Sons of Anarchy, you may well be familiar with this bikerathon show and certainly you should’ve heard the climatic song `Come Join The Murder’. Well the harrowing track was sung by one Jake Smith, better known as The White Buffalo. Now, having a rather popular program has probably boosted Jake’s stock, I mean hell I found him that way.
He’s certainly been around for a while though with his first album `Hogtied Like A Rodeo’ came out back in 2002 which was well 14 years ago, see X Factor hopefuls this is the way your career is meant to be built, for the love, not for the prestige or lip syncing in front of Cowell and Co.
Jake’s newest work `Love and the Death of Damnation’ is just bonafidely awesome. Now, personally I deal predominately with the harder, rougher edges of music but there are those that slip through my gauntlets and this one of them.
From the get go, your welcomed by a foot tapping rhythm on `Dark Days’ that’s pretty bouncy and probably more suited to a barn dance or riding your bike on a summers day with the wind in your hair than a rainy day in the UK but hell it takes you to that place.
There’s so many tracks to choose from on `Love and the Death’ that it’s hard to pick just a few to chat about, really this album is a melting pot of acoustic rock, add to that some folk and a large helping of country so imagine lots of lumberjack shirts with Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson riding their Harley’s. `Radio with no Sound’ is a softer more low key outing but is the perfect showcase for Jake’s amazing vocal range, I mean yeah it can’t hit notes that only dogs can hear but there’s a note that he hits late in the song that’s more likely to deploy and earthquake it’s so bloody low.
Without doubt, a personal favourite on the album is `Modern Times’, it entails Jake’s idea of not fitting in this current world but keeping going and the music of `Modern Times’ is bouncy, it’s fun and without doubt if it doesn't make at least make you get your dancing shoes on then something is missing from your soul.
Personally I absolutely loved this album, yes this won’t be to everyone’s tastes but with the rise of guys like Ed Sheeran in the past few years, a guy with an acoustic guitar should be pretty much on record labels hot list, although in this case with an older, American bearded fella and you got The White Buffalo.
It’s foot tapping, it’s getting your groove on, it’s being outside on a summers day with your acoustic guitar and your lady, `Love and the Death of Damnation’ deals with Universal themes of love, loss, heartbreak yet makes these topics so personal and surely that’s what a great songwriter is able to do. Take a universal problem and make you feel that you’re the only one that matters, Jake I mean The White Buffalo does this over 13 tracks of `Love and the Death of Damnation’.
9.5/10- A truly wonderful piece of American country, come folk, come whatever. Just great, fun songs.
Stand out tracks:
`Radio with no Sound’, `Modern Times’ and `Rocky’
1. Dark Days
3. Go The Distance
4. Radio With No Sound
5. Home is in your Arms
6. I Got You (feat. Audra Mae)
7. Modern Times
8. Last Call to Heaven
9. Where is your Saviour?
11. Come on love, Come on in
13. Darkside of Town
14. I Got You (Radio Edit)