Jake Worthington’s debut studio album is here… and it’s countrier than cornbread.
The self-titled project is out everywhere today, and features an impressive 13-song tracklist, of which he is a co-writer on every song but one.
The La Porte, Texas native has been working on perfecting the songs for the past five years or so, and cites legends like George Jones, Keith Whitley and Merle Haggard as some of his musical heroes.
And even if you just listen to the album one time through, it’s easy to hear that come through the songs that are delivered perfectly and sincerely by his signature, twangy vocals.
He says himself that “homage isn’t paid by accident,” and he hopes it will remind listeners of the country music they grew up on and loved as much him:
“I’ve been ready for this for a long time. Country music is what I know, it’s what I’ve always done, and I’ve never thought about doin’ anything else.
I’m grateful to finally be putting it out into the world. Homage isn’t paid on accident, so if it reminds the listener of a sound that’s familiar to them, of the music they listened to growing up, then I reckon we’ve done our job.
These songs are real to the last five or so years of my life, so I hope people hear the stories we’re sharing and can relate.”
You might recognize his name from The Voice, where he finished second on the sixth season, but he’s certainly come into his own as an artist, and his major label debut is nothing short of impressive.
Jake previously released “State You Left Me In” and “Next New Thing,” and I knew from those first two releases we were in for something special.
The sound of this album has a bit of a 90’s country feel, as well as quite a few arrangements and melodies that sound like something The King of Texas himself, Mr. George Strait, would’ve recorded in 1985, like Jake’s “Ain’t Got You To Hold,” which does reference him.
From honky tonk heaters like “Only One Way To Find Out,” which will have you ready to hit the dance floor and two-step the night away, to tear in your beer heartbreakers like “Closing Time” and sweet little love songs like “She Ain’t You,” it’s an extremely complete and well-rounded project from top to bottom. His duet with Ernest on “Pop Goes The Whiskey” is also so damn fun.
For me, it’s an easy early contender for a top spot on all those album of the year lists, and I think there’s really something here for every kind of country fan. He’s helping make traditional, classic country accessible and relatable to a new generation of fans, and he’s doing it with integrity, honesty and heart.
What’s not to love about that?
But please don’t just take my word for it and make sure you give the whole thing a download, grab an ice cold beer and sit back, relax and enjoy this gem of a debut from Mr. Jake Worthington.
I actually can’t remember the last time I was so genuinely impressed with a major label debut record… this one is worth your time and attention, and that’s a promise.
Here are a few of my early favorites:
“Only One Way To Find Out”
“She Ain’t You”
“Pop Goes The Whiskey (feat. ERNEST)”
“Ain’t Got You To Hold”