The best introduction to Jon Wolfe is the basic yet not so simple fact that he’s a country singer and songwriter. Country music, as it was, is and always should be, with boots firmly standing on the bedrock of tradition and an eye focused on taking it into the future. And that, as any fan of true country knows, is no simple proposition.
Jon Wolfe’s 2010 album “It All Happened in a Honky Tonk” introduces a modern country singer/songwriter whose music strikes a perfect balance between the best country traditions and contemporary energy and vision. His gift for getting to the heart of a song reflects the unique life journey that led him to realizing his dream of a career as a country music artist. While Jon has done over 250 shows in Texas and Oklahoma, he has spent the past three years writing with some of the best country songwriter’s in the business, while spending countless hours searching the catalog’s of country music’s most prolific songwriters. Jon co-wrote half of the songs on his new album “It All Happened in a Honky Tonk” with writers such as Tim Johnson (“I let her lie” Darryl Singletary, “He must have really hurt you bad” George Strait), James Dean Hicks (“Goodbye Time” Conway Twitty, “National Working Woman’s Holiday” Sammy Kershaw) and Jon Robbin (“I Breathe in, I Breathe out” Chris Cagle).
Jon’s drive to sing country music was so strong that it prompted to leave a lucrative position as a commodities trader for a large oil company to dedicate himself to honing his talents as a country singer, songwriter and performer. “I was the only guy on the trading floor in cowboy boots,” he recalls. Jon was raised in a traditional and religious home in the small Oklahoma town of Miami Oklahoma, and his early influences include the music he heard in church and such classic pop vocal talents as Frank Sinatra and Harry Connick, Jr.
Country music captured Jon’s imagination as a teenager when his stepfather started playing bass in the house band at Oklahoma’s Grand Lake Opry. Also in the house band was a friend from a nearby rival high school, Joe Don Rooney, later to achieve fame as a member of Rascal Flatts. The emergence at the time of country music superstar and fellow Oklahoman Garth Brooks stoked Jon’s faith that a career as a country singer was possible for a boy from a small Oklahoma town.
His May 2006 Nashville showcase that won Jon his deal with Midas Records was covered in Country Weekly by news columnist Larry Holden, who declared Wolfe a “winner” who “proved true country songs roll off his tongue easy and that he’s as comfortable in front of a crowd as a pair of well-worn boots.”
“For years I prayed to be in country music, but I didn’t know how,” Wolfe recalls. Now that he’s done so, he intends to remain true to all that country music means to him. “I like songs that deal with core emotions. I like people to listen to my music and be able to relate it to what they’ve experienced in their lives.
“I feel connected with the tradition,” Wolfe concludes. “There’s something a little bigger than just my dreams going on in country music. That’s why I feel so strongly about doing what I do.” And to make it all even sweeter, “I’m doing what I love.”
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