Folk rocker White Buffalo took the stage at Amoeba Hollywood Sept. 11, performing songs from his recently released concept album, Shadows, Greys, and Evil Ways (on CD now or preorder on LP). In the vein of, say, Steve Earle, White Buffalo aka Jake Smith performs americana songs with a satirical bent. His latest album details the life of a young man as he meets a woman and settles down with her, only to head to war, be shot and sent home a changed man who can't cope.
He started with "The Getaway," a waltz detailing the album's two young lovers running away together. In the next song, "Joey White," the character "finds out it's pretty fuckin' hard out there," he said, as the man joins the military seemingly without another choice. Smith had some trouble with the guitar cable during the song, during which he jokingly implored to the audiene, "talk amongst yourself, quit lookin' at me." Unflustered, he started to perform the hard-hitting song acoustically before the power came back—actually, it sounded pretty cool as his guitar sound broke apart while playing, and if anything, it added to the sentiment of things falling apart for Smith's character.