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The Bolder Life: Once Upon a Time in the West


The White Buffalo hails from Southern California, but his lyrics, sound and passion are straight out of a Johnny Cash performance circa the early 1960’s. You know the sound. That unique ability to combine sets of steam-rolling guitar and drum beats flawlessly along with songs laced with intimacy, cultural importance, and honestly. It’s rare to find an artist that sings the beer drinking songs with as much rawness and finesse as the love making songs.

Jake Smith, The White Buffalo, was born to write and play music. There’s no doubt about it.

Throw in some songs about life, a song that one fan in the crowd used as his wedding song, Matt Lynott on the drums and Tommy Andrews on the bass and you have the makings of a killer show at the Fox Theater on Saturday night.

With as many big name bands that play at the Fox Theater in Boulder, Colorado, it’s easy to forget what a small place the venue really is. It takes that special artist that truly appreciates music, life on the road, a couple of long-neck bottled beers and the high they get from performing to make a venue intimate. Watching the three unique and excited artists that make up the current White Buffalo road line-up having a total blast sharing their craft and challenging each other to play faster and perform better is even worth the drive from Colorado to California to see these guys play on their native turf.

The White Buffalo sounds like the incredibly talented love child of Johnny Cash and Eddie Vedder with the kind of impeccable yet soft and raw songwriting skills that will strike a chord with everyone from your whiskey drinking brother-in-law, to your sweet and gentle grandma who will be sure to find the soothing tones of Jake Smith’s voice loveable (and probably pretty attractive)—and his love and authenticity when it comes to music unrivaled.

Saturday’s live White Buffalo show at the Fox gave local Boulderites a taste of some of the White Buffalo’s most beloved songs along with a smattering of energetic, foot-stomping, wild west-loving tunes off of the newly released album, Once Upon a Time in the West.

Every pluck of the guitar string, every heart felt high note that surprisingly follows one of the Buffalo’s perfectly pitched low growls, every stomp of the foot, every smile that radiates from the bass player’s mouth and every shard of drumstick that’s sacrificed during the drummer’s remarkable performance made this show amazing. The White Buffalo and his band will continue their tour in Oregon followed by shows in Washington, Idaho and Utah before they make it home to their native Cali.

If you have the chance to see this guy play live—take it—and be sure to make enough noise to bring him out for an encore. You’ll get the chance to hear him cover Jimmy Webb’s, The Highway Man and you’ll see one of the most unforgettable live performances of your life. If you aren’t able to catch one of the White Buffalo’s shows on this tour—then I suggest you purchase one if not all of his albums here. His songs will quickly creep their way onto every playlist you’ve ever created and you’ll be stalking his YouTube channel and Facebook and Twitter pages to stay updated on new music releases and tour dates for your next opportunity to catch him live.

Once upon a time in the west, I fell in love with music again.

Until next time.

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