Jake Smith, a.k.a The White Buffalo, enjoys a good beer. In fact, he’s pulling off a small tour nightmare/miracle to play at Pedal Haus, a new Tempe Brewery, on Saturday, October 17, when he will lay down some mighty fine “American” music, as he likes to call his brand of heavy, acoustic tunes, as patrons of the new Mill Avenue spot quaff pints of a fresh brew.
It’s a crazy tour this time around because on Friday night (October 16), Smith will play the venerable Boston venue, The Paradise Rock Club, which has been around since 1977, then hop on a plane, fly to Phoenix for the Saturday show at Pedal Haus, then get back on a plane and resume his east coast tour with a show on October 19 in Philadelphia. Smith, who sings and plays guitar, is backed by what he terms an “acoustic power trio” — Matt Lynott on drums, and Christopher Hoffee on bass and backing vocals for this round of shows.
Sometimes a solo artist and sometimes fronting the trio, The White Buffalo has been plying his trade since 2002, when he released his first record, Hogtied Like a Rodeo. Smith describes The White Buffalo as “More American roots music. County, rock ’n’ roll, folk. Organic music. Like Creedence [Clearwater Revival], or Bob Seger, or Tom Petty, or Tom Waits.” The songs are dark and somewhat brooding at times, although the band is not afraid to crank it up a notch and get the tempo going. On the most recent record, Love and the Death of Damnation, Smith and company really show their fun loving side on the song “Modern Times.”
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Fortune smiled on The White Buffalo several years ago as a few of Smith’s songs wound up being featured on television shows Sons of Anarchy and Californication, which had an effect on The White Buffalo’s crowd size.
“The demographic changed a little bit. The audience grows incrementally. The exposure from that [Sons of Anarchy] show has introduced [my music] to vast numbers of people. A lot of them [the audience] have kind of gone deeper into the catalogue. I think you hook ’em with the live show, so if you get ’em out [to the show], you’ve got ’em. We try to bring it every night with passion and try to take the crowd on an emotional ride,” says Smith.