The White Buffalo - Darkest Darks, Lightest Lights album review

Vignettes from American life from an LA troubadour

Cover art for The White Buffalo - Darkest Darks, Lightest Lights album

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There’s something nostalgic about the work of singer-songwriter Jake Smith, aka The White Buffalo, even though he’s working firmly in the here and now. He’s a storyteller, and his vignettes of American life have a sense of timelessness that could place his characters at any point in the last 100 years.

His deep, rumbling voice and thumping, blues-saturated rock combine to drag you into a world of dusty small-town drama – no wonder the makers of Sons Of Anarchy saw fit to use his music on the show.

There are echoes of Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds’ Red Right Hand in Robbery, a tale of violence, greed and dishonour among thieves, while The Observatory is a delicate moment of reflection that wouldn’t be completely out of place in the early pages of Ryan Adams’ back catalogue.

Turn the telly off and introduce yourself to the inhabitants of The White Buffalo’s world.

Emma has been writing about music for 25 years, and is a regular contributor to Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Louder. During that time her words have also appeared in publications including Kerrang!, Melody Maker, Select, The Blues Magazine and many more. She is also a professional pedant and grammar nerd and has worked as a copy editor on everything from film titles through to high-end property magazines. In her spare time, when not at gigs, you’ll find her at her local stables hanging out with a bunch of extremely characterful horses.