Ernie Ball artist, The White Buffalo aka, singer/songwriter/guitarist Jake Smith has officially released his new album: Year Of The Dark Horse – on November 11th.

Out with the old, the organic, the expected, the tried; in with the new – new producer, new studio, new location, no distractions, no looking back. Enter Year Of The Dark Horse

The Oregon-born, Southern California-bred artist has completed the record with GRAMMY Award-winning producer Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Brothers Osborne, Fidlar) at his Neon Cross studio in Nashville. For Jake, it was time to take the less-traveled path and embark on a voyage of discovery.

You think we’re a country band? A folk band? Americana? Rock? What the fuck are you gonna say now?! laughs Jake. With this album, I wanted something outside of what I’ve ever done. I wanted to open up. Do something dangerous. I’m hard to put into a singular genre as it is, but now I really wanted to take away any kind of preconception or pigeon-holing.

Jake Smith

Roughly based around the shifting of the seasons paralleled with the shifting of a relationship, on Year Of The Dark Horse, Smith continues his evocative storytelling through emotionally weighted songs that allow the imagination of the listener plays an important part throughout; the music builds on a tale of debauchery (of the drunken variety) and blame, of love and loss, a life lived against the odds, the whole thing set in one lunar year, following our anti-hero through the highs and lows of the seasons. From his tracks “Kingdom For A Fool,” “52 Card Pickup,” and “Donna,” Year Of The Dark Horse offers an invigorating and wonderfully unpredictable listen.

A collection of 12 musical vignettes-individual yet constant in flow, it’s The White Buffalo’s most ambitious and well-rounded work to date, with the full scope of Smith’s songwriting craft on view.

‘Year Of The Dark Horse’

  1. Not Today
  2. Winter Act 2
  3. Kingdom For A Fool
  4. Love Will Never Come/Spring’s Song
  5. She Don’t Know That I Lie
  6. C’mon Come Up Come Out
  7. Love Song #3
  8. Heart Attack
  9. Am I Still A Child
  10. 52 Card Pickup
  11. Donna
  12. Life Goes On

Read our interview with Jake Smith from 2020: “The White Buffalo Gets Intimate with His New Album, ‘On The Widow’s Walk'”.


The White Buffalo uses Ernie Ball Paradigm Phosphor Bronze Medium acoustic strings, Regular Slinky electric guitar strings, and Power Slinky Flatwound bass strings.

The Ernie Ball Music ManStingRay bass was used to record The White Buffalo’s latest album.

Share this Post