Tag Archives: Country

The White Buffalo – On The Widow’s Walk

By Samuel Stevens

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 it’s 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.

Take a look back to March 23, 2019, when The White Buffalo last performed in Winnipeg, Manitoba at The Garrick for what was a memorable evening!

CP Holiday Train 2019

By Samuel Stevens

CP Holiday Trail 2019 featuring, Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo

December 2, 2019

Railroad Crossing at Panet Rd. and Molson St. – Winnipeg, MB

Madeline Merlo
Madeline Merlo. Photos by Samuel Stevens Photography.
CP Holiday Train - Check Presented To Winnipeg Harvest
Check of $15,000 presented to Winnipeg Harvest. Photo by Samuel Stevens Photography.
Scott Helman
Scott Helman & Band. Photos by Samuel Stevens Photography.

Tyler Childers: Live on Red Barn Radio

By Matt Harrison

Live on Red Barn Radio l & ll isn’t the sort of country music album you’ll hear billowing from the open sunroof of a blue Honda Civic waiting outside a hot yoga studio. Instead, it’s a compilation of two live performances played on guitar, mandolin, fiddle, and banjo, all in perfect harmony with the one of a kind voice of Tyler Childers. An East Kentucky Man of Constant Sorrow, Childers voice harbours a distinct streak of pain and a generous splash of whiskey.

The songs on this album are the sum of hard times and hard truths. They each contain heartfelt and honest lyrics about loss, love, and the haunting mistress of strong drink. Tyler Childers writes and performs with the disturbing poeticism and power of Townes Van Zandt mixed with Kurt Cobain, offering listeners a raw, unashamed look into the core of himself and his miseries.

The standout track on this album is titled “Whitehouse Road.” The lines “Rotgut whiskey gonna ease my pain/ And all this runnin’s gonna keep me sane” flow into the chorus like a torch stream into the Lake of Fire. “We’ve been sniffin’ that cocaine/ Ain’t nothin’ better when the wind cuts cold,” Childers wails with a distant harmony sung by the Devil sat atop his shoulder. “Lord, it’s a mighty hard livin’/ But a damn good feelin’ to run these roads.” A chilling and honest ballad to the renegade life and that which Childers has found in the granulated embrace of the long white line.

Found at the end of the album, “Follow You to Virgie,” puts the breadth and complexity of Childers songwriting on full display in a piece dedicated to the memory of the “Mountain Beauty” he had once known. “Yeah, I reckon we were heathens/ But in her eyes we were saints” he sings, referring to the grandmother of a high school friend who had, in a sense, become a part of his own family. This song shares the moments spent “making sense of all these strings” with her as the sole audience member. “I can see her in the corner/ Singin’ along to all our crazy dreams” Childers sings, surely finding solace in those unshakeable memories.

This concert album rolls with the rhythm of a man on the run from himself. From “Deadman’s Curve” to “Whitehouse Road,” listeners are taken on a journey through Hell and most of the way back. Though this self proclaimed heathen leans on the Faith of his upbringing in his songwriting, this is by no means the sort of music to share around the fire at Bible Camp. These songs were written by a man with good reason to fear his God.