The White Buffalo (musician)

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The White Buffalo
Jake Smith (The White Buffalo).jpg
Jake Smith at the 2015 Azkena Rock Festival in Vitoria-Gasteiz
Background information
Bornbirth date 20th of May 1974 (age 4445)/1975 (age 4344)
Origin Los Angeles, California, U.S

The White Buffalo is the professional moniker and stage name of American musician and singer/songwriter Jake Smith. [1] [2] [3]


Early life and career

Born in Oregon in 1974/1975, and raised in California, Jake Smith grew up listening to country music and punk rock. He studied history at university. The largest influences on his songwriting are folk singers such as Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen.

Oregon State of the United States of America

Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region on the West Coast of the United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of its eastern boundary with Idaho. The parallel 42° north delineates the southern boundary with California and Nevada.

California State of the United States of America

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

Punk rock is a rock music genre that emerged in the mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as "proto-punk" music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. They typically produced short, fast-paced songs with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produce recordings and distribute them through independent record labels.

A baritone, Smith is known for his wide range in pitch within his singing, incorporation of whistling into his music (in place of the harmonica often used in roots music) and his lyrical references to God and war. His singing style has been compared [4] to that of late singer-songwriter Richie Havens.

God the supreme being, creator deity, and principal object of faith in monotheism

In monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, creator deity, and principal object of faith. God is usually conceived as being omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), omnipresent (all-present) and as having an eternal and necessary existence. These attributes are used either in way of analogy or are taken literally. God is most often held to be incorporeal (immaterial). Incorporeality and corporeality of God are related to conceptions of transcendence and immanence of God, with positions of synthesis such as the "immanent transcendence".

War Organised and prolonged violent conflict between states

War is a state of armed conflict between states, governments, societies and informal paramilitary groups, such as mercenaries, insurgents and militias. It is generally characterized by extreme violence, aggression, destruction, and mortality, using regular or irregular military forces. Warfare refers to the common activities and characteristics of types of war, or of wars in general. Total war is warfare that is not restricted to purely legitimate military targets, and can result in massive civilian or other non-combatant suffering and casualties.

Richie Havens American singer-songwriter

Richard Pierce "Richie" Havens was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. His music encompassed elements of folk, soul, and rhythm and blues. He had an intense and rhythmic guitar style, played soulful covers of pop and folk songs, and opened at the 1969 Woodstock Festival.

The White Buffalo's first full-length album, Hogtied Like a Rodeo, debuted in 2002. This was 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." This EP was musically grounded in acoustic folk and country blues. In a friend's living room in 2008, he re-recorded the first album, dubbing it Hogtied Revisited. Musically, this 2008 album was a blend of folk, modern rock, and alternative country.

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 many of his songs featured in FX's hit show Sons of Anarchy and Showtime's Californication .

<i>Sons of Anarchy</i> American television series

Sons of Anarchy is an American crime tragedy television series created by Kurt Sutter that aired from 2008 to 2014. It followed the lives of a close-knit outlaw motorcycle club operating in Charming, a fictional town in California's Central Valley. The show starred Charlie Hunnam as Jackson "Jax" Teller, who is initially the vice president and subsequently the president of the club following his stepfather and president, Clay Morrow, was demoted after a challenge vote was brought up by the club. He soon begins to question the club and himself. Brotherhood, loyalty and redemption are constant themes.

<i>Californication</i> (TV series) American comedy-drama television series

Californication is an American comedy-drama television series created by Tom Kapinos which aired for seven seasons on Showtime from August 13, 2007 to June 29, 2014. The show follows New Yorker Hank Moody, a troubled novelist who moves to California and suffers from writer's block. His drinking, womanizing, and drug abuse complicate his relationships with his longtime lover Karen and their daughter Becca.

In 2010, a second EP, Prepare for Black and Blue, [5] was recorded in six days by producer Jimmy Messer and released through Chad Stokes' Ruffshod imprint via Nettwerk Records earlier that year. Again, this was musically grounded in folk. The music and the artist captured the attention of Unison Music's Bruce Witkin and Ryan Dorn, who then signed The White Buffalo and co-produced Once Upon a Time in the West. [6] [7] This album transitioned to a more roots rock sound, whilst some songs still retained a folk style.

Bruce Witkin is a music producer and musician.

In 2013, a fourth LP, Shadows, Greys, and Evil Ways, [8] was released on Unison Music Group. This was musically a mixture of folk rock and some blues rock. The LP saw positive reviews including NY1 which stated, "Not since Neil Young's Living with War has there been so strong an artistic statement about this country's occupations." [9]

Neil Young Canadian singer-songwriter

Neil Percival Young, is a Canadian singer-songwriter. After embarking on a music career in the 1960s, he moved to Los Angeles, where he formed Buffalo Springfield with Stephen Stills, Richie Furay and others. Young had released two solo albums and three as a member of Buffalo Springfield by the time he joined Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1969. From his early solo albums and those with his backing band Crazy Horse, Young has recorded a steady stream of studio and live albums, sometimes warring with his recording company along the way.

<i>Living with War</i> 2006 studio album by Neil Young

Living With War is the 27th studio album by the Canadian musician Neil Young, released on May 2, 2006. The album's lyrics, titles, and conceptual style are highly critical of the policies of the George W. Bush administration; the CTV website defined it as "a musical critique of U.S. President George W. Bush and his conduct of the war in Iraq". Written and recorded over the course of only nine days in March and April 2006, its lyrics are in line with the early 1960s albums of folk artists such as Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan, although they are set to what Young calls "metal folk protest music" courtesy of Young, bassist Rick Rosas, drummer Chad Cromwell and trumpet player Tommy Bray.

In 2015, the album Love and the Death of Damnation was released. Musically this was very varied, with several songs being grounded in roots rock, whilst the song "Chico" incorporated Latin music, "Last Call To Heaven" fused folk, blues and jazz, and "Come On Love, Come On In" was a soul song.

In August 2017 Smith released two tracks from his then-upcoming album Darkest Darks, Lightest Lights, the singles "Avalon" and "The Observatory". [10] [11] The single "Avalon" was described by Billboard as an "expansive country-tinged rock song" and tells the story of a wayward man's trip to peace. [10] "The Observatory" was a blend of soft-rock and country-folk.

Darkest Darks, Lightest Lights was released in October 2017 to positive reviews, and was Smith's most electrified rock album yet. Musically, the album was a blend of alternative rock, blues, country and folk. The song “The Observatory” was featured in “This Is Us” episode “The 5th Wheel”

Other activities

Sons of Anarchy

Jake Smith, from The White Buffalo, sang on the Season 7 finale song, "Come Join The Murder", performed by The Forest Rangers and written by Sons of Anarchy creator, actor and executive producer, Kurt Sutter. [12] Other songs from The White Buffalo which appeared on Sons of Anarchy include "Matador", "Damned", "Wish It Was True", "House of The Rising Sun (cover featuring The Forest Rangers)", "The Whistler", "Set My Body Free", "Sweet Hereafter", "Oh Darling, what have I done" and "Bohemian Rhapsody (cover featuring The Forest Rangers)". [13]

Ernie Ball presents Capturing The White Buffalo

In June 2015, Ernie Ball introduced a ten part docuseries entitled "Ernie Ball presents Capturing The White Buffalo: The Recording of an American Songwriter", [14] which followed Jake as he recorded his album, Love and the Death of Damnation. The series sought to show the audience Jake's process "from inspiration, to writing, fine-tuning, recording, and mixing, to rehearsing and performing live", so they could "experience the trials and tribulations of a modern day troubadour". [15] Initially releasing the teaser trailer [16] on May 18, 2015. The first episode [17] premiered June 19, 2015 with each subsequent episode scheduled to release once per week each Friday leading up to the album's release on August 21, 2015. [18]


The White Buffalo performing in 2015 (Azkena Rock Festival, Vitoria-Gasteiz). White Buffalo Gasteizen 2015-6-19.jpg
The White Buffalo performing in 2015 (Azkena Rock Festival, Vitoria-Gasteiz).

Over the past few years White Buffalo has played shows both nationally and internationally with acts like Ryan Bingham, Donavan Frankenreiter, Gomez, Xavier Rudd, State Radio, Jack Johnson, Ziggy Marley, and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, among many others.

Awards and nominations

The White Buffalo was named as one of twelve artists to watch in NPR's 2012 Winter Music Preview. [19]

The White Buffalo's Digital EP, Lost And Found, released 12/6, featuring "Wish It Was True" [20] as heard on Sons of Anarchy (Season 3), was named Billboard Folk Chart "HOT SHOT DEBUT". "House of the Rising Sun" with The Forest Rangers was also featured on Season 4 of Sons of Anarchy. [21]

The White Buffalo performed at the 2011 Bonnaroo Festival and performed on The Living Room Sessions in December 2011.

In August 2014, The White Buffalo performed their songs "This Year" and "The Whistler" on Jimmy Kimmel . [22]


Studio albums

Extended plays


Music Videos

TV licensing

With the placement of "Wrong" in Chris Malloy's movie Shelter, The White Buffalo has gained further film scoring and composing success with three of his songs featured in FX's hit show Sons of Anarchy [25] and Showtime's Californication, as well as commercials for Wal-Mart. His song “Wish It Was True” was also featured in the Netflix original series Marvel’s The Punisher, season 1 episode 3 “Kandahar”. The Observatory was also featured on Season 2 Episode 11 of NBC's This Is Us. His song "Where Dirt and Water Collide" was featured in the Netflix series Longmire, season 6 episode 7, "Opiates and Antibiotics". The Woods was featured in The Punisher, season 2 episode 8 "My Brother's Keeper". [26]

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  1. 1 2 " The White Buffalo Shadows, Greys & Evil Ways" review by Thom Jurek, AllMusic
  2. Maine, David. "The White Buffalo: Shadows, Greys & Evil Ways". Pop Matters.
  3. "Hear the White Buffalo's Meditative New Song 'The Observatory'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  4. "The White Buffalo Prepare For Black and Blue (Album Review)". Hear Ya.
  5. "quickcrit – music reviews: The White Buffalo – Once Upon a Time in the West (2012)".
  6. "KQED Public Media for Northern CA – KQED Arts". KQED Arts.
  7. "The White Buffalo Shadows, Greys And Evil Ways". American Songwriter.
  8. "The White Buffalo Makes His Late Night Debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Aug 26". Prelude Press.
  9. 1 2 "The White Buffalo Shares Latest Alt-Country Track 'Avalon': Premiere". Billboard. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  10. "The White Buffalo » Home". Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  11. "Hear the Dark Swan Song From the 'Sons of Anarchy' Finale". Rolling Stone.
  12. "Songs of Anarchy: Music from Sons of Anarchy Seasons 1–4". iTunes.
  13. Ernie Ball, Inc. "Ernie Ball presents Capturing the White Buffalo".
  14. "Ernie Ball Offering an Exclusive Sneak Peak Behind the Scenes of White Buffalo's New Album".
  15. Ernie Ball Presents Capturing the White Buffalo – The Recording of an American Songwriter – Trailer. YouTube. May 18, 2015.
  16. Ernie Ball Presents Capturing The White Buffalo – Episode 1: Inspiration. YouTube. June 19, 2015.
  17. "Exclusive Premiere: 'Capturing The White Buffalo: The Recording of an American Songwriter' Part One". CraveOnline.
  18. National Public Radio. 2012 Winter Music Preview., 2011.12.29. Date retrieved 2012.11.1.
  19. "The White Buffalo Performs "Wish It Was True" Acoustic for". ARTISTdirect.
  20. "Best of 2011 (Behind the Scenes): 'Sons of Anarchy' music supervisor Bob Thiele Jr. on season 4's greatest hits", 2011.11.18. Date retrieved 2012.11.9.
  21. "Watch The White Buffalo Roam Onto 'Jimmy Kimmel' & Perform Live". Billboard.
  22. Marquee Magazine. "The White Buffalo Releases New Album 'Shadows, Greys & Evil Ways,' Collaborates with Oskar Blues for a New Brew and FBAG".
  23. "'West of Memphis' Soundtrack Includes Nick Cave, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith". Rolling Stone.
  24. Geller, Wendy. "Video Premiere for The White Buffalo’s ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Tune". Rolling Stone.
  25. "Music from Marvel's The Punisher S2E08". Tunefind. Retrieved January 22, 2019.