Photography by Andrew Stanbridge
Seth & Katelyn are both from rural, northwestern Pennsylvania. Seth often makes the joke that there are more cows than people where they’re from, but that was before he came to Fossil, OR.
As for how they came to Oregon, Katelyn was in her first year of graduate school and Seth was working on a farm. They were chatting one evening after a particularly grueling day of work for Seth, and Katelyn asked him what he’d prefer to be doing and where. He said that he always wanted to live in Oregon ever since his grandfather inspired a love of the old west. As for Katelyn, she fell in love with Oregon from the first drive through the ‘Gorge’ on I-84. They knew where they were destined to be.
Buffalo Kin is because of Fossil in a sense. When Seth came to Fossil to teach, he began exploring the musical traditions of Appalachia and the old west more in-depth. And, something just clicked for both of them. Neither had ever expected to love, appreciate, and perform the music that they do now, but, that high lonesome sound just speaks to them just like Fossil did. Fossil brings a quiet that is freeing to some and stifling for others. For them, it brings the connection to everything into a wide focus: the history, the land, the people. This is where they pull their inspiration and why they choose to evoke the emotions or experiences that they do in their music.
Seth & Katelyn have always been fortunate that playing music is just for themselves. They play and create when and what they want. This is a privilege. They do write music, but, they always leave room for the standards. There’s a reason that’s what they are. As they said earlier, music for them is a way to connect to the world, its troubles & its triumphs.
“So, we’ll never stop playing and, who knows, we’ll just keep leaving ourselves up to possibilities.”
If you would like to follow them or catch them playing (when they can play venues again), you can find them on Instagram @buffalo_kin.