Review: The White Buffalo at Silver Moon Brewing

Friday, January 29th, 2010, 1:46 pm by Ben Salmon

I mentioned this in passing yesterday, but folk singer The White Buffalo (aka Jake Smith) performed on Tuesday night at Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom in Bend, and pretty much blew me away. Here’s an excerpt of my review:

Smith’s talents are many, but his voice is obviously his most distinctive quality. It’s a show-stopper. A jaw-dropper. It’s canyon deep and sequoia strong, with a natural resonance that 99 percent of singers would kill to have.

The closest comparison I can come up with is Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, though when he’s at his best, Smith makes Vedder sound like Bobby Brady going through puberty. He’s just that great of a singer.

Smith showcased that voice on barnburners like “The Madman” and “Carnage,” with their ultra-low notes, as well as meandering, pretty numbers such as “Sleepy Little Town” and “Where Dirt and Water Collide.” And he let it soar during two of his best songs, “Love Song #1” and “Damned.” The ascendant pre-chorus of the former and the roller-coaster verses of the latter were perfect examples of Smith’s skill for writing melodies that are both unconventional and memorable.

You can read my take on the first great local concert of the year by clicking here. (Note: That article is freely available to all. You won’t hit a paywall.)

The White Buffalo at Silver Moon. Photos by Ben.

The White Buffalo at Silver Moon. Photos by Ben.

(Click below for more photos.)

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5 Responses to “Review: The White Buffalo at Silver Moon Brewing”

  1. Jim Mazziotti says:

    After reading the review of Jake Smith’s performance by Ben Salmon I immediately jumped on the internet to hear what I have been missing. If the performance Tuesday night was anything like what I was able to download…well….I don’t think I missed much. Perhaps Ben was suffering deep depression from the Kentucky basketball loss earlier in the evening and was just looking for anything to help kill the pain. Not anything I would walk across the street to hear.

  2. Shannon McLaughlin says:

    Disregard Jim’s response. Ben might be legitimately depressed over Kentucky’s loss, but the White Buffalo has the most powerful voice you’ll ever come across live. If you like acoustic sets, and people who can craft a song without Pro Tools, you’ll seriously dig the White Buffalo. He’s raw talent, and rough edges. He’s great. I’d not only cross the street, but I would get in my car and drive to another city to listen to him sing. Ben, your review is right on the money.

  3. ethos83 says:


    Yes… I don’t know who this ‘Jim” character is… but The White Buffalo is a legend in the making. Perhaps he got a little mixed up and was listening to the rock band from the UK called White Buffalo? It is very difficult for me to comprehend any serious music lover finding fault with the talent of Jake Smith.

  4. Tahoe says:

    This guy gets it<< Kid has got some gift.

  5. G says:

    I have driven across states to see this band. But, I don’t listen to his records 24 7. His music comes across better live. His shows are rocking and his albums are a little more country. Go check out his live show. I am not sure he has captured the same magic on tape. His recording career is young though.

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