The White Buffalo spread the Love around the UK

Close-up black and white portrait of The White Buffalo standong among trees

On the eve of a new run of dates for his current album Love And The Death Of Damnation, Jake Smith discusses the origin of that unusual stage name and more.

This is just your second appearance in Classic Rock during a sixteen-year, five-album career. You’re in no hurry for world domination, then?

[Laughs] No, I guess it’s been a pretty slow climb. The songs I write aren’t suited to a quick path to stardom. I tend to make one fan at a time.

When did Jake Smith take on the mantle of the White Buffalo?

It happened maybe fifteen years ago. I wanted something a little bit more mysterious than just a songwriter’s name. Jake Smith hardly sounds mythical or intriguing. The White Buffalo can be a solo person, it can be a trio or a full ensemble.

Critics often shoehorn you into the box marked ‘Americana’.

It tends to mainly happen in Europe. In the States I’m regarded as my own entity. I appreciate that people need to use some kind of description, and ‘Americana’ has become pretty broad.

How did your song Come Join The Murder come to be placed in the series finalé of TV show Sons Of Anarchy?

By that point I’d already had nine or ten songs in that show. I wrote the song with Kurt Sutter, its creator. It was originally slotted for an earlier episode but Kurt thought it’d be perfect for that final scene.

How did you enjoy playing at the Ramblin’ Man Fair back in the summer?

Festivals nowadays are always a bit hit and miss, but I felt really good about it.

If someone’s considering buying a ticket for your show, what should they expect?

I like to make the experience as emotional and dynamic as possible. We’re like an acoustic power trio. It’s quite bombastic.

The tour kicks off in Bristol on January 19.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.