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“Don’t Blame the Whiskey” Blame Jake Carr

Shannon is a passionate country fan who enjoys getting to know the artists and their music. She also loves spreading joy through interviews.

photo provided by Jake Carr

photo provided by Jake Carr

“Texas country is a different animal than the Nashville stuff you are probably used to hearing on the radio.” I don’t know who said that, but that seems about right. It has a very distinctive sound that, to me, is reminiscent of some of the sounds coming out of Nashville in the ’90s. Although, that doesn’t quite do the genre justice either since it is fused with more modern elements as well. Texas country is in a league all of its own and singer-songwriter Jake Carr is proud to be a part of it.

“Don’t Blame the Whiskey” is the title track from Jake’s recently released EP. The song is a medium tempo song exemplifying Texas country at its best. Listening to this song, one might think that Jake Carr is as experienced as the greats that came before him, such as Aaron Watson, Pat Green, Jack Ingram, Wade Bowen, Koe Wetzel, and Cody Johnson. It is a song about falling in love with someone other than the one the narrator is with and not being able to blame anyone or anything else for allowing it to happen.

Jake recently chatted with me about this song, the album, and his career. Enjoy his music while acquainting yourself with who he is as an artist and as a person. You’ll find him to be quite charming, very interesting.

"Don't Blame the Whiskey"

Seems like more and more artists are trying to return to that stripped-down, raw style. Real people singing about real life.

— Jake Carr, talking about the Texas country genre

Shannon Henry: Please tell us about the new EP Don’t Blame the Whiskey

Jake Carr: We just released it this July. Basically, I really pride myself on writing my own song. The title track, I actually wrote with a buddy of mine and it’s about falling in love with someone and then falling out of love with said person because you fell in love with someone else. People really seemed to grab a hold and love it so we ran with it. We try to stay true to Texas Country

SH: Texas Country, to me, is more reminiscent of the Nashville country sound from the 90s. Maybe fused with some more modern elements, but definitely recognizable as more traditional. What are your thoughts on that?

JC: I think history always has a way of repeating itself. I think the '90s is the greatest era in country music, in my opinion. I feel like many of the artists from' the '90s from then were from country. I feel like it’s making a resurgence. Seems like more and more artists are trying to return to that stripped-down, raw style. Real people singing about real life.

"Sometimes"

Careful where you go. Be careful who you meet. You just might be eye to eye with a Voodoo Queen.

— Jake Carr, lyrics from "Voodoo Queen"

SH: As a songwriter, what is a song (that you have written) that is a personal favorite and why?

JC: I would say my favorite one on the EP is Heart of Stone, but we are fixing to get in the studio and cut a new single called “Voodoo Queen.”

SH: That sounds interesting.

JC: Want to hear a story about that?

SH: Sure!

JC: I was out in Louisiana. It was my first time in Louisiana playing a gig outside of Baton Rouge. I just thought the culture was so interesting, being from TX and never having gone that far into Louisanna. It was so cool to me, being in the swamp and hearing the stories about Marie Laveau. Someone told me about a swamp monster he saw in the swamp one night, so I just had to get back to TX and write a song about it. It’s been the most requested song at this point when we play live shows.

"Thanks for Trying"

I feel like I write songs to help someone make it through a rough time and the same goes for people working in the medical field or working as a firefighter. We do that to help people so the two kind of go hand in hand.

— Jake Carr

SH: Who inspires you, both personally and professionally? Why?

JC: I think I’d have to say my father. I lost him unexpectedly last year and I know he was so proud of my music and so proud to know where I’ve gotten thus far. I want to keep that going. It sounds strange, but sometimes I’m on stage and I know he’s watching and having a good time.

SH: No, that doesn't sound crazy. That sounds like a special bond.

SH: If you could sing with anyone you choose, who would be your dream duet partner?

JC: I think I would have to go with Stevie Ray Vaughan or Coe Wetzel.

SH: If music were not an option, what would you alternately be doing to make living?

JC: I’ve already done it. I was a firefighter for quite a few years. I still am, actually. I really enjoy that.

SH: That’s interesting to me because quite a few singers come from the medical or first responder fields.

JC: I feel like I write songs to help someone make it through a rough time and the same goes for people working in the medical field or working as a firefighter. We do that to help people so the two kind of go hand in hand.

'Heart of Stone"

Hard work beats talent and talent doesn’t work hard.

— Jake Carr, best advice given to him

SH: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received in life?

JC: I had a football coach once in high school tell me that hard work beats talent and talent doesn’t work hard. It took me a little while to figure that one out, but once I did, I owned it. I don’t care how much talent you have, if you aren't willing to work hard in life you won't achieve your goals.

SH: What is the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?

JC: Anytime anyone is telling me what I want to hear instead of what I need to hear. I need my close circle to be brutally honest with me. As songwriters, you don't want to hear that because songs are your baby. For instance, my producer is really good at taking a step back and saying “hey look, this song’s not gonna cut it.” You need that from time to time to keep you grounded.

SH: What advice would you give to others choosing a similar career path?

JC: I would say the classic cliche, don’t give up. Also, make sure that you hone your craft. Make sure your music is ready before you are ready to pull the trigger with anything.

Voodoo Queen

Just for Fun:

SH: If your life were a book what would the title be?

JC: Buckle Up. Because it’s wild!

SH: f you could, where would you spend all of your time?

JC: The beach. On a boat, out in the middle of the ocean. Any chance I get I go to Corpus to try to fish with my buddies.

SH: If you could travel through time to live in any time period, what time period would you live in and why?

JC: I don’t know where to start. So many good places. I’m gonna go with the late 1800s TX like on Lonesome Drive.

SH: Cattle drives and all?

JC: Yeah, have a shoot out at the OK Corral or something. Maybe the ‘70s. I should’ve been my dad’s age. I really like all the rock bands like Zeppelin, Hendrix, and the Eagles. The Carrs. I think my father probably influenced me the most. Never met someone who loved music more even though he couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. Or maybe the future of country music?

SH: Texas country or Nashville country?

JC: Nashville is already doing its own pop thing, but I feel like Texas country has a little more rock entering into it. It seems to be blending more southern rock with Texas-style writing.

SH: I can see that. Like I said earlier, the ‘90s sound blended with some elements popular today.

JC: I would like to see the traditional ‘90s make a comeback, but I don’t see it happening at this point. I think that’s the way it is now. Everything is electronic now. Nashville is trying to keep up with that and Texas country is trying to stay away from that with real instruments and songs about real life. We play a lot of classic rock, blues, and try to spice up the set.

More Jake Carr

© 2020 Shannon Henry

Comments

Shannon Henry (author) from Texas on October 15, 2020:

Hi, Doris. I'm so glad you like Jake Carr's sound. But I'm afraid I'll have to disagree with you about the 90s country. See, those were my teen years and what I listened to. I'd take it over most of the pop songs from back then any day. LOL. Although, you did mention some excellent artists that came before that era.

Shannon Henry (author) from Texas on October 15, 2020:

Thanks, Pamela. I appreciate you for being a loyal reader of the interviews. Glad you like his sound.

Shannon Henry (author) from Texas on October 15, 2020:

H, Bill. Thanks for pushing me to do better writing. I'm glad you like his sound. Thanks also for reading and listening.

Shannon Henry (author) from Texas on October 15, 2020:

Hi, Cheryl. I suppose that many regions of the U.S. have their own style of music. Texas country and red dirt music are a couple of regional sub-genres of country. At least, that's the best I can think to describe it

Shannon Henry (author) from Texas on October 15, 2020:

Hi, Brenda. Thank you for stopping by to listen, read, and appreciate. He certainly sounds like he has the potential and to realize his dreams.

Shannon Henry (author) from Texas on October 15, 2020:

I know, Angie. So much talent to appreciate! Thanks for reading and listening.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on October 13, 2020:

Very good interview, Shannon. I like this guy, but I'm not familiar with him. So thanks for the introduction. I do agree that Texas and Nashville have different sounds and they always have. I learned that when I lived in Texas in the 1960s and knew some of the musicians there. It used to be Texas swing. I think I like Jake Carr's sound better.

This old lady disagrees that the best country music was in the 90s. You young'uns just don't remember the 70s. When I was in country radio I remember playing Eddie Rabbitt, Willie Nelson, Wayland Jennings, Charley Pride, Ray Price, those guys can't be beat. For guys, that is, I won't go into the gals like Dolly and Loretta. But alas, they come and they go. I think the worst time for C & W was the Garth Brooks era when the guy singers tried to sound like teenage girls.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 13, 2020:

I didn't realize the music from Texas was different from Jake arr. I like his voice and his music, so I will become a fan, no doubt. The interview is very interesting, as usual, and I enjoyed this article, Shannon.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 13, 2020:

I haven't followed country of late, so his name means very little to me, but I like his sound. Thanks for the introduction. Good job on the article/interview...stretch that introduction out a bit more, please. :)

Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on October 12, 2020:

Great story. Did not know Texas music was different.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on October 12, 2020:

I guess I must be his dad's age because I lived in the era of Led Zeppelin & etc.

He sounds like a good singer.

I enjoyed the read & listening to his music.

Thanks for the share.

A B Williams from Central Florida on October 12, 2020:

I think I like ‘Heart of Stone’ the best, but they are all good.

I like his sound. Whether it’s a Nashville sound or a Texas sound, I don’t know, but it’s definitely a Country sound!:)

Another good one.

So many up and coming artists out there, waiting for their big break.