee Buffalo wwwgrantleebuffalocomimagespuzzle1bjpg
Labels  Slash Records Warner Bros. Records
Past members  Grant-Lee Phillips Paul Kimble Joey Peters
Origin  Los Angeles, California, United States (1991)
Members  Grant-Lee Phillips, Paul Kimble, Joey Peters
Genres  Rock music, Alternative rock, Americana
Albums  Mighty Joe Moon, Fuzzy, Copperopolis, Jubilee, Storm Hymnal: Gems Fro

Grant lee buffalo jupiter and teardrop live on kexp

Grant Lee Buffalo is a rock band based in Los Angeles, California, consisting of Grant-Lee Phillips (vocals and guitar), Paul Kimble (bass) and Joey Peters (drums). All three were previously members of another Los Angeles band, Shiva Burlesque.


Grant lee buffalo rock of ages

Shiva Burlesque

Grant-Lee Phillips, Paul Kimble and Joey Peters started as a rock music formation called Shiva Burlesque. The band was active in the late 1980s. It released two studio albums, the self-titled Shiva Burlesque in 1987 on Fundamental Records. The follow up album, the band's second and actually last album was Mercury Blues and was released in 1990 on Ripple Effect record label. Shiva Burlesque was reformed in 1991 as Grant Lee Buffalo.


Grant Lee Buffalo released four albums: Fuzzy (1993), Mighty Joe Moon (1994), Copperopolis (1996) and Jubilee (1998). They toured with major bands including R.E.M., Pearl Jam, the Smashing Pumpkins, and The Cranberries. In the United States, the band's 1998 single, “Truly, Truly” received extensive airplay.

Paul Kimble departed the band in 1997, but Grant Lee Buffalo's next album Jubilee met with more success than the prior releases thanks to "Truly, Truly." But, as Phillips describes, a number of changes led to the dissolution of the band's time at their label and their time together.

"The celebrational spirit of Jubilee actually brought a renewed optimism to me personally. The album was well received and understandably the expectations at the label were high, probably too high. Although the highly refined Jubilee had brought the band considerable success at radio with "Truly, Truly," a shift within the industry was well underway. The label's constant nagging about "Call-out Response" was both a new term and a bewildering concept to our ears. The basic strategy: a radio station arranges to call up a listerner who is asked to consume about 30 songs over the phone, perhaps 20 seconds of each. From this remote encounter, the listener will then proceed to judge the material. Insufficient call-out response was a big reason that Jubilee hardly got a shot at Warners. Grant Lee Buffalo tunes are often like an old car or an old amp that needs a few seconds to get warmed up, but when it does... look out! Meanwhile, a new crop of young record buyers, the largest since the Baby Boomer era, were now being targeted to the exclusion of Gen-Xers, like myself, still waiting for the Pixies to reform.

In 2001, a compilation of singles, album tracks and rarities called Storm Hymnal was released.

Grant Lee Buffalo's sound is comparable to Neil Young and an electrified version of Americana songwriter John Stewart. Phillips writes that their first album "would galvanize the sound of Grant Lee Buffalo, i.e., the acoustic feedback howl of overdriven 12-string guitars, melodic distorto-bass, tribal drum bombast, the old world churn of pump organs and parlor pianos."

Lyrically, they reference American history as well as contemporary events. For instance, “Lone Star Song” from Mighty Joe Moon references the Waco siege and “Crackdown“ from Copperopolis references the murder of Yoshihiro Hattori as well as the Oklahoma City bombing.

As of May 5, 2011 the band has returned on a limited tour, making stops in Los Angeles, Dublin, London, Brussels, Copenhagen and Oslo. On August 8, 2011 the band performed at Dranouter festival in Belgium, and on August 9 in Copenhagen. Plans for an extended tour have not been released, yet the band has been confirmed to play at the German Haldern Pop Festival in August 2012.

Solo careers

Lead singer Phillips has had his own solo career as well. He explains:

As for Grant Lee Buffalo, I sensed they were beginning to wonder if we'd ever get through finishing school. Before that could happen, band and label parted as did Peters and myself. The scenery was changing and I was looking for new explorations. I'm sure we all were. Perhaps we always will be."

He was signed to the Boston-based indie label Rounder Records and launched a solo career, issuing Ladies' Love Oracle online in 2000. The recording was later more widely released. His first full-length LP, Mobilize, was released in 2001. Phillips has released eight albums between 2000 and 2012.


(*) - Soundtrack demos only, not on the OST.


MockingbirdsMighty Joe Moon · 1994
Lone Star SongMighty Joe Moon · 1994
Jupiter & TeardropFuzzy · 1993


Grant Lee Buffalo Wikipedia