1. Hi Jake, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? I’m originally from San Diego, CA. I lived there my whole life before moving to Nashville 4 years ago. I spent my younger days traveling the country playing in punk rock and rock n’ roll bands, and didn’t really start playing country music until my mid 20s. I don’t come from a musical family and when I was a kid I wanted to be a professional skateboarder. When I was 13, I had 7 operations on my right eye and that’s when I started playing guitar. I’m still blind in that eye to this day.
2. What made you want a career in country music? I never thought about having a career in music because I didn’t think it was possible for me. It’s something that happened organically and I’m so grateful that it did. When I moved to Nashville I still had a “real job” and didn’t intend on pursuing music. I did a couple open mic nights though, and sat in with some friends at their gigs downtown. One gig led to another and it quickly became my full time job. I love Nashville because it’s one of the only cities in the world where you can make a living playing music.
3. How did you come up with the name “Saloon Sessions,” for your brand-new album and what is your favorite song off the album? The Red Rose Saloon is an old shed in my backyard that I converted into a bar. It’s a great space to hang out with friends, jam, or listen to music. I do a lot of writing in there late at night by myself, which is where the title came from. My favorite track off the album is probably “Confession,” which was recently spotlighted in American Songwriter.
4. How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?Honest/Raw/Authentic
5. If you could sing a duet with any singer or group who would it be and why? I would love to sing a duet with Connie Smith or Emmylou Harris. They’re both amazing.
6. What is your recording process like when working on a new song or album? The recording process is always changing for me. For Saloon Sessions I recorded the entire album by myself in my own home. It was definitely a challenge but felt good to complete it. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do ever since hearing Bruce Springsteen’s album Nebraska, he had a similar approach to that record.
7. What are a few of your favorite venues or events to play at? The Nashville Palace and Johnny Cash’s Kitchen & Saloon. I play at both of those venues every week, they’re like home to me.
8. Do you have any rituals before you play a live show? A shot of Jack Daniel’s and a Coors Light.
9. What is one of your favorite quotes? Right now it’s a lyric off the latest John Moreland record: “Shame is a cancer, go easy on your heart.”
10. Is there anything else you would like to share? My new record Saloon Sessions is out now and I want to thank everyone for the love and support so far. The response has been overwhelming and I’m so grateful. Also, I play at The Nashville Palace and Johnny Cash’s Kitchen & Saloon every week, come say hi if you’re in Nashville!