That was, indeed, a fantastic performance of “Lovesick Blues“! Isn’t it? If it happened that you’re not watching the video clip and just listening to the performance, can you guess who could be that person singing? I bet many of you, dear readers, would say it’s Hank Williams, Sr. But it’s not. That honky-tonk vocals belong to Jake Penrod, a country music traditionalist who was dubbed as The King of Texas Twang. For those who are not aware, this old soul roams around Texas performing classic country. Hence, his name is oftentimes heard in the said place as well as in the national music scene. The video that we’ve just watched is only one of his jaw-dropping performances on stage. Let’s get to know more about this honky-tonk master in order to further appreciate his contributions to country music.
The King of Texas Twang
Jake Penrod is one of those young artists who wanted to keep country music alive. He believes that moving forward does not necessarily mean that you have to leave the past behind. Penrod shared the following words about staying true to country music roots.
“There were a lot of great ones before me. There’s still a lot you can do with what they started. These new guys, they’re creating something new and different, and that’s great, but we can’t forget where we came from. If country music is going to carry on, you have to keep the roots alive.”
With that mindset, it’s not surprising that Penrod earned a name as honky-tonk music master. Apart from singing and songwriting, he also plays almost any musical instrument given him. In 2013, Penrod released an album that unveils his songwriting expertise. The project also highlighted his musical talents particularly focusing on a variety of authentic honky-tonk music styling. Recently, Jake Penrod was named Pure Country Artist of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists Wards in Fort Worth.
Inspiration in Country Music
As a traditional country music advocate, Penrod gives credit to some legends in country music who inspired him to wholeheartedly embrace this genre. First and foremost is Hank Williams, Sr. who is, arguably, his closest likeness. He even played a lead role in Lost Highway, the Off-Broadway musical based on the life of Hank Williams, Sr. Moreover, he penned the Hank Williams Remembered Concert which he performed nationwide for several years. Moreover, he identifies with fellow Texas honky-tonk expert, Dale Watson, and gave full adoption of the Ameripolitan genre. During the second annual Ameripolitan Music Awards in 2016, Penrod received a nomination for Honky Tonk Male Artist of the Year. Meanwhile, his tenor vocals were inspired by Ray Price. In terms of his fashion style, decked out in a suit and tie, and crowned with his signature Stetson, Penrod acknowledges Ernest Tubb who influenced him on this.
Recently, Jake Penrod was featured on CBS News and shared the following words about his style in country music,
“If the kind of music I play is going to survive, this is where it will carry on.”
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