Release Date: April 17, 2020 Genre: Alternative Country, Folk, Rock Label: Snakefarm Records
Los Angeles alternative country/folk singer-songwriter Jake Smith, or more famously known as The White Buffalo has returned once again with his seventh full-length studio album, On The Widow’s Walk. On the album, Jake Smith is joined by Matt Lynott on drums as well as bassist Christopher Hoffe.
The White Buffalo’s continued rising success has in part from nearly a dozen of his tracks being featured on the series, Sons of Anarchy. Most notably, “Come Join the Murder,” which was featured on the series’ season seven finale. On The Widow’s Walk, was produced by two-time Grammy Award-winning producer, Shooter Jennings (Waylon Jennings, Billy Ray Cyrus, Duff McKagan). On The Widow’s Walk starts off with its second single, “Problem Solution.” This, as well as the album’s third track, “No History,” approach the subject of living in the moment, however, “Problem Solution” gets Smith’s message across in the style of a folk-rock ballad. “But they’re so sincere, triumph and fear, coursing, forcing their might / Well, you can’t live this life straight, so get high, get gone / Well, I think it’s a little too late to be moving on / No one is a really to say, what’s right, what’s wrong / So let’s just get through the day.” “Faster Than Fire,” the album’s third single, tackles the subject matter of the indiscriminate wrath brought upon the human race by mother nature’s sometimes very spontaneous destruction. Associated with and without climate change and global warming in a high octane folk punk-infused track. “Oh, you can’t run faster than fire, faster than water / Oh, you better run for your lives, grab your sons and your daughters / Oh, well the fire line, I don’t think we’ll hold you / Oh, mother nature’s a bitch, I don’t think she warned you / But she is gonna show you, hey!”
“The Rapture,” which happens to be the first single off On The Widow’s Walk, is a track where Smith wrote about what happens when the moral compass spins wildly out of control in the setting of a slow, yet menacing alternative country track. The track also features Smith howling like a wolf through the interlude. “Well, I’ll tell you I got secrets, I know you got yours too / But mine are a little more sinister, done things I can’t undo / I bury all my secrets in the deep, dark woods of the pines / Covered in mud and timber, they come calling me at night.”
“It’s a twisted, primitive tale of an unrelenting thirst for blood,” explains Smith. With “The Rapture,” I wanted to blur the lines between animal and man, to create a tension of moral restraint and unbridled evil.”
At one point in the songwriting portion of On The Widow’s Walk, the idea of a concept album was thought up by Smith and the band, however, Smith didn’t want to leave out valued tracks because they might not fit a specific concept. On The Widow’s Walk features the underlying theme of water and the ocean, rather than dominant themes throughout. On the track, “Cursive,” Smith touches on the soulless march of technology. Smith also writes about the sense of longing, which is something reflected in songs such as “Sycamore,” “River of Love and Loss,” and the album’s title track, “Widow’s Walk.” It’s even right in the album artwork as well in a portrait painted of Smith by UK artist Jack Browning.