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article imageJon Wolfe talks about live album, digital age, and Dolly Parton Special

By Markos Papadatos     Jan 28, 2020 in Music
Country singer-songwriter Jon Wolfe chatted with Digital Journal about his new live album, which will be released in February.
"Live at Gruene Hall was recorded on November 9th and 10th of 2018 at my sold-out, two-night stay at Gruene Hall in Gruene, Texas," he said. "Gruene Hall is a legendary Texas honky-tonk, where many country greats have performed, like George Strait and Garth Brooks to name a few. For years, I dreamt about the ability to perform at Gruene Hall - I've now had the honor of some memorable sold-out shows there, so recording my live album there was a dream come true."
He continued, "The players on the album were my live road band with a few veterans added in for that night. The album was recorded and mixed by Mills Logan, who is a well-known industry veteran in the live record realm. We've developed an amazing fan base in the past decade, and my goal was to capture the soul of my live performance in the most famous honky-tonk, not only in Texas but in the United States. The songs on this record represent the majority of our past three studio albums and several of our No. 1 singles in Texas. We decided to add a couple of choice covers by some of my favorites, Billy Joe Shaver and George Strait."
"This album is for my fans," he said. "If it weren't for the fans, we wouldn't be selling out Gruene Hall. If it weren't for them, I couldn't do what I do. I wanted to create something for them that would take them right back to that night. Some of these fans might have even been there that night. My fans mean everything to me: you're the reason I do what I do."
When asked how he would describe his live show, he said, "My live show is really a result of a lot of hard work and being on the road for the past ten years. My show and my music are definitely rooted in traditional country that's developed into a high-energy, edgy country show showcasing my 14 singles on Texas radio and four studio albums with some selections from some of my heroes. When you listen to this album, you're going to feel like you're in the crowd at a Jon Wolfe show. It's hot, sweaty, and loud at Gruene Hall and we're playing Texas country music. You're going to feel the warmth of the stage lights on your skin, the bass reverberating beneath your boots, and you'll be thirsty for an ice-cold beer."
Regarding his music and songwriting inspirations, he said, "My main inspiration in music and songwriting is my love for traditional country music that began at a pretty young age. I've always been a huge fan of Frank Sinatra, Garth Brooks, and Harry Connick Jr. and I loved the emotional rollercoaster I'd feel listening to their songs. Great storylines are at the heart of traditional country music, and I fell in love with stories and songs about core, human emotions like falling in love, getting your heart broken, drinking beer with your buddies, and putting your heart on the line. I want people to feel the same emotions I felt when they're listening to my music."
On being an artist in the digital age, he said, "It feels overwhelming at times. It's a constantly changing environment and there are so many avenues to try and reach people. At the same time, it feels like a privilege and a blessing to be an artist in the digital age because we can deliver our music to our fans directly and we're not dependent on a record label or someone sitting behind a desk to deliver the music to our consumers. We can reach our audience on a much more intimate level and fans get to know the real me off stage when they follow me on social media."
Regarding his use of technology in his daily routine as a musician, he said, "We're very active on social media promoting shows and new music I'm working on. I'm engaged with my fans through my email newsletter, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, text blasts, you name it. I almost lose track of all the digital channels we use to connect with our fans on a daily basis."
Wolfe listed Lee Ann Womack and Dolly Parton as his dream duet choices in country music. "I'm a big Lee Ann Womack fan. I've always loved her take on traditional country music and her song choices are absolutely incredible. She's her own artist. I'd also love to do a duet with Dolly Parton. Who wouldn't want to record a song with Dolly?" he said.
For young and aspiring musicians, he said, "Develop a strong work ethic, don't give up at the first sight of hardship, and really work on your craft. Always stay busy. Don't think about what's going to happen in 10 years. Think about what you're doing that day and enjoy the present. Don't try to look down the road too far, enjoy the journey."
To learn more about Jon Wolfe and his music, visit his official website and his Facebook page.
More about jon wolfe, Country, Live, Album, lee ann womack
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