San Antonio singer-songwriter Jeff Jacobs picks on the kykx1057 Front Porch
Jeff Jacobs Band stopped by the kykx1057 Front Porch on Friday, February 3rd. Jacobs, from San Antonio, Texas, was in town for performances at The Forge in Ben Wheeler and Lonestar Icehouse in Longview.
During the chat with Phat Matt and B’Ann Boiles from East Texas Lightnin, Jacobs played a few songs, including “Havin’ Too Much Fun,” “Feels Alright To Me,” and “Drink Another Heartache.” B’Ann Boiles also shared insight into the mission of East Texas Lightnin’: to provide sports and recreational activities to East Texans with intellectual disabilities.
Watch the video (below) and get to know Jeff Jacobs, Nathan Schmidt and B’Ann Boiles!
About Jeff Jacobs Band
A Texas live oak can’t be strong without roots.
Jeff Jacobs Band, the band and the self-titled studio EP, was always about getting the right ingredients together, from the beginning, to lay down roots for great things. The band did that with Grammy-nominated producer Mack Damon and established the San Antonio, Texas-based lineup with singer-songwriter Jeff Jacobs, along with founding members Nathan Schmidt on bass, drummer CJ Gore, and the passionate lead guitar work of Jeffery Paul Cox. “Since I have been writing songs for decades, there were enough songs for a full-length album, and then some, but the right move was to establish our core sound,” says Jeff. “We appeal to people who listen to Country and even those who regularly don’t. We had an industry exec tell us that we ‘bridge the gap between Texas Country and Nashville Country.’” This is a natural reaction to Jeff, as he puts it, “because the songs speak to those who listen.”
As a testament to speaking to the audience, working with industry vet, Seth Necessary, the band’s first major single release, “Spend Some Time”, spent 18 weeks in the Top 100 on the Texas Regional Radio Report. It reached as high as #9 on the Texas Music Pickers Spotify Chart, where it was in the Top 20 for over 8 weeks. A previous, self-distributed single, “Feels Alright To Me”, hit #1 for 5 weeks on Kraze Nation, a Red Dirt radio show, syndicated across Texas and Oklahoma. It was also profiled in Bridge The Beats magazine, and was selected in January 2017 to be a part of the nationally-distributed COUNTRY BLAST compilation album. Major events for the band, in the past year, include the San Antonio Rodeo, Austin Rodeo, South Texas State Fair, Temple Bloomin’ Festival, Boerne Berges Fest, the State Bluebonnet Festival and Scarecrow Festival in Chappell Hill, and the spring and fall Brews and Blooms Festivals at the San Antonio Botanical Garden – where the band was the first to sell out both events.
Sharing the stage with artists such as Cooder Graw, Dalton Domino, Hayden Huse, George Ducas, Neal McCoy, Toby Keith, and Little Big Town, Jeff Jacobs Band has been called one of the “top 3 bands in Texas” by Shane Oats – former host of Texas Talk at KITX/Hugo, OK and Paris, TX – for their music quality and energetic live shows. Then again, energy and hard work is no stranger to Jeff; it’s what got him to the place where he is…but all that work was never in a career outside of music. “I’ve always considered everything else to be just a job. If it doesn’t have to do with music, it ain’t my career! I am the middle-class working man. I’ll always know where I came from,” explains Jeff about the autobiographical nature of his songs. “My music is about hope and sharing my experiences,” he continues. “My father used to write and record his music, and that inspired me. I wasn’t one of the kids taking apart the radio…I was taking apart the songs playing on the radio. Writing songs was where I was inspired to go, in a different way, when my mother had the courage to get out of a bad relationship and we struggled, sometimes eating a sandwich of only French fries. Writing songs helped me through working for 18 hours straight and then worrying if I had enough gas, or the money to buy gas, to get back home.”
It’s these roots in his experience, and the empathy of others, that give Jeff his passion for pursuing music. “I was never going to sit around and wallow in the fact that I went through hard times in my life, and I try to raise the spirits of those around me. I am going to enjoy life and I want to share that with everyone.” Reaching this point in his music career has not come without critics, however. Questions about age and commitment to make the band successful, in the long haul, continue to rear their heads. “No one questions the strength of a live oak,” says Jeff about the formation of Jeff Jacobs Band, “but it takes a lot of the right things to make it grow. The right place, the right ingredients, at the right time, and that oak can be a great thing for everyone to enjoy. That’s where we are.”
Picking up the guitar at the age of 13, playing with his brother, and performing in talent shows at Roosevelt High School in San Antonio at 14, Jeff adds: “I have always wanted to play my own songs. I never wanted to do covers, because it felt empty trying to be really great at sounding like King George or Zac Brown Band, having people dancing and clapping for songs that weren’t mine. While I met Nathan in a cover band, before Nathan, no one ever really believed in my music. I would play it and people liked it, but when it came to pursuing it, I was alone.” Thinking about his longtime partner and now wife, Jeff continues: “Deanna has always supported me and my music, and that was important, but the musician pieces never really came together. Nathan was the catalyst that made this thing explode.”
So it comes with little question why Jeff sought the formation of Jeff Jacobs Band. “Look around,” he says. “None of the named acts – Wade Bowen, Willie Nelson, Gary Allan…none of those guys really go it alone. They are surrounded by great musicians and friends, just like me. I prefer the camaraderie of a band, the feedback and the constructive criticism, and having a core of artists that define the sound rather than going it alone and looking for just anyone to deliver the music.”
Speaking to fans with their music, and with a hard-hitting schedule for 2017, the Jeff Jacobs Band is winning new fans every time they play. “Shortly after I graduated high school, I had two kids,” Jeff explains. “It put things on hold from a professional musician standpoint, for me. But I always kept playing. I would play for my kids, my family, and my friends.” Jeff expands on the point: “I didn’t start playing professionally until 2000, and that’s when the intersection of reality in the love of music and success in music set in. I really feel all of the things I’ve been through have brought me to this point. Success is about never giving up. Now is the time,” Jeff says with a toothy grin on his face, “because if a singer sings in the woods and there is no one to hear it, does it matter?”