A Buffalo fixture I could have done without

Funny, but I don’t ever remember putting “seeing a Terry Buchwald show” on my personal list of must-do Buffalo things. Regardless, Amanda and I had the, um, pleasure last night at a benefit for Variety Club organized by one of her coworkers. Don’t get me wrong, the benefit was great – well organized, well attended, and we even won a Chef’s gift basket. It’s just that the performance itself just oozed cheese all over the place.

I don’t think it was the four or five person tech crew with matching “TCB Crew” jerseys, the choreographed dance moves by overzealous fans, or even the fact that his mom still comes to all his shows that turned me off. What really did it was the completely canned karaoke CD background music he was using. For a guy who has travels the world doing this he really, really needs a live band. At a minimum, he needs to get a studio band to do some “original” background music, because the cheesy synth-laden stuff he had behind him was nearly unbearable. And this comes from someone who plays keyboards.

Now, I’m certainly not a big Elvis fan, and I’m not even sure if I’ve come to terms with the whole tribute band/performer thing. To be fair, Terry has a pretty good voice when he’s singing the Elvis stuff – the other styles… not as much. He’s also certainly made a big name for himself and is running a pretty successful business doing what he does. Kudos to him for that. All I’m saying is that my life would have been complete had I never encountered an Elvis tribute performance – even if it was a good one, and even if it was by a Buffalo boy who made it big doing it.

P.S. I can forgive doing the Electric Slide to “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” but who the hell slow dances to “In the Ghetto”? Nothing says “I love you” like, “As a crowd gathers round an angry young man, face down on the street with a gun in his hand… in the ghetto.” Seriously.

Similar Posts


  1. ..and his Momma cries..

    Actually, at bigger shows Terry has a full band. Small gigs or charity stuff (read, no pay) probably means you get the Karaoke show. An Elvis impersonator is generally expected to be kind of cheesy – that shouldn’t have been a suprise. Genre: Cheese. Did he bring out the white poodle to help him sing “Hound Dog”?

    The polka guy on 1270 AM used to play some of his recorded stuff. I think he’s a pretty decent singer. He did a pretty nice recorded of “Good time Charlies got the blues”. He seems like a decent guy; the Elvis fans really dig him, and he doesn’t take himself too seriously.

    Slow dancing to “In the Ghetto” is only slightly weirder than the muzak version I once heard of “Crosstown Traffic” by Hendrix.

  2. In all fairness to Terry and my friend Kathy who is his #1 fan, I actually was quite impressed. I mean, yeah, he’s an Elvis impersonator, not scoring too many points there. However, he was a really really GOOD Elvis impersonator. I was expecting poodles and lots more cheese than we got. But what we got was a very good performance! AND he can actually sing! On pitch! In tune! So not that I am running out buying a CD, but I was definitely pleased that he is an actual musician and not some nut job who thinks he’s Elvis.

    Keep on truckin’, Terry! 🙂

  3. I saw Terry Buchwald at a wedding about 5.5 years ago. He sounded pretty decent as a singer, and he did a pretty decent Elvis.

    I think the thing that gets me a little down on the guy has more to do with the thing you mentioned there at the end, Derek. I don’t dig tribute bands and impersonators. I can get into a good cover band, since most of the good ones add their own style to whatever song they’re performing. You also get a sense of personality from the songs they choose to play. But tribute bands and the such just seem to lack the “originality” that I look for. I know, fine lines, but so it is.

Leave a Reply