Ian Munsick honors his homeland with his sophomore album, White Buffalo, out now via Warner Music Nashville.
Throughout the 18-track project, Munsick celebrates the current chapter of his life, and all that has changed with him personally and professionally since the release of his critically acclaimed debut release, Coyote Cry. In that time, he’s continued to grow his loyal fanbase, while also taking on new responsibilities as a husband to his wife, Caroline, and a father to his three-year-old son, Crawford.
“I became a father in 2020 and I also became a husband in 2020. So those two life-changing events had a lot to do with this new album,” he shared as he reflected on the past few years. “I just constantly find myself striving to write more music and to create the best music that I can because I know that it’s not just me anymore. It’s for the greater purpose and I think that creatively, that’s when the best work happens.”
When asked about his goals for this new set of songs, Munsick shared, “It was really to take people on a deep dive into where I was raised, the people there, the land there, the stories there, and the culture of the Western lifestyle in general, whereas Coyote Cry was more of an intro to that. I really want to take people on a trip there, musically, and just have them experience the West as I have.”
The singer/songwriter explained that he chose to name his album White Buffalo because of its significance among the Native Americans, who believe the White Buffalo to be a good omen. They see it as a sign of rebirth and hopefulness for the future, a fitting mentality for this collection as it includes plenty of heartfelt love songs, sincere tributes to the land that raised him, and the people who help keep the beauty of the West alive.
“There’s a lot of references to the old way of life and respecting the land and holding onto what you love about the way that it is and the way that it was and kind of the cautious word of advice for the future” Munsick told Country Now. “That’s kind of the theme that ties in with the album title, White Buffalo.”
He continued, “That’s a Native American omen for good things to come and a hope for the pathway of life to come back and that’s to, you know, respect to land and the people. So I felt like it was a great tune to end the album with and to be a reminder to us to respect each other and to respect the land.”
The Wyoming native’s authenticity is a blaring theme throughout both of these projects. He’s taken it upon himself to create a space that whole-heartedly represents his admiration for the American West by inviting those who both live among that beautiful land and those with a desire to learn more about it.
His new collection was previewed by songs like “Long Live Cowgirls (ft Cody Johnson),” “Horses & Weed,” “Dig,” “River Run,” Little Man,” and “More Than Me.” Among the new tracks is a collaboration with the famed Vince Gill titled, “Field Of Dreams.” The rich melody takes listeners back to the pasture that raised Munsick and his two brothers, a concept that fits perfectly with Gill’s seamless guitar riffs and critically-acclaimed vocals.
“I can’t remember who exactly it was, but I think the president of my label, Warner Music, asked me if I would be interested in writing with Vince Gill and you know, obviously the answer is yes,” he explained. “Then a few months later, we got in the room and, you know, being a huge Vince Gill fan, I had to bring in an idea that I already kind of had written, just cause I was like, “man, I don’t wanna mess this up and come in with a blank slate.”
“It worked out great and, you know, he is just such a humble guy and so talented that it was really inspiring to be in the same room and just honored to have him be a part of this album.”
The “Cowboy Killer” singer ends the project with another standout track, “Indian Paintbrush,” which ties the whole project together, as it centers on a key part of Wyoming.
“So it’s the state flower for Wyoming, and it came to my attention that like nobody who’s not from Wyoming has no idea what that is. So I wrote that song with Marty Stuart, who’s also just a huge hero of mine and country music. Marty has a huge collection of these artifacts of country music and a collection of just heroes through the years. So I knew that he would be one to write this kind of timeless love story to the way that the land used to be.”
Throughout this creative process, Munsick has discovered that he feels most inspired to write these personal lyrics when he’s actually away from his home, and the desire to return strikes a chord with him.
“I feel like I get my inspiration from being home in Wyoming, but I’m most inspired to write off of that inspiration when I’m not in Wyoming. I think that there’s some magic that goes into being away from there and missing there. It kind of pulls on my heart…and makes me just miss home and want to express my feelings for home.”
Munsick recently extended his headlining Long Live Cowgirls Tour into May 2023 with Ned LeDoux as a special guest on select dates. Following a slew of opening dates with Morgan Wallen and Cody Johnson, this run includes his first headlining arena shows at the Horizon Events Center in Clive, Iowa; Liberty First Credit Union Arena in Ralston, Nebraska and First Interstate Arena at MetraPark in Billings, Montana, as well as his Ryman Auditorium headlining debut.
“We played the first part of the Long Live Cowgirls Tour this winter and there was a lot of dates in the Midwest and out East. In the East, it was really cool to see how my kind of more western country music was still resonating east of the Mississippi River,” he shared of his previous stops. “Then being able to extend the tour and now go out to play, you know, Montana and Colorado and Arizona is gonna be awesome because I know that those are the people that I’m trying to help get represented in today’s country music. So, I think that it’s gonna be awesome, and obviously being able to headline arenas is really special.”
“These ones will be shows that I’ll never forget,” he added.”
The tour kicked off on Jan. 20 with a sold-out show at the legendary Gruene Hall in New Braunfels, Texas, and will continue with stops in Tuscan, AZ, Denver, CO, Nashville, TN and more before coming to an end on August 13 in Atlanta, GA.
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