The double EP debut from country roots, The Bear & The Bison, out April 26, 2021, will be available on all streaming platforms. The two records, with their relatable optimism in the face of hard times and anxiety, have quickly earned kudos for its unforced honesty and throwback style.


“Look, this year wasn’t easy, and we just appreciate being able to complete something like this. We had songs I'd always wanted to record but never did, we’ve been writing songs, reimagined songs, and they all just lent themselves to a shorter EP form, instead of one album. And I'm thinkin this will be an ongoing trend for us,” says Mark Lennon.


“The music industry and how people are releasing music is evolving, you see artists like Charlie Crockett who released a lot of music this past year, covers and originals, Sturgill Simpson's multiple records bluegrass-ifing all of his tunes, they are just breaking the mold on how a record is supposed to be experienced.”


The Bear & The Bison blend country, bluegrass and rock, creating songs that chronicle their experiences across the American landscape in 2021. Both records combine contemporary themes of self reflection, heartache and the pursuit of redemption, based on Courtney’s straightforward, early American style, and Mark’s rootsy, psychedelic prose, in a stripped-down, vintage sound.


The Bear & The Bison l, has been described as Appalachian country, rockabilly, and bluegrass, opening with the rattling bounce of “Train to Memphis,” “This country it don’t look the same, but I still hear the whistle sound.” The folky self empowering stomp “The Times,”  “Got to try just a little bit harder, ain’t too hard just to be a little smarter, turn around and smile and wave your hands, life is always better, when you dance. Clap your hands and tap your toes, save your soul with rock and roll.” While “Kind Hearted Man” wrestles impressing a new love with an inner rockabilly badass. The catchy lap steel moans of “Misery” redefines self-pity with a warning of what may be to come. The first EP closes on a neverending inner search with the bluegrass “Down the Mountain.”


The Bear & The Bison ll, a little bar room honky-tonk and country rock, sets off on a darker icy journey with the haunting single, “She’s Cold,” tracing tire tracks through the snowy north to heartache and longing. “Country Mood” delivers a fun tongue-in-cheek bar room throwaway filled with pedal steel and tele riffs, leading into the ‘heart on your sleeve’ country rock “Man You Need.” Then the slightly terrifying “Woman of Mine” heart pounder risks it all, “I’m from the back woods North Carolin’, just can’t take that woman of mine, Doc Watson on the radio, I’m the craziest man you ain’t ever known.” The second EP ends with the Lou Reed-esq country rocker “Last Try,” leaving no doubt the end may be near.


Inspired by artists such as Billy Joe Shaver, Terry Allen, and Justin Townes Earle, Mark Lennon’s plaintive worn out vocals strike a certain vulnerability through an organic array of stories by the songwriting of Courtney and Mark Lennon. The Bear & The Bison l & ll, sets off either a new creative direction for the project or a fitting end. After living in southern California and releasing two albums (Down the Mountain, Home of the Wheel), North Carolina native, singer/songwriter Mark Whitfield Lennon teamed up with Buffalo native, songwriter, bassist, and author Courtney Lennon (a descendant of songwriter Stephen Foster) in Los Angeles in 2011, who both now call Buffalo, NY home. 


“Moving to Buffalo helped us refocus our lives. Gave up the LA chase and decided to just do our own thing, work a day job, explore the country, work on other projects, Courtney has been focused on her books. Like everyone else, being quarantined all year, struggling through dark questions and anxieties, we just focused on the basics, hiking the New York wilderness, making sure our loved ones were safe, taking each day at a time. Rediscovering recording was one of the things that got me through to be honest.”


“We were able to bend space and time across the country with remote recording, allowing us the great fortune to have Dean Vivirito on vocals, Harmony Griffin on guitars, Patrick Jackson on bass, Charlie Coughlin on fiddle, Jacob Brockway on pedal steel, Jim Whitford on lap and pedal steel, and Sally Jaye on vocals. Produced by Mark Lennon. Sonically mixed by veteran engineer Dean Nelson (Beck) and mastered by Danny Kalb (Beck and Ben Harper).”

The Bear & The Bison l & ll are both available on all streaming platforms.


"Train to Memphis"



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The Bear & The Bison l


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The Bear & The Bison ll