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Jake Smith and his White Buffalo craft musical perfection

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Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, 8:30 p.m.

‘Shadows, Greys & Evil Ways'

The White Buffalo (Unison)


While there are some 3 12 months until the end of the year, I may have found my favorite album of 2013 with the release of the White Buffalo's “Shadows, Greys & Evil Ways.” As the driving creative force behind the folk/rock outfit, Jake Smith impressed with last year's “Once Upon a Time in the West” and heard a handful of his songs featured in FX series “Sons of Anarchy.” “American Dream” is the best thing associated with the big-budget summer flop “The Lone Ranger.”

Amazingly, Smith raises the bar even higher on this mesmerizing 14-track concept album chronicling the life and love of fictional couple Joe and Jolene. Over the course of 38 harrowing minutes, Smith unspools the tale in his dusty baritone. There isn't a bad song to be found here, but the White Buffalo is especially memorable on “Shall We Go On,” the profanity-laden “When I'm Gone,” “Joey White,” “30 Days Back,” “Redemption #2,” “This Year,” “Joe and Jolene” and “Pray to You Now.” Musical perfection.

Jeffrey Sisk is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1952, or

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