Jon Wolfe plays Heritage Hall

| May 26, 2019 | Reply

                               Jon Wolfe

Jon Wolfe played Heritage Hall in Paris Friday night, (5.24.19)with Kevin Jackson and his band setting the stage (quite figuratively-the actual stage was already set) for Jon and his group. Jon played hits and other cuts from several of his albums, plus a few from his upcoming album, still in the works, and the crowd scooted across the dance floor to almost every tune. Co-writer Tony Ramey was in the audience, and Wolfe quite often pointed him out. This is the story that appeared first in The Paris News. Story and photos by Mary Jane Farmer, except one noted as having been taken by Crackers & Cucumbers.

“2019 was the year that was,” Jon Wolfe said, and over the telephone one could feel the pride and gratitude the Texas singer/songwriter feels.

               Kevin Jackson

Jon Wolfe is playing at Paris’ Heritage Hall, with Kevin Jackson sharing the billing, Friday night.

To listen to Jon Wolfe is to hear country music at its truest, all the while getting a glimpse of this Texas musician’s story, from his small-town Oklahoma upbringing to his big-city bustle on the oil commodities trading floor, and from the dance halls of Texas and Oklahoma to the glossier Music Row of Tennessee.

Wolfe writes alone at times, but more often co-writes with those he respects and from whom he can learn. “I wrote with Tim Johnson in the past. He was kind of my mentor. He passed away a few years ago, lost a battle with cancer. I haven’t had a super consistent co-writer until Tony Ramey.”

Ramey, who now lives in Greenville and who wrote in Nashville for two decades, co-wrote “Any Night in Texas,” Wolfe’s latest No. 1 song on the Texas charts. That’s just one of 7 songs Wolfe’s taken to the number one spot in Texas, and there’s been a few others that ranked high on those charts.

Jon Wolfe, Photo by Crackers & Cucumbers

And as far as CDs go, Any Night In Texas, the complete song collection, landed at No. 3 on iTunes Country and No. 15 on the Billboard Country charts. Not bad for a Texas independent artist.

“I typically co-write, sometimes kind of come up with the ideas and certain pieces of the song or chorus, and bring in the co-writer. Tony and I are really good at that. We work well together as a team,” Wolfe said.

Ramey is equally as respectful and complimentary of Wolfe’s work. “He’s a really great guy, a super hard worker. He’s really more on the country main stream, doesn’t like to label himself as a Texas musician. Kind of more like George (Strait) country music.”

                    Jon Wolfe

An important factor to Wolfe is that he maintain integrity in his music. “If I am keeping or writing a song, I make sure it lands in my wheelhouse, make sure I really believe in it before I cut it. I must make sure it’s really has importance.

Like many other Texas musicians, Wolfe gave Nashville his time and his talent. He signed with a label, but said, “I didn’t get my shot with them. I had a career developing and wanted to keep up with my fans, and I wanted to be independent.” He returned to Texas to do just that.

And 2019? Well, he’s working on brand new music with visionary producer Dave Brainard (Brandy Clark, Jamie Johnson), who Wolfe said is a really good resource. This one will probably be an EP, rather than full CD, and Wolfe said he’ll soon be releasing the first single from it. The EP is due to be released in late July. “There’s nobody sleeping over here,” he said with a laugh.

 

                            Travis Jackson

This year, too, he had large ticket sales for his recent gig at Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth.

Also big this year is the near-completion of a new, non-musical project – the creation of a new brand of tequila, which is being called Juan Lobo. “About six or seven years ago, my earliest band dates were in South Texas, around Corpus Christi. I developed a lot of Hispanic fans, and they started calling me ‘Juan Lobo,’ my name in Spanish. I liked it, and thought even then it would make a good brand name. I just didn’t know what product. Then, being a tequila fan, a couple of years ago, I decided to start the process of launching my tequila brand. It’s been two years of hard work and we’re getting closer, maybe even roll it out late this year.

                               Jon Wolfe

“I’m the owner, working now with a small team, and investors coming together on this also.” As it grows, he said, he’ll have a general manager running the tequila brand.

And the really big deal for this year, as if all those other successes weren’t enough, Wolfe’s getting married later in the year. He said he and Amber Calderon became engaged on New Year’s Eve. “We’re planning a pretty big, fancy wedding, a bit party,” Wolfe said. “Amber is from San Antonio and has one of those great big families. She was Miss San Antonio and Miss Austin. We’re really excited about it all.”

                       Jon Wolfe

Ramey said about his co-writing musical friend, “He’s one who always real excited about his new records. He’s one of the last artists who is commercial, but who cares deep down about music, and is very conscious about where he’s going. He’s really into the artistry of it. He’s got his finger on the pulse of the industry.”

“My challenge this year is to get the new (recording) project out, and the tequila company, and make sure Amber keeps on loving me like I love her,” Wolfe said. “It’s all a big challenge. We think there are great things coming. It’s exciting, but I can’t get too stressed out or overwhelmed with it all.”

Friday night’s concert at Heritage Hall begins (began) at 8 pm, with the doors opening at 6:30 p.m. Kevin Jackson will go (went) onstage first, and Wolfe will follow(ed) him and both will have (had) full bands.

For more info, and who’s on deck at Heritage Hall, go Online to HeritageHallParisTx.com. For more on Wolfe, go Online to JonWolfeCountry.com

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Category: *- Features, Other venues

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