With his sophomore album White Buffalo, out today (April 7), Ian Munsick dives 18 tracks deeper into his mission of bringing western country music to the forefront.
The journey began with Coyote Cry, a 10-track effort Ian wrote, recorded and produced that earned him a recording contract with Warner Music Nashville. The project was very unique, with his mountain-high voice singing about western imagery and values.
On White Buffalo, the Wyoming native leans in to the lane that he has created for himself. He brings things down to the basics on track “Horses & Weed,” hunts down healing on “White Buffalo” and paints a vibrant picture of gypsy love on “River Run.” The visuals, with the prairie animals and western-wear, are almost as intriguing as the music.
Ian enlisted label-mate Cody Johnson for the duet “Long Live Cowgirls” on White Buffalo. The track has already garnered nearly 100 million global streams, topped SiriusXM The Highway’s Hot 30 Countdown and recently became Ian’s first career RIAA Gold-certified single.
In the years since Ian hit the scene, after first arriving in town as a student at Belmont University, he has had a secret weapon: his manager and now wife, Caroline Munsick.
Caroline was also a student at Belmont while Ian was there, but the two only had one class together and rarely spoke. She started her management career by hanging around the midtown bars that attract music business professionals. After striking up a relationship with George Strait-manager Erv Woolsey, Caroline began to see a path forward into her own management career.
She started her Not A Public Figure management company—and clothing brand—and eventually helped to convince her former classmate Ian to go all in on his unique artistry.
“She knew that I had potential as an artist. For me, being an artist was the only way that I could write, perform and produce my music—and I love to do all of those three things,” Ian says.
Ian and Caroline’s relationship was strictly business for a while, until they couldn’t resist their romantic chemistry anymore. In early 2020, the two welcomed son Crawford and married later that year in scenic Montana. Ian’s “Me Against The Mountain” music video served as the couple’s wedding video.
“We didn’t tell anybody [that we were together] until I announced I was pregnant,” Caroline says. “We were so worried people weren’t going take us seriously.
“As soon as we announced that we were pregnant and let people know we were together, that’s when we signed with UTA, Ian signed his publishing deal and his record deal. All the stars started aligning. I really think us having Crawford was a reason for all of that,” she shares. “It was more tough at the beginning, just breaking stereotypes people had without knowing us.”
Now, two albums in, the Munsicks have found their place as a talented artist-manager duo pushing the western boundary of country music further towards the rockies. With White Buffalo, Ian draws on his life as a father and a husband frequently.
“Dig,” a standout track on the project, shares a message of pursuit of a partner. Written with Dave Villa and Jessi Alexander, the lyrics claim, “I ain’t afraid of a little dirt. Girl, your love’s a gift, and I ain’t afraid to dig.”
Another highlight is “More Than Me,” a song Ian wrote with Carlton Anderson, Casey Beathard and Phil O’Donnell. The song talks about the couple’s focus on their faith first and each other second, with Ian singing, “I don’t mind second place. Ain’t that amazing grace? She loves me faithfully ’cause she loves Him more than me.”
On the Adam James and Ben Simonetti co-write “Little Man,” Ian uses his son Crawford as a muse. He sings, “Know you’re gonna grow up in a hurry. I’ll soak it in while I can. You’ve got a way of making big world worries seem so little, man.”
“I became a dad in 2020. I became a husband in 2020. Those life-changing moments are all in this album. They are a huge inspiration for my writing. Caroline and Crawford are in all of these songs,” he says, “It’s just more blatant in some than others.”
Like on Coyote Cry, Ian channels his playful, rhythmic side on White Buffalo, as well. On “Cowshit in the Morning,” he bemoans a love that turned sour when she turned her nose up at Ian’s way of living. On “Barn Burner,” he catches a lover cheating and it doesn’t end well, with Ian singing, “Ain’t saying I did, ain’t saying I didn’t, but I’m glad it’s ashes now. She threw a pitchfork through my heart, then her barn burned down.”
From the life lived between Coyote Cry and White Buffalo, and the platform Ian and Caroline have grown, there’s no doubt that his mission to bring “the west to the rest” will continue to be a fruitful one.
White Buffalo is available everywhere now.
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