Personnel: Jake Smith (vocals, acoustic guitar); Bruce Witkin (electric guitar, baritone guitar, fiddle, harmonica); Doug Pettibone (lap steel guitar); Jessy Greene (violin); Mike Thompson (accordion, piano, organ); Ron Dziubla, Lee Thornburg (horns); Matt Lynott (drums); Alfie Silas-Durio, Linda McCrary-Fisher (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Ryan Dorn; Bruce Witkin.
Recording information: Unison Music Studios.
Photographer: Marc Lemoine.
Love and the Death of Damnation follows the White Buffalo's (aka Jake Smith) celebrated song cycle Shadows, Greys & Evil Ways, about an Iraq War veteran's complex return to society. This set is more conventional in scope; its 11 songs aren't unified thematically but still offer uncommonly strong storytelling. Smith's protagonists are almost always marginal characters and his songs offer them voices without judgment. He presents these tales in an imaginative musical palette. He ranges from edgy Americana ("Last Call to Heaven," "I Got You") to alt-country ("Dark Days," "Home Is in Your Arms") and raw roots rock & roll ("Modern Times"). Along the way are unexpected production touches -- mariachi horns in "Chico," a jazzy trumpet solo in "Last Call to Heaven" -- that add depth to his stories and dimension to his characters.