Eric Clapton Tribute Opens the 2014 "Free Fridays" Concert Series on May 2


Buffalo Spoonful, a new Gainesville band composed of veteran local musicians, will open the ‘Free Fridays” concert series with a tribute to English rock ‘n’ roll guitarist Eric Clapton. Clapton is the only artist to be inducted three times into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, both as a solo artist and as a member of the bands The Yardbirds and Cream. He received 17 Grammy awards and is known as one of the most influential guitarists of all times. Buffalo Spoonful is founded by Mike Boulware (guitar/vocals/assorted string instruments), Tom Holtz (guitar/slide guitar/vocals) and Kevin Kennedy (bass/vocals). In addition to this core group, the band adds other members for different shows. Joining them for the Plaza Clapton tribute is Brad Bangstad (keyboards), Mike Branch, (drums), Jackson Boulware Dewitt (guitar/vocals) and Caroline Boulware (backing vocals). Buffalo Spoonful is dedicated to slightly eclectic rock/blues from the ‘60s, ‘70s and newer material.

According to Mike Boulware, for the “Free Fridays” concert, “We pay tribute to the great Eric Clapton, starting from his days with John Mayall & the  Bluesbreakers, to The Yardbirds, Blind Faith, Cream, Derek and the Dominoes (with Duane Allman) and finally Clapton’s solo years. This show would not be possible were it not for the dedication, talent, and raw musicianship of all members, but, in particular, Tom Holtz has been playing Clapton since Cream’s album Disraeli Gears came out circa 1967-68. Clapton really proved himself as a songwriter during these years, and was an enduring entity during the bleak musical years of the ‘80s/’90s. The vocal arrangements, often overlooked, are very challenging, but again, it all starts with Clapton’s guitar work. We’ll also use period correct instruments for each composition, so as to mirror the personal choices Clapton made during these times. We’ll be performing many great songs from the ‘Layla’ album as well, and stretching our wings on songs like ‘Sunshine of Your Love,’ ‘Crossroads’ and ‘White Room.’ The hauntingly beautiful ballad ‘Tears in Heaven’ was written following the accidental death of Clapton’s son Conor. It demonstrates his ability to turn mind numbing loss into great beauty.”

The 2014 “Free Fridays” concert series is produced by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department. The concerts will play each Friday night this year from Friday, May 2 through Friday, Oct. 24 from 8-10 p.m. at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza, which is located at 111 E. University Ave. To view the complete “Free Fridays” 2014 schedule, please visit the Cultural Affairs Division website at

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact David Ballard at 352-393-8746.