I want to start this article with the fact that my favorite song of Jake Bush’s, Cowgirl, has been living rent-free in my head over the past 13 months since it’s been released. About two minutes and forty-three seconds into the recording, I will always sing at the top of my lungs “All I know is she rode off in that red sky mornin' and left me blue as blue can be” without a care in the world. I knew I had to meet the artist responsible for this incredible cut.
Fast forward to a cold February Friday night in the Rhinestone Saloon at the Fort Worth Stockyards. While a smaller bar/music venue, it felt comfortable with a great sound system for such an intimate setting. We were lucky enough to catch up with Jake Bush before his performance.
In this interview with Texas Country Tour, Jake Bush shares the story of his journey so far, his goals for the future, and his case for a revival of story-telling in country music.
Answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.
TCT: Can you tell us about yourself?
JB: I'm the youngest of seven. I come from a big family, all boys and one girl.
I started teaching myself music when I was about 14. First, I taught myself how to play guitar. I didn't start really singing out in front of anybody until I was about 16. Then I did a talent show in high school. I graduated high school, joined the Army, and figured out I love singing. In the Army, we’d sing cadence while running drills.
When I got out of the Army, I went straight to the bars to perform. I've been playing music since I was right under 20. I’m going on a decade now. This has been the only job I’ve had since that time.
TCT: What's the best and the worst thing about being on tour?
JB: The drive is probably the worst thing, but there's really not much to complain about.
You know, we get to do this for a living. It just depends. Traveling is probably the best and the worst, you know? We have the opportunity to experience some cool places, but sometimes it's a long drive. You don't get enough sleep.
TCT: Which Texas venue have you not been able to perform at yet, but you're working towards one day?
JB: Billy Bob’s!
I played two songs there with Josh Ward on January 1st of last year. Interestingly enough, he and his band learned one of my songs and I played it there with them. As far as playing and headlining myself, it hasn’t happened yet.
TCT: Do you have any pre-performance rituals?
JB: Tea! I drink hot tea almost every night. I really don't sleep. I try to lie down and take a nap. That usually never happens. My mind is always overthinking with work.
I just drink hot tea and I'll just say a prayer at night before we go play, but that's about it, man. While I’m pretty superstitious, I cannot overthink my performances.
TCT: What does success look like for you professionally?
JB: I just want to leave a legacy for my family, you know? I’d obviously like to make enough money to take care of my family and future generations. I believe success for me is putting out good music that I'm proud of with a group of guys that I'm proud to perform with.
TCT: Can you tell us more about your professional support structure or group of people for your music career?
JB: Man, I have a lot of day-one fans that have really changed the whole course of everything for me. People bless me in different ways: either with financial support or just showing up when we need them. Christian Miranda, my drummer, has been with me for almost five years. I don’t believe I’d be where I am today if it wasn’t for his support.
I have a really supportive family and a group of friends that started out as fans.
All of that is extremely important to me.
TCT: What are you hoping to add to the country music genre?
I believe there are not enough “real” songs out right now. Back in the nineties, there was a lot of storytelling you could believe. I think that kind of got lost, people started just writing and recording whatever they can. There's really nothing out there that has true substance. I want to write my own songs, release them, and make them believable.
These songs would be about either experiences that I've lived or not so far out of reach that you would believe that I had lived.
Jake is an emerging artist with a friendly demeanor and a passion for bringing authenticity back to country music. He even gives a powerful acoustic performance in the middle of his full band set, highlighting his range capabilities. Thankfully, country music has another protector that will care for and defend authentic storytelling in the genre.
Be sure to check out his music below!
You can connect with Jake on social media: on Instagram @TheJakeBushBand and on Facebook as @JakeBushMusic. Be sure to visit his website to see his next performance dates and purchase his merchandise on the online store.