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Broad & High Presents: Dave Buker & the Historians

Longtime Broad & High fans may recognize Dave Buker & the Historians from early in Season 1, when we profiled the Columbus band that blends folk and Americana with electronic sounds. The Historians recently returned to the WOSU studios for an encore performance, featuring three new songs.

In the five years and some change between Broad & High appearances, the band released another EP and a full-length album. After a couple of band members departed, Tim Jennings took over on bass. Then, Buker married band member Leanna Stansell.

It Moves in the Dark
Dave Buker & the Historians is Dave Buker, Joe Spurlock, Paul Valdiviez, Leanna Stansell and Timothy Jennings. The Americana band visited the WOSU studios to perform the title track off their 2019 album, It Moves in the Dark.

How Long Can I Pretend?
“These songs aren’t really personal. Usually they are. When we did our last full-length record, we did an Indiegogo campaign to finance it. And one of the perks was that you could donate X amount, and that would get you a song written based on a story you told us.

“So the first one we played, ‘How Long Can I Pretend?’ – somebody told me this story, which is kind of ironic because this girl told me a story about her ex-boyfriend and her ex-boyfriend is also somebody I knew and I grew up with and donated a lot of money too. And he told me a story about her, and so there are songs that are kind of back and forth on this record (It Moves in the Dark). So that’s what that’s about, kind of the story that she told me,” said vocalist and guitarist Dave Buker.

In the Black
“The last one (‘In the Black’) is more just – I don’t know that it’s about any one thing. I think that the story that person told me that started that first song (‘How Long Can I Pretend?’) kind of just started to ruminate and developed into just more of that same emotion in that other song,” Buker said.

Follow The Band

Dave Buker & the Historians website




Meet The Musicians

***Insert Image***

Dave Buker & the Historians (from left): Tim Jennings, Leanna Stansell, Joe Spurlock, Dave Buker, Paul Valdiviez

Dave Buker
Vocals, guitar

From: Youngstown
Fave local venue: Rumba Cafe
Fave local acts: Fields & Planes, The Jeffs, The Salty Caramels, Mojoflo, Zoo Trippin’

Joe Spurlock

From: Louisiana
Fave local venue: Brothers Drake
Fave local acts: Fashion Week, Paper Morning

Paul Valdiviez
Vocals, guitar

From: Omaha
Fave local venue: Newport Music Hall, Express Live

Leanna Stansell
Vocals, keys

From: Central Ohio

Tim Jennings

From: Central Ohio

Fill in the Blank

If you like ___, you’ll like Dave Buker and the Historians.

Joe: The Band or Tom Petty.

Dave: Dawes.

Paul: Beards.

Leanna: One of our songs sounds like a Decemberists song.

Joe: Beards, glasses, long hair.

Paul: Girls with short hair, boys with long hair.

Joe: Tattoos. “Night Moves” by Bob Seger.

When we’re not performing, we are ___.

Joe: Teaching.

Dave: A lot of us are teachers.

Paul: Practicing.

Dave: Eating. I always eat a lot of food.

Joe: Tim is a parent-to-be.

Paul: Tacos, cats. Tacocats.

Dave: We are cats.

Leanna: Yeah, Dave and I have three cats now.

Dave: So does Paul.

Leanna: Paul has three cats now.

Paul: Just got a cat.

Leanna: Tim –

Dave: Tim’s not into this, no.

___ is Central Ohio’s best hidden gem.

Joe: Elizabeth’s Records in Clintonville.

Dave: Yeah, I don’t know if it’s hidden, but I think it’s really important that we have CD102.5, that we have a radio station that is local and supports bands. And we have a public media station at WOSU that does the same thing.

And maybe a lot of people don’t realize – they realize that exists in Columbus. I think people don’t realize how rare that is. I think there’s only 10 or 12 fully independent radio stations in the country, and we have one of them. So that’s, I think, important to recognize.

Leanna: Cuco’s.

Dave: Also, tacos. Yeah, Cuco’s has really good tacos.

Leanna: It’s on Henderson Road.

The best food in Columbus is ___.

Joe: Dirty Frank’s hot dogs

Paul: Local Cantina

Leanna: Can we go eat after this? I’m so hungry [laughs].

Dave: New India. That’s tough to answer, I think, because Columbus has so much because we’re culturally very diverse.

Pineapple on pizza is ____.

Dave: B—s—.

Paul: No, no. It’s good.

Leanna: It’s fine.

Joe: I like it.

Tim: I like it.

Paul: I like pineapple with salty things.

Leanna: Yeah! [Dave’s] the only loser.

Dave: I like anchovies. Does anybody else eat anchovies on pizza?

Band members: No.

Dave: And here’s the problem with it, you can’t – like, pineapple, if you want pineapple on your pizza, we can do half and half. It’s not going to interrupt the pizza. You get half anchovies on the pizza, that whole pizza tastes like it. There’s no way around it.

Paul: The box tastes like anchovies.

Leanna: The box [laughs]. Did your cats tell you about it?

On the Stories Behind the Songs

Dave: Alright, we’ll get deep. I can say this: these (three) songs aren’t really personal. Usually they are. When we did our last full-length record, we did an Indiegogo campaign to finance it. And one of the perks was that you could donate X amount, and that would get you a song written based on a story you told us.

Do you find that these story-based songs fit in with the other stuff you’re already working on, or is it a challenge?

Dave: No, it does. There was one person who told me a story that I felt – it was so specific that it was hard to, like, really put a spin on it that felt right for us from a writing standpoint. And I talked with them about it, and they’re fans of the band and they know our songs really well. And he said, well, something happened to me recently that I think would fit better in the way that you write. So he told me a different story, and I’m working that out.

So I mean, there’s been a little back and forth. But for the most part, if somebody’s telling me a story about a relationship, that’s kind of the way these songs tend to go. We don’t really write things that are sociopolitical. So if that’s the story, then it works.

But it’s been weird. I don’t know if I like it. It’s been an interesting experience. It feels like a lot of pressure. And sometimes I wonder, like, if I expound upon what somebody is telling me and I make some assumptions about certain feelings, I don’t know whether that’s fair or accurate. But that’s kind of bound to happen. So that’s stressful.