Jake Penrod is a name being heard often in the Texas and national music scene. He was recently named Pure Country Artist of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists Awards in Fort Worth.
The singer has quickly earned a reputation as a master of honky-tonk music, who not only sings and writes, but can also play just about any instrument you hand him. In 2013, he released an album of original material titled Closer To Me. The album showcases Jake Penrod’s songwriting ability as well as musicianship across an array of different styles of honky-tonk music. He wrote each song on the album and played every instrument in authentic honky-tonk fashion, proving he knows his stuff when it comes to traditional country music, and earning the title of “King of Texas Twang.”
Jake attracted national attention as a featured guest on RFDTV’s TruCountry, and was a regular cast member on RuralTV’s Texas Pickin’ Party where he not only sang, but was also the program’s pedal steel guitarist. For several months, he played the lead in the Off-Broadway musical, Lost Highway, based upon the life of Hank Williams, Sr. He also toured nationally for several years performing in his self-penned Hank Williams Remembered Concert.
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He is a country music traditionalist who believes moving forward doesn’t necessarily mean leaving the past behind. “There were a lot of great ones before me,” he says. “There’s still a lot you can do with what they started. These new guys, they’re creating something new and different, and that’s great, but we can’t forget where we came from. If country music is going to carry on, you have to keep the roots alive.” Jake identifies with fellow Texas Honky-Tonker, Dale Watson, and has embraced the Ameripolitan genre as his own. Jake is nominated in 2016 for “Honky Tonk Male Artist of the Year” for the second annual Ameripolitan Music Awards. (ameripolitan.com).
At an imperially slim 6-feet-two-inches, decked out in a suit and tie, and crowned with his signature Stetson, Jake Penrod even looks like a flashback to country music’s heyday. He gives credit to fellow Texan Ernest Tubb for inspiring his style. “He always looked like a million bucks. His band, too.” Jake was recently featured on a story by CBS News about the Texas Dance Halls and said of his style of country music, “if the kind of music I play is going to survive, this is where it will carry on.”
Jake Penrod and his Million-Dollar Cowboys can be seen regularly in the dance halls and honky-tonks throughout Texas. His hardcore honky tonk band and powerful, Ray-Price-like tenor vocals pierce through the loudest of barrooms and keep dancers on their feet all night. “There’s not a lot of downtime in our shows,” he says. “These people show up to dance.”
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