Thanks to the Austin, Texas, band Possum Posse, “straight up mauled by a cougar” has become a catchphrase—in some circles, at least. A six-member honky-tonk/bluegrass band, Possum Posse also likes to play tweaked versions of well-known pop music. But they struck YouTube gold with their original soundtrack and montages compiled from the 1978 movie Buffalo Rider, a movie about a Grizzly Adams-like pioneer who, yes, rides a buffalo—and saves babies, fights bears, tames the wilderness, etc. To date, the group’s four “Guy on a Buffalo” episodes, have attracted more than 8 million YouTube hits total.
Buffalo Rider was a dramatization of 19th-century Western legend C.J. “Buffalo” Jones, who fought to prevent the extinction of the American buffalo. The movie never saw much distribution or success, and Jomo Edwards, the band’s lead singer and business manager, stumbled across the strangely endearing film while searching public domain for cheap content for a music video. He showed it to the other members of the band, who fell for the earnest subject matter (and goofy acting) and wrote a mock soundtrack to the movie.
Edwards says that he even tracked down Buffalo Rider’s titular actor, Rick Guinn, who lives in Canada and works as a hunting guide: “I was really worried he might be mad and beat me up with my own guitar. As it turns out, he actually liked the videos. In reality, he’s incredibly nice, and has told us some great stories about the filming of the original movie. Quite a bit of it was unscripted and unplanned.”
“Guy on a Buffalo,” has become a fan favorite at live Possum Posse shows. The band even sells Guy on a Buffalo T-shirts, sweatshirts, baby clothes, and bumper stickers on its website The Possum Posse.