Growing up, Jake Smith wanted to become a professional athlete. Working toward his dream of wanting to play for his favorite team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, he played baseball throughout his college career. But it wasn’t until he picked up the guitar at the age of 20 to play a few songs for his mother in his living room that his other dream of becoming a musician won out.
The White Buffalo’s most recent release, “Shadows, Greys, & Evil Ways,” lets listeners in on a story, a narrative — as opposed to a concept album — that chronicles the relationship between Joe and Jolene.
“It’s about two lovers who find each other, fall in love,” Smith explained to The Weekender. “Joey discovers he can’t support his family, so goes off and joins the military, goes to war, and finds out he cant function in civilian life when he gets back. He’s bloodthirsty and thinks he’s this killing machine,” he said.
“It’s the experience between evil and ultimately the power of love. It’s then when Joey realizes it’s his wife, Jolene, that is his way back to redemption.”
Smith, whose music can be heard on episodes of “Sons of Anarchy” and on the soundtrack for “The Lone Ranger” movie, can also be heard on his current co-headlining tour with Chuck Ragan & The Camaraderie.
The tour stops at the Theatre of Living Arts in Philadelphia next Wednesday night. While The White Buffalo’s sound is comparably different to that of Chuck Ragan’s, fans can expect the full band — Smith on guitar and vocals, Tommy Andrews on bass, and Matt Lynott on drums — to win them over.
“I hope there’s a good crossover for both of our fans for this tour,” Smith said of this run. “I think it should be good.”