Hailing from the West Coast, The White Buffalo, a.k.a. Jake Smith, is far more suited to the Great Plains of the Midwest than the urban terrain of his current haunt of Los Angeles. Heralded as one of NPR’s Artists to Watch in 2012, The White Buffalo has released four critically-acclaimed albums, including 2013’s Shadows, Greys and Evil Ways, which American Songwriter called, “Powerful both musically and lyrically, [Shadows, Greys and Evil Ways] is one of those rare concept albums where the songs not only create a compelling story but they also totally succeed as individual tunes.
The White Buffalo's new album,
Love and the Death of Damnation,
The White Buffalo's first full-length album, Hogtied Like a Rodeo, debuted in 2002, followed by The White Buffalo EP, produced by Eels’ Koool G Murder, which Smith states is about “relationships, love, loss and booze with a little murder mixed in. In a friend’s living room in 2008, he re-recorded the first album, dubbing it Hogtied Revisited.
When a bootleg tape of Smith’s music made it into the hands of pro surfer Chris Malloy, one of his songs, “Wrong,” was featured in his popular surf movie, Shelter. This eventually led to further film scoring and composing work, with three of his songs featured in FX's hit show Sons of Anarchy and HBO's Californication.
In 2010, a second EP, Prepare for Black and Blue, was recorded in six days by producer Jimmy Messer and released through Chad Stokes' Ruffshod imprint via Nettwerk Records earlier that year.
Over the course of the show's run, "Sons of Anarchy" has used The White Buffalo's tracks in close to 10 episodes, including a specially recorded version of "House of the Rising Sun" in the season four finale.
"It's pretty unique the way for almost every episode, they shoot a montage scene at the end where the music and lyrics are a part of it," Smith says. "They really use the storylines of the songs to help guide the story, which I think is super unique and cool."
"Playing guitar as I do, like a caveman, I'm very hard on my strings. Ernie Ball strings give me the confidence to know I'll have six strings through the encore. Their strength, warmth, and clear attack are the perfect marriage of tone and reliability."- The White Buffalo