Shadows Greys & Evil Ways

Shadows Greys & Evil Ways

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Shadows, Greys & Evil Ways is the sixth release from the White Buffalo -- aka songwriter Jake Smith. Where previous recordings have delved into various aspects of history through the 19th and early...More

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Shadows, Greys & Evil Ways is the sixth release from the White Buffalo -- aka songwriter Jake Smith. Where previous recordings have delved into various aspects of history through the 19th and early 20th century, the subject matter in this 12-song cycle is contemporary. It centers on the story of Joe and Jolene, two outsiders thrust together by chance -- if there is such a thing. Through acoustically driven Americana and raging roots rockers, a narrative emerges with Joe as the catalyst. The tunes detail his experiences as an adult before, during, and after his military service in Iraq all the way to his eventual denouement. Jolene freely chooses her part in his sojourn. Smith is a hell of a storyteller; he's a populist who doesn't require a large platform to create deeply etched archetypal characters. He's far closer to Townes Van Zandt and Steve Earle than he is to Bruce Springsteen. Smith simply yet thoroughly inhabits Joe and other characters through this riveting song cycle. Joey White -- used in F/X's Sons of Anarchy -- is the anchor cut; it reveals the difference between idea and experience and details the horrific interior war that takes place inside Joe in Set My Body Free and Redemption #2. In the process, life, love, and death come together in an inseparable dance that crosses generational boundaries -- check Joe and Jolene and Don't You Want It to see if you either recognize people in these songs or, perhaps, have even been them. It critiques the notion of class in America without engaging in politics -- let's just say that few offspring of the wealthy and powerful would ever identify with Joe and Jolene's root circumstances to begin with. Shadows, Greys & Evil Ways will resonate with veterans, but it's a bigger record than that: it offers a musically artful, unflinchingly honest gateway toward understanding what our returning brothers and sisters endure and face. Smith has empathic help from co-producers Bruce Witkin and Ryan Dorn, who resist all temptation to add to the drama in this saga. Drummer Matt Lynott and bassist Tommy Andrews are constants, aided by a host of guest players who variously adorn Smith's songs with taste, grit, and ultimately grace. Shadows, Greys & Evil Ways is an album of uncommon heart, candor, and empathy. ~ Thom Jurek, Rovi

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GenreAlternative & Punk, Pop, Rock