Smokin' Buddha

Smokin' Buddha



Carmine and Bleecker Streets in Manhattan's Greenwich Village have born witness to the development of some of the greatest artistic surfacings. Once again they have overseen the emergence of an unlikely, unusual, but powerful musical force.

The four men that comprise Smokin' Buddha have chosen this as their home for different reasons, but all feed on the creative energy of their musical playground. A palpable feeling hangs in the air knowing that Jack Kerouack, Bob Dillan, and Paul Simon [to name a few] have cut their teeth just around the corner.

The beating heart of Smokin' Buddha is its founding members and songwriting powerhouse Wes Shippee and Shawn Burnette. These two are living proof that, in some instances, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Wes is an immanently skilled musician. He combines astounding skills as a songwriter, pianist and vocalist to bring a unique asset to the band. Over the years he has honed his skills while constantly growing as an artist. He has studied at both Berklee College of Music and, more recently, at NYU. His music is the fusion of soulful genuine emotion (matching that of his lyrical counterpart) and technically flawless craftsmanship. Prior to Smokin' Buddha, Wes performed with Crosspoint touring extensively in Europe as a solo artist and setting his hometown of Richmond, Virginia, on fire with his talent.

Smokin' Buddha marks a full circle for Shawn. A songwriter at heart, he spent his early career acting as a journeyman singer/songwriter for several bands, some of which have yielded major national acts today. He never found a clean musical match for his deeply introspective, spiritual, and often somber lyrics and style. Since then he has taken a long artistic path including acting, dancing, and singing on national tour and Broadway and most recently singing with several big bands in New York City. Still, nothing matched the cathartic experience of writing and performing his own music.

A chance meeting through Shawn's [now] wife and inspiration for "December" and "Let Me Be the One" sparked the fire that became Smokin' Buddha. After a rocky beginning the two became inseparable, as well as artistic sounding boards for one another.

As the story is told, nobody quite remembers how, but Wes was given the task of putting music to "December," a lyric Shawn had written previously. Not only did it become a staple in the bands show, but instantly revealed the creative synergy between the two.

After a year of writing and development and defining of the balance between guitar- and piano-driven sound, the pair premiered as Smokin' Buddha. A friend joked that if Dave Matthews and Ben Folds had a baby and Adam Duritz was the god father they would have no choice but to name the child Smokin' Buddha.

Soon after, the lineup was rounded out by adding Ian Wood on bass and Curt Kasabian on drums. Smokin' Buddha was now all grown up.

Growing pains over and now ready to fly; the guys are set to release "Off the Hookah" EP. It will include "December," the ballad familiar to fans that started it all. This deeply reflective song laments the mistakes we all make in love and hope not to repeat. "Adam Said," a frank commentary on loyalty and honor in the entertainment industry, is followed up by "Fatherless Child." The band's most recognizable song "Thank You," a haunting dialogue and emotional cleansing of inner demons, rounds out this ambitious offering.

The full album "Swim in Your Soul a While" is in the works and, after several delays, is expected to be released in November of 2006.

"[Smokin' Buddha] speaks to the audience as if they are telling a long, intricately woven story that exposes the deep recesses of their spirits...

...Look for Smokin' Buddha to make an impact."

-Marie Weiss, NYU


Let Me Be The One

Written By: Shawn Burnette / Wes Shippee

Was it that first glance
Did that snare my heart
Was it those first words
Did that make this start
Was it something in those eyes
Made me want that heart
This place we are now
This is the hard part

Can’t risk this heart again
But again here I go
Hurts too damn much to loose
But I have got to know
I hope this is worth the chance
Does the worry on my face show
Nothing will be the same
Can this thing grow

Let me be the one
The arms you run to when your cold
Let me be the one
When you cry and need someone to hold
Let me be the one
You laugh with in bed Sunday morning
Let me be the one
Let me be the one
Let me be the one

Hold my breath trying to speak
Guess no turning back now
Trying to get these words out
Try but not sure how
Stumble over the words I know
Known them for a while
My hearts been lost to you
Forever lost in that smile

What I say has to be right
Couldn’t stand to loose you
Found wher I want to be
Don’t want anything new
Please listen to these words
I only have a few
Gotta lot to give inside
Want it all to go to you

When the sun wakes me up
Off the New York snow
I want to be next to you

When the world falls in on me
Feel like I’m gonna break
The one I need is you

When you scream in your pillow
All to much to handle
I want to wrap my arms around you

Adam Said

Written By: Shawn Burnette / Wes Shippee

The Sun is so damned bright these days
Burns eyes reveals the tears can’t keep inside

Spent all we had and some we didn’t to get here
All I ever wanted came and there’s nowhere to hide

Naked now for the entire world to stop and stare
Friends abandon as they point and laugh

Spinning in words
All the voices at once
One says hold on
The other let go
What to listen to
Hell if I know

I’m struggling with the gravity
Since I found myself on Mars
Adam Said I would

Night holds me longer here
Favorite lights are stars
Pull the sun down if I could

Drowning in daytime
Turn off the light
Don’t wanna see anymore
Bring on the night

Forced to hear myself for the first time today
Heard clearly now what could always be ignored

Forced to face my fears, my life of innocence in crime
That’s not what I believed was behind the door

Voices in my head are not so funny now
That guy on the radio insists the voices were mine



La La La La

All the noises I can still hear

La La La La

That guy in the mirror ain”t me


La La La La

La La La La

Thank You

Written By: Shawn Burnette / Wes Shippee

Gm Dm
Now I know
I’m in this alone
Gm Dm
I can climb this mountain
Just a big stone

Been on my own
Since the start
Didn’t know it til now
Don’t worry bout my heart

Lesson had to be learned
Better out than on a shelf
Damage is done
I’ll rely on myself

Lost my faith
You stole it from me
Never had a chance
Lost my faith
Not like you
I can take a stance
Turned your back on me
Don’t know me do you
Lost my faith
Thank you

Shout your piety
That god you preach
Pretty confident to say
This is not how he’d teach

Pay Sundays lip service
Stand high on that book
Then go find a mirror
Take a hard look

Lost me now
Got 3 more to go
No reason to believe
You will ever know

Not all your fault
We know who calls the shots
Hope she is worth it to you
Got you in knots

Did she take your spine
Did you give it away
Did you ever have one
Doesn’t matter today

You took her on
Dropped me if you cared
I can only pray
3 more will be spared

Never thought you’d turn on me to spare you
Here’s hoping she makes you happy
That big house is gonna be cold
Telling you here and now
Don’t count on me when your old


Off the Hookah (EP)
Swim in Your Soul a While

Set List

up to 3 45 Minute 90% orginial