From singing in their living room to traveling the United States and Canada, the Greer family, Buffalo, commands an audience with their blood harmony Americana bluegrass-gospel performances.
John Rob and Kathie Greer, along with young adult children Jase and Katie, made their music hobby a full-time career in 2009. Five years ago they started living on their tour bus.
“We played 85 dates the last year before we went full time,” Kathie Greer said.
The band Lindley Creek tours Canada and the northern U.S. each summer, and performs in far southern Texas in the winters.
The family band immersed themselves in bluegrass music and started playing small venues, such as Pittsburg Days, in 2001. One of their first bluegrass festival performances was shortly after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
“Bluegrass music was good for our souls. It was what we needed then,” Greer said.
For the last 17 years, Lindley Creek’s musical taste and performance has matured with experience. Greer cites Allison Kraus, Rhonda Vincent, Doyle Lawson and The Isaacs as musical influences.
“We had to learn how to entertain, not just stand behind the mic and play for 45 minutes without moving,” Kathie Greer said. “In bluegrass and gospel it’s typical to stand and never move. It’s acceptable and almost expected.”
Instruments and vocals are all wireless now, because it’s hard to communicate a message with the audience if you look like a statue, Greer said. Stage producer Tom Jackson helps the band create memorable moments within each show to keep the audience from getting bored.
They enjoy performing and recording original songs, as well as some less-known songs written by artists like Patty Loveless, Garth Brooks and Emmylou Harris. Sometimes they customize the musical arrangement, and sometimes they perform as the songs were originally written.
“If it works well, we’ll use it. If it doesn’t fit, we change the feel to match our style,” Greer said.
There are two original songs on their upcoming record project. Lindley Creek has a Kickstarter webpage to help finish funding the project.
“We are heavily invested in this,” Greer said. The band personally financed the first half of the total cost. Instrumentals and lead vocals are almost done, with just harmony vocals left to record.
Producer Jim VanCleve brings a highly professional quality to their music. VanCleve is a moral person with his head on straight who understands the band’s message and vision, Greer said.
VanCleve plays fiddle for the Josh Turner Band, and has given fiddle lessons to Lindley Creek member Jase Greer for about five years.
Rather than setting out to become famous, Lindley Creek’s priority is to give hope and encourage its listeners.
“There are people struggling everywhere,” Greer said. “If fame happens for one of the band members, that’s fine, but it’s not our goal.”
Lindley Creek performs songs that speak to their own personal pains and triumphs, not songs about drinking beer or driving trucks, Greer said.
“Society is out of control with things like divorce and horrible things to children,” Greer said. “People need a way to cope. We’re not overtly gospel, and we’re not preachy. We’re little people, just like you.”
John Rob Greer grew up in Goodson, and Kathie Greer is from Pleasant Hope. After being on the road and living on the tour bus, they want to remind the Buffalo community this is their home. They purchased an old church north of Buffalo, and are three-quarters done remodeling it into a home.
“We knew we needed a house with a stage,” Greer said. “It’s perfect. We’re putting in a recording studio, too.” They’ll continue to park the tour bus at their new home during the remodel process.
Lindley Creek does what they believe they were made to do because the grace of God goes a long way, Greer said.
“We want Buffalo to know we are their band, and this is our home,” Greer said.