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L.A. Beat

White Buffalo touches the hearts of fans on TV and on stage

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You might recognize the big, soulful voice and heart-tugging melodies and lyrics, which sound like a mix of Darius Rucker and Eddie Vedder,  of the White Buffalo aka Jake Smith, from TV shows like This is Us and particularly  Sons of Anarchy.

White Buffalo plays the Geomatic Attic, March 6. Photo submitted
 He plays Lethbridge for the first time on an extensive tour of Canada, Tuesday, March 6, when he and his band hit the Geomatic Attic in support of his new CD “ Darkest Darks, Lightest Lights.”
“ It’s been about three  years since I played Canada. This is the most extensive one of Canada we’ve ever done,” Smith said, getting ready for the tour, which began in Victoria on March 2.

He got some pretty high profile cuts on Sons of Anarchy including some of the most moving moments, including a version of “House of the Rising Son,” which appeared in the Season 4 finale and “Come Join the Murder,” which appeared in the series finale.

He said he never actively sought out TV placement.
“Most  of the songs I had placed, I had composed before. When I  first got the Sons of Anarchy, I didn’t have a manager or anything. I just had a lawyer. So I played some songs for him and he pitched them to them, he said, adding he just tries to touch people’s hearts and emotions when he writes.

“I write about people. The characters in Sons of Anarchy are really human. They are people who do really terrible things. But they’re still people,” he said, adding he never expected his career to take off like it has.

“It’s great getting songs places because it exposes me to a bigger fan base  who dig deeper, he said, adding he always tries to write very human stories which tug at the emotions.


“I always write about humans, which reflect emotions, which I hope will be relateable to them. It’s simple, well it’s not simple, but it’s a simple approach,” he said.

 He is pleased with the new album, which has a more of a rock and roll influence.
“This was the first album where I didn’t have any songs written for before, but it was time to release a new album,  so there is a sense of urgency to it,” he said.
 “Robbery,” has a bluesy, jazz tinged feel.
“ I just wanted to write a song about a bank robbery so I made one up.  I started thinking about what the robbers were going through. It is a more riff driven song, usually I just strum chords. I wrote that riff on an upright bass, so it’s unusual.

 Another blues influenced song is “Night Stalker Blues,” which was inspired by Los Angeles serial killer Richard Ramirez, who went on a killing spree in the mid ’80s.

“He was a pretty evil guy but it is an interesting story,” he said.

 He is  glad to be back on the road.
“I’ve spent the past 10 years touring and building a fan base,” he continued.
He has gained a dedicated following of enthusiastic fans who started a “choose the set” list for his shows.
“ I don’t know how that happened,” he said.

“I’m glad people are into it, but a lot of the songs they choose are songs I’d be playing anyway,” he said.
“ I just try to work my way into people’s hearts and make them feel something,” he said.
 The White Buffalo and Matthew Barber play the Geomatic Attic, Tuesday, March 6 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $42.50 in advance, $45 at the door.

— By Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Saturday, 03 March 2018 11:05 )  
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