Last week saw the release of ‘Love and The Death of Damnation’, from the South California-bred Country style singer / songwriter, The White Buffalo, also known as Jake Smith.
From past releases, Jake has been known for his diverse storytelling abilities through the medium of music. This new album is no different, containing songs with a variety of well-written dialogues, like a well-written poem combined with gritty baritone vocals and a classic acoustic tone.
When it comes to Country and Southern Rock music, I couldn’t be any more disconnected from the genre if I tried; yet there’s something strangely relatable and homely about it.
What’s even stranger is that after attending sold out shows across the UK for artists such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blackberry Smoke and Cadillac Three, I know I’m not the only one.
We’re a pretty cultivated bunch here in the UK, with a love for all forms of music in one way or another, and after listening to ‘Love and The Death of Damnation’, it’s guaranteed to be acclaimed by anyone who has a love for true Country, Blues & Folk Rock.
After nearly fifteen years since The White Buffalo formed, they’ve released four critically-acclaimed albums ahead of ‘Love and The Death of Damnation’, so understandably, I find it unreal that this was the first time I heard of these guys.
It’s only in recent years that The White Buffalo managed to reach a whole new fan base, through providing tracks to the worldwide hit TV Series ‘Sons of Anarchy’. The ability to provide songs which relate perfectly to dramatic themes within the story have allowed the band to reach viewers on a much more personal and relatable level.
‘Love and The Death of Damnation’ combines the darkly themed music from Jake’s previous work, yet introduces a whole new perspective through uplifting feel-good songs of redemption and love, which includes his first ever duet with up-and-coming songstress Audra Mae, who he met through mutual work during ‘Sons of Anarchy’.
Dark Days kick starts the album, with a cheerful opening that discusses the significance of forgetting the dark days behind you, and focusing on the future. This progresses into Chico, a lasting story of a drug-deal-gone-wrong, which goes to show there’s no topic this artist won’t delve in to.
Home Is In Your Arms is a cool, laid back, and honest love ballad as you’d expect from the title. There’s such strong emotion expressed in this song, and the instrumental arrangement makes it all the more powerful. Matt Lynott on drums, and Christopher Hoffee on bass truly contribute to the overall song and vibes of each track, which make they insanely catchy and resonating.
I Got You is a no holds barred back-and-forth duet, performed with Audra Mae, showing that no matter what flaws another person may have, you still can’t help who you love.
Modern Times is the first music video provided from the new album, and if this doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know what will. I had a permanent grin throughout, in the most obscure ‘dance’ video I’ve seen in a very long time.
Although the song sounds supremely uplifting and the comical boogying puts you in an instantly positive mood, the subject matter seems to contradict it, discussing how out of place the character feels in the modern world.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpaQP4aFAbg]
Where Is Your Savour is a beautiful song and shows off how well-suited Jake’s voice is to all ranges of country music. Moving from his natural raspy style to a smooth mellow tone on more harmonious aspects, you can’t deny how much The White Buffalo tick all the right boxes. The album is available now via Amazon, and contains three bonus tracks on the UK / Euro Delux Edition).
Jake promises some major touring in the very near future, with confirmation already in place for the Country Outlaw stage at Ramblin’ Man Fair, which takes place on 23rd July 2016 in Maidstone. Be sure to get your hands on this latest album in the meantime, and hopefully we’ll see some upcoming dates in the next few months.
Recommended Track – Come On Love, Come On In
Come On Love, Come On In is the closing track on the album, and is a great way to fade out of such a eventful album. This track takes the strength and control of gospel music, and applies it perfectly alongside the refined organic sound of Jakes voice, and the bands natural sound.
Go The Distance
Radio With No Sound
Home Is In Your Arms
I Got You
Last Call to Heaven
White Is Your Savior
Come On Love, Come On In
Darkside of Town
I Got You (Radio Edit)
Jake Smith – Guitar / Vocals
Matt Lynott – Drums
Christopher Hoffee – Bass