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The White Buffalo strums.
The White Buffalo strums.

Jacob Smith decided he needed a new stage moniker, so the tall musician adopted the name The White Buffalo.

The name stuck, and now Smith’s brand of acoustic rock is resonating with his listeners. Word-of-mouth praise about The White Buffalo’s emotive music is propelling his career and there’s an underground buzz brewing about this act.

Tonight, Smith brings his full band to the Fox Theatre and shows off the more rocking side of his tunes.

If you go

Who: The White Buffalo, with The Missing Parts

When: 9 p.m. Thursday

Where: Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder

Cost: $5-$8

“When I started performing on a smaller scale, I thought I needed a stage name,” Smith said. “Someone brought the name The White Buffalo up, because I’m a big white guy. It seems to work and it gives a little more mystery to it.”

Names aside, Smith’s solid songs stand on their own.

The performer’s rich voice adds depth to his heartfelt tunes and entices listeners to come back for more. Whether the musician’s singing about love or death, Smith knows how to draw his fans in and open up their emotions.

“I live in the L.A. area, but I didn’t even pick up a guitar until I was 18 or 19,” Smith said. “I learned a few chords and I was off and running. I didn’t ever want to pursue learning other people’s songs, so I started writing my own.

“My songs are filled with a lot of personal experiences about relationships and everyday stuff. I also write some darker fantasy songs about murders and killing sprees. It all comes from my imagination and I write it down as stream of consciousness.”

Smith’s songs have a folk base, but he adds a certain edge to his music. The White Buffalo band will bring this full musical experience to Boulder.

“Sonically, there’s definitely some folk and rock elements to the songs,” Smith said. “There’s also elements of country and punk. It goes beyond what the normal singer-songwriter would do.

“I play some solo shows, but when I play with the band it’s a little more aggressive and powerful.”

The musician’s been touring behind The White Buffalo show for more than five years, but lately there’s been a strong interest in his tunes. Twitter and Facebook have added to the artist’s growing popularity.

“I’ve been doing this as a living for awhile,” Smith said. “It’s been a real organic process. I only have one full-length EP, but I’d rather it be word-of-mouth than a bullshit marketing machine.

“Things are now building and I’ve been getting a bunch of headlining shows. I just try to make the shows really dynamic, and take people on a journey where they feel something and take something away.”

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