Once Upon A Time In The West: The White Buffalo

By Michael Lohr

With a deep, resonating voice and a physical stature to rival country crooner Trace Adkins, The White Buffalo, aka, Jake Smith, commands your attention.

However, his music has more in common with the likes of Bruce Springsteen or Eddie Vedder in both delivery and spirit than the latest slick-marketed, Nashville fodder. If you caught his rendition of the classic “House of the Rising Sun” on FX’s excellent TV show Sons of Anarchy, then you know what I’m talking about.The White Buffalo

On “Once Upon A Time In The West” he has done an more than admirable job of capturing the focused intensity of his live show. Songs like the brooding “Ballad of a Dead Man,” the hard rocking “Good Ol’ Day to Die” and “The Pilot” bristle with a thorny edge. While the oddly tender, yet darkly toned “The Witch” will intrigue while simultaneously freaking you out.

One of the marvels of this record is Smith’s splendid storytelling ability. He spins a seasoned, engaging yarn like you’d expect from Waylon, Cash, Dylan, etc. But it’s his voice, that’s the most valuable instrument. When The White Buffalo speaks/sings, he can make even the most clichéd lyrics sound profound. This skill set is quite evident on songs such as “How The West Was Won,” the melancholy masterpiece “I Wish It Were True” and the misspent youth vibe of “BB Guns and Dirt Bikes.”

The White Buffalo’s time has come. Please support him. Its artists like him who are saving music for the future.


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