Updated: Feb 17
Jake Ward has been called the "#1 Best Kept Secret" on the Texas music scene. Well, the secret is out, as Jake's third, fourth and fifth singles released to Texas radio, TAKE MY HAND, LONELY STREET, and RESTLESS all reached #1 on Texas Regional Radio Report. Four years after Jake and the band cut their first single, they have developed a reputation for high-energy original songs, blending classic country with contemporary rock and rich harmonies. All of these qualities are on display in their live shows and recordings.
Growing up, Jake was surrounded by diverse musical influences. He fondly recalls sitting in the back seat of the car listening to Elvis, the Beach Boys, the Eagles, Johnny Cash, George Strait, and other performers from many eras and musical traditions. His great grandfather was a legendary local fiddle player in rural Oklahoma during the depression, and his maternal grandparents were missionaries who taught and recorded music. Jake performed for the first time at the age of 7 at church, and by age 10 had participated in several local musicals in his hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas.
Jake made his public debut as a country artist in 2014 at Larry Joe Taylor's festival, where he played what would become the first single, "Hit the Road." He and the band cut the song as a demo and it made its way onto local radio stations, eventually reaching the top 30 and becoming one of the top 100 Texas radio songs of 2014. Increasingly successful singles followed, including "Ignorant Bliss" (#16), and 3 back-to-back #1 singles, TAKE MY HAND (#1 March 2016), LONELY STREET (#1 September 2016), and RESTLESS (#1 September 2017).
We caught up with the man himself to find out about being the biggest new artist in country rock...
Where are you from?
I'm from Corpus Christi, Texas on the Gulf Coast about 4 hours north of Mexico.
Describe your sound:
All our songs are original compositions and I guess I'd call it "Texas Country," that is, country music with rock and roll bones and other styles popping out of its pores
Tell us about your latest track:
It's my most personal track -- A lot of my songs are about wanting to leave or wanting to stay; -- lots of driving lyrics ---lots of not settling down --- they're a mixture of ideas and experiences I've had, or I've observed in others; sort of "based on a bunch of true stories I experienced or heard about" songs. This song is about a specific person; an amazing and beautiful person who I met in college when she mistook me for someone making too much noise in the apartment above hers and who I'm married to. The song is about how being with someone you love and trust gives you kind of a superpower so that no obstacle cannot be overcome.
Who inspires you?
Well, the lyrics to Not Too Far to Reach answer that question. Also, my grandparents for sure. Musically --Randy Rogers, Elvis Presley, George Strait, and quite honestly the guys in my band. They're fantastic musicians who do not involve their egos in the music.
Where do you see your career in 5 years?
I'll tell you what I want to see: I want to see the same guys I share the stage with now playing songs that the crowds all know and sing along through the whole show. Like now, but bigger, and all over the country -- heck all over the world! I also see a tour bus, though right now I'd settle for a reliable van.
Where can we check out your sounds?
Please check out Spotify https://open.spotify.com/track/2bAdjSd
& other music sites -- also Jakewardmusic.com
Tell us something about yourself that the people need to know:
If you come to our show, no matter when or where or how many there, you're going to see our best show. No exceptions.
So what next? More songwriting -more recording - more shows -no vacation!
The band released their first album, "Love Don't Live Here," in September, 2015 with ten original songs. The album bears the band's signature blend of Jake's soulful vocals with lead guitar by Paul Teltschik and country fiddle by Owen Fitzsimmons.
The band plays shows throughout Texas with many of the biggest names in Texas music including Aaron Watson, Chris Young, Randy Rogers, Wade Bowen, Cody Johnson, Kevin Fowler, Stoney Larue, Roger Creager, Reckless Kelly, Whiskey Myers, Kyle Park, and others.