Oklahoma-born country singer and songwriter, Jon Wolfe is bringing his tour to town Saturday night at The Backyard. Inspired by classic country singers like Garth Brooks and Clint Black, Wolfe beautifully blends traditional country with his own contemporary vision and energy.
And, he has local roots — his manager is from Waco and Wolfe, who grew up in Oklahoma, eventually settled down near Austin and became a regular in Texas honky-tonks before opening for singers like George Strait and Dwight Yoakam. Singles like “Baby This and Baby That” and “That Girl in Texas” became immediate hits and crowd favorites. Wolfe recently recorded a yet-to-be-released live album at Gruene Hall in New Braunfels and is currently working on that album release and his tour.
Wolfe talked touring and his next-steps with us before his Saturday night performance.
What can fans expect from your show on Saturday?
Fans can expect to have a good time! We bring a lot of energy to the live performance. We have three studio albums out and we’ll play songs from all three albums. Fans can always expect to hear their faves!
How do you pass the time when you’re on the road?
Recently, I have been spending a lot of time working on my tequila company, Juan Lobo. It’s been a lot of fun and hard work building a new brand. I am excited to get it launched in a few months. I also spend a lot time with my fiancé, Amber, I love having her out on the road and getting to share the experiences together.
Who are some of your favorite artists to listen to?
I love Frank Sinatra, Clint Black, Garth Brooks and of course, George Straight. They really make me feel something and they take me somewhere.
Are you going to get to do anything fun while in town- maybe stop by Magnolia?
I am going to stop by Standard Hat Works to see my buddy, Cameron. And I hear they have a really cool food truck set up and I am a big fan of food trucks.
What are you most looking forward to about Waco?
My manager is from Waco and I am looking forward to seeing his crazy dad in the crowd at this show. We always have a good time in Waco!
I know you just recently recorded a live album- what inspired that and what was your favorite part of recording it?
Recording a live album was something I always wanted to do. It is a moment and a memory that is a timestamp for my life and career. I wanted to let my fans be part of a recording an album with me. They’ve been supporting my music, sharing it and coming to shows for years. I wanted to take them along for the ride and to be part of the experience. We sold-out the shows at Gruene Hall. That room feels magical to me, and it is one of my favorite places to perform. It has never let me down. My favorite part was getting to share that memory with the fans who have supported me and make this singin’ thing possible.
What’s your favorite song to play for a crowd?
“I Don’t Dance”— it never fails to get the crowd moving and dancing. It really helps set the tone for the night.
Which musician would you like to collaborate with next?
If you didn’t become a musician, what would you be doing right now?
Well, out of college I was working on a big-city oil commodities trading floor, so I guess I would still be doing that.
What do you feel is the best song you’ve ever released and why?
I’ve probably written a couple hundred songs, but not all of them have made the albums. I write as much as possible but only record the best. I feel like the best song I have ever released is “Singin’ Thing.” It is a song I wrote with one of my heroes, Tim Johnson. Unfortunately, Tim passed away before the single was released, but it is one of the most real and personal songs that I’ve recorded.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your music journey?
The biggest lesson I have learned is to not give up on your dream and stay true to who you are. I’ve been doing this for over ten years and I don’t take a single day for granted. It’s so cool because you invest so much time and energy and vision and passion and emotion into the songs you write and then they become the soundtrack to someone else’s life. I am just thankful that my music means something to folks, it’s the reason I do what I do. More than anything I want to make music my audience can experience and feel, not just hear.
You can catch Jon Wolfe Saturday night at The Backyard. Ticket prices start at $20. Opening for Wolfe is Waco country artist Michael Saldana. Visit backyardwaco.com/concerts to purchase tickets. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. Check out this and more things to do in Waco in the digital edition of our latest issue at magazine.wacoan.com.