Buckeye - Buckeye

Buckeye – Buckeye


Buckeye have their soft rock origins in Los Angeles, where a bunch of other bands playing a similar style like Couchois, Gulliver and Sneaker were making inroads as well.

Written by: gdmonline

ARTIST: Buckeye
ALBUM: Buckeye
LABEL: Polydor
SERIAL: 2391 416
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Ronn Price – vocals, bass, guitars * Thomas Fowle – guitars, vocals * Gabriel Katona – keyboards, vocals * Beaver Parker – drums, percussion, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Wonder Where (Will Your Heart Take You) * 02 Make It Happen * 03 Forever In Love * 04 Where Do You Want To Go * 05 Sinkin’ Low * 06 Just The Way * 07 Rainy Day * 08 Poor Cheater * 09 Nobody * 10 That Kind Of Man


With a name like Buckeye, one would assume these guys come from the state of Ohio, where everything is synonymous with the term ‘buckeye’, as ‘hoosier’ is with the state of Indiana. Don’t think I’ve ever seen a band called Hoosier though, which leads us over the stateline perhaps? No it doesn’t.

Buckeye have their soft rock origins in Los Angeles, where a bunch of other bands playing a similar style like Couchois, Gulliver and Sneaker were making inroads as well.

Some of Buckeye’s members were quite prolific in their day. Price has played with many different bands, as had Katona, who has credits with Rare Earth and Redbone.

Price and Katona even appeared together on the 1981 Fortress album ‘Hands In The Till’. Thom Fowle and Price also did some work with Nigel Ohlsson and his album ‘Dancin’ Shoes’ plus Paul Davis‘ 1977 album ‘Singer Of Songs Teller Of Tales’.

I don’t have any history as to the get-together of these four gentlemen, but they bring together a very tight selection of softer melodic rock tunes that sound reasonable many years later. Buckeye easily veer between 70’s rock and pomp with aplomb.

The Songs

Since this was 1979, Buckeye threaded the needle of many genres that were turning this particular year upside. One could say this lot were fairly insulated from what was happening in the musical capitals of the world, L.A seemed to be in its own little bubble of sunshine, and upon hearing the songs here, you can imagine how bright and happy their world must’ve been.

Whether it’s the vocal harmony richness of ‘Wonder Where (Will Your Heart Take You)’ or the synth-pop of ‘Make It Happen (a commercial Starcastle would be a good description of this song), Buckeye have various styles that would appeal to everyone.

‘Forever In Love’ features further excellent vocal harmony work as does ‘Where Do You Want To Go’ which trucks on in a similar style to MPG. Adding fuel to the pomp fire are ‘Just The Day’ and ‘Nobody’ which will please fans of all the great pomp bands of the era.

More goodies can be found with the feelgood AOR of ‘Poor Cheater’ while the band finish off with a superb outing entitled ‘That Kind Of Man’, with plinky synths and a persistent rhythm all the way through.

In Summary

There is a certain irony about Buckeye’s existence it would seem. My guess is that they weren’t around long enough to make a dent in public awareness. Certainly, judging by the information contained on both Ronn Price and Gabriel Katona’s websites, they would have you believe that they weren’t members at all!

They don’t mention any involvement with the band whatsoever, leading me to believe that this was a brief blip for the band members on the 1979 radar. Perhaps engineered by some over-zealous Exec at Polydor, or that the band genuinely believed they had a chance, only to be snuffed out by the label around about release time. Maybe one day we’ll find out what the story is.

These days, Price is involved with the Jingle/Advertising industry in Chicago, Katona is a musician, come producer and engineer operating out of Nashville, TN, while Fowle works in the guitar manufacturing industry, and has had roles working with Gibson Guitars. Nothing has been sighted of Parker though.

‘Buckeye’ is a very good album for its time, and despite the short-term tenure of the band’s existence, they left behind a pretty good record, but as at 2023 when this article was updated, there’s been no official CD reissue. Buckeye come recommended to all AORsters and all 70’s era collectors.


Wonder Where (Will Your Heart Take You)

Where Will Your Heart Take You


Poor Cheater
Rainy Day

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