Jake Kohn is a name you’re going to want to remember over the next few years.
Listening to his music, he sounds like the next Colter Wall, with unprecedentedly deep and raspy vocals that mysteriously sound like they could only be the product of someone who’s endured years of emotional wear and tear. The emotion and experience in Kohn’s voice is palpable, and you can feel it in your bones with each verse he sings. But when you put a face to the voice, and see a relatively baby-faced kid belting those wise-beyond-his-years lyrics, it just adds to the insanity that is Jake Kohn.
At only sixteen years old, his unique vocals are turning heads, and he’s got more than enough songwriting ability to back it up.
Kohn, who recently signed with Atlantic Records, has blown up on YouTube this year as a semi-viral sensation, with a video of him singing a stripped-back, acoustic version of his song “Frostbite” in the woods this past March amassing well over a million views to date. Posted to the RadioWV account, which has a real knack for unearthing some of Appalachia’s best kept secrets such as Cole Chaney, Logan Halstead, Nolan Taylor, and most famously, Oliver Anthony, Kohn is already in impressive company.
And now, eight months after it was posted to YouTube, Kohn has finally released “Frostbite” to streaming platforms everywhere as his debut single. The first of what I can only expect will be many to come from one of Appalachia’s youngest artists and next big things, “Frostbite” is a well-written tune with descriptive lyricism that paints an ominously vivid image of an emotionless life on the move.
Heavy stuff coming from someone who couldn’t even get their driver’s license when he wrote it.
“Frostbite (From The Field)”
A native of Winchester, Virginia, Kohn is steeped in the classic country of yesteryear, and has also found influence in some of the modern songwriting legends like the late Justin Townes Earle. Despite his young age, he has already been writing original music for several years, much of which deals with the experiences of those around him growing up in Western Virginia.
And with one of the more unique voices in the industry, which adds an element to his music that transcends age, Kohn makes you feel as if his music is completely autobiographical. Whatever you do, though, appreciate his vocals, but don’t get too caught up in them.
Because the most impressive thing about Kohn’s music is the lyricism, and that’s what this whole songwriting thing is about at the end of the day.
Jake Kohn Tour Dates
And while he is not undertaking a full time touring schedule at the moment given his age and the nascency of his career, there are still a handful of shows at which you can hear these songs live. If Kohn is coming to a city near you, then I highly recommend you check him out, because it’ll be pretty cool to say you saw him killing it in the smaller venues as a teenager before he blows up.
Fresh off of his Grand Ole Opry debut earlier this fall, here is where you can catch Jake Kohn before the year comes to a close, and a few bonus shows already announced for 2024.
11/18 – Barco Farm – Barco, NC*
11/19 – Neighborhood Theatre – Charlotte, NC*
11/25 – Richmond Music Hall – Richmond, VA*
11/26 – Bright Box Theatre – Winchester, VA*
11/30 – The Southern – Charlottesville, VA*
12/1 – The Golden Pony – Harrisburg, VA*
12/3 – Culture Center Theatre – Charleston, WV^
12/7 – The Burl – Lexington, KY*
12/8 – The Caverns – Pelham, TN+
12/9 – The Caverns – Pelham, TN+
12/10 – The Basement – Nashville, TN*
1/24-25 – Mile 0 Festival – Key West, FL
4/4 – Mountain Arts Center – Prestonburg, KY!
4/5 – Mercury Ballroom – Lexington, KY!
4/27 – Merlefest – North Wilkesboro, NC
*w/ Zac Townsend
^supporting Kathy Mattea w/ Joan Osborne, Nellie McKay, Todd Buge, and more
+supporting The Steeldrivers
!supporting 49 Winchester