Jake Worthington's Debut Album Is The Definition of TONK
Get ready to hop in a Honky Tonk time machine! To some, Jake Worthington is the “new kid” in country music. To others, he is that 18-year-old on “The Voice” kid trying to figure out how to play the music that was the soundtrack of his childhood. Rest assured, he’s been preparing for his debut album his entire life. Growing up on Merle Haggard, George Strait and George Jones the La Porte, Texas Native has 13 tracks of honky-tonk gold on his new self-titled record.
For the last 15 years country music has adopted so many new modern sounds and perspectives. Whether it be an influx of rock influenced artists like Brantley Gilbert, Jason Aldean and HARDY or the more pop country artists that we see more and more in today’s music. Worthington accepts his role as the keeper of the honky-tonk flame, in efforts to allow people to hear his story through the traditional sounding music he knows and loves. “Blame it on my raising, but I think there ought to be room for country in country music,” said the artist. That’s a beautiful thing and it’s apparent in this record.
This 13 song project is penned with names like Roger Springer, Nick Walsh, David Lee Murphy, Timothy Baker, Wyatt McCubbin and so many others, with Jake’s name in the liner notes of all but one song. The record takes you on a journey through the last five years of Jake’s life; writing, recording, and living his country music dream.
Track one titled “State You Left Me In” takes us on an emotional storytelling rollercoaster, one that only country music can offer. Tracks two and three, “Single At The Same Time” and “Without You,” transport listeners back to the 80’s with an upbeat tempo and a traditional crying pedal steel guitar. Worthington shows us that welcoming a modern perspective in a growing genre is crucial in a collaboration with fellow country artist ERNEST on “Pop Goes The Whiskey”.
One of our favorites is “Closing Time,” which Worthington wrote with Nick Walsh. This tune tells a story of heartbreak in conjunction to the closing of the bar for the night: The emotions you get through the songs that are played as you close out your tab thinking about the one you wish you were sitting there with. It’s a classic country music heartbreak song that will make you wonder if you were listening to a combination of Mark Chesnutt and George Jones.
This record takes you on a journey of love, heartbreak, and loss with a healthy dose of songs that make you want to two-step around the kitchen till the sun comes up. In a genre that has so many different styles, sounds, and individualism, Worthington is giving that 16-year-old kid that idolizes Whitley, Haggard, Strait and Jones, hope that the traditional sound we all know and love is still relevant and pretty damn awesome. “I don’t mind being the dark horse,” said Worthington.
Maybe that’s a good thing because the dark horse is who surprises you when you least expect it. Worthington loves country music for what it is and that shows in his writing. If this is the first you’re hearing of Jake Worthington, let this record take you on a country music journey. This is a name we all will be hearing for decades to come, and possible the most genuine album of the year. Soaked in neon, honky tonk soul and oozing authenticity, Jake Worthington embodies what it means to be a country artist.