“Just Happy To Be Here” – Jake Stringer (2023) [english]

This week it’s been hard to choose which record to talk about.

Last Friday, a day usually chosen by artists to release new albums or singles, the independent market has been invaded by new fantastic music. I’ve counted nine records to tell you about. Nine you got it right.

An Italian friend, fans like me of this kind of music and philosophy, jokingly commented on this “intense” Friday telling me that now stand behind everyone and listen to them is becoming a job.

It does not go far from reality, when there are so many records to listen to as they deserve it is often difficult and maybe I will talk about some of them in a few weeks.

The choice on the disc to talk about for me was almost automatic, because I wanted to choose an artist I had never talked about and one that is independent from head to toe.

Jake Stringer comes from a place that has given birth to several valuable country rock musicians, namely the Midwest area at the foot of the Ozark Mountains in Missouri.

Last of 8 children, he lived his life in a rural area, hard work and surrounded by the beauty and strength of nature.

After his 20 years for over 15 years Jake was a musician, but obviously he also had to cope with the maintenance and then did the hardest and different jobs: mechanic, worker in a company that produced dog food, welder and seller of musical instruments, he played the drums everywhere and they paid him.

He always felt he had something to tell and about 8 years ago he started writing songs.

He started out like almost all the musicians I tell you about every week: he bought a van and started going to clubs looking for gigs and trying to get his name around.

I often repeat: it is hard work, where it takes passion, in addition to talent, because many then give up when they see that the light at the bottom of the tunnel is really at the bottom and very far.

Stringer saw one after the other musicians with whom he had started this adventure give up and try their luck with other works, abandoning their dreams. He doesn’t.

He and Better Than Nothing released two EPs: Let the Wolf Out in 2017 and Howdy… We’ve Been Expecting You in 2018.

Life on tour was hard: 500,000 kilometers spent up and down the States, often sleeping only in a van with two children at home, but it finally led to the coveted debut record.

Reading and learning about his story made me think that he deserved to be in these pages, to be known and to tell you about it fills me with responsibility.

Why do I say that? Because I think that intriguing even one of you readers to an artist so is my mission: an extra CD, an extra fan, an “online listening” really makes a difference in the life of artists like Jake Stringer and trust it deserves all your attention.

You will not find his music advertised in mainstream magazines or on pompous radio that have little to make you listen to real and qualitative, but for sure if you love country rock and honky tonk you can not be won over by the 10 songs of this Just Happy To Be There.

The record company with which he collaborated for this album is a denomination of origin controlled by the independent country (already by his name): the Death Before Pop Country Records and the production, mastering mix entrusted to Paul Carabello (which also plays guitar on the record) give the songs a powerful and incisive sound.

Press play and let yourself be conquered by a groove that will not let your stomach go with the initial Setting Fires To See The Light. Powerful voice and guitars that surround the speakers, with a brilliant touch of violin. What a rhythm!

Dusty sound like we were in a beautiful western movie and here comes Mojave Green: the voice of Jake Stringer is powerful and the song has almost an epic feel with the carpet created by steel guitar.

Tulsa in The Rearview seems influenced by the city named in the title: there is a taste of red dirt that envelops this song honky tonk. One of my favorites, which I would love to hear live, especially when it comes to the solo that takes inspiration from the sound of the greats of the past. Who said Waylon Jennings?

The rock that crosses the country of Thumbin’ for a Ride also gives here the feeling that the good Jake has watered the source of the Outlaws of the 70s and has put his personal touch. On the other hand hitchhiking was not just those years?

Lone Coyote is a fantastic country ballad with a western flavour, caressed by the sound of Scott McCumber’s steel guitar.

A beautiful ride in a Grand Canyon with the powerful voice of Stringer telling us stories.

The band behind Jake is a group of talented musicians who give performances of the highest level.

The violin that gives melancholy and intensity to the beautiful The Well is the magic that independent country gives to its fans: true stories and music that takes the soul.

A debut that those who love country and honky tonk flavor seventy, can not miss.

On the other hand, Death Before Pop Country does not move so by chance and if it chooses an artist you can rest assured that from the speakers then will come out only quality music, true and exciting and this record is so: true and exciting, like its cover.

Buy it, listen to it and if it has given you the same emotions that it has given me, advertise it, tag it, run its name: it deserves and deserves that his dream of being a musician continues and leads him to an ever greater success.

Good listening,

Claudio “Trex” Trezzani by http://www.ticinonotizie.it

(in Ticino Notizie web site you can find original italian version of this article)

Pubblicato da Trex

Sono un blogger e scrittore appassionato di musica indipendente americana. Scrivo gialli polizieschi e ho inventato il personaggio del detective texano Cody Myers.

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