Jake Stringer: Howdy... We've Been Expecting You
Jake Stringer was once a road dog, keeping the beat and pounding the skins of his drum kit for artists such as David Allan Coe and Mark Chapman. He still does some drumming for his friends, Kendra and Cole Porter, of Porter Union, but Jake is now much more than that. Stringer is a songwriter, artist, and front man of his own band, Jake Stringer and Better Than Nothin’. Jake picked up a guitar, applied the “three chords and the truth method,” and began to make his version of traditional country music, his way… the right way.
Howdy…We’ve Been Expecting You was released independently on October 12, 2018. The album is an all original, six track, work of country music gold, that was recorded at No Coast Recording in Springfield, Missouri. Engineered and mixed by Adam Schoeller with additional mixing by Paul Carabello. The players on the album include, Jake Stringer on acoustic guitar, vocals, and drums, Zach Mourning on the steel guitar and background vocals, Cody Stanford on the electric guitars and Bud Whitledge on the bass. Additional harmony vocals on “You’ll Always Be Older,” are performed by Liz Carney.
The first song on Howdy… We’ve Been Expecting You provides the listener with a hook from the sky, by the way of a “Tornado.” The acoustic intro, leading into the slide of the pedal steel, is nothing less than a statement from the artist to the listener, saying this album is a traditional country album. As the journey continues and Stringer sings that first lyrical line, “Walked out my front door today / Underneath the purple sky…,” the listener is compelled to hang on for the remainder of the ride. Stringer stated the “Tornado” could have been “written from the point of view of someone who stumbled into a love that completely turned their life upside down,” or, it “…also could be about literally walking out your door and being hauled away by a tornado.” Good country songs have the ability to mean different things to different folks. This is one of those songs.
The second song to be highlighted from this album is the second track on the album, “Ode To the Road.” The tune again has that acoustic intro that turns into some western swing of the electric guitar and some honky tonk from that sweet pedal steel. As the song progresses, so does the tempo. The tune becomes an upbeat tune, that combined with the lyrics about being on the road, will make it seem as if you are on the road with them. This is one of those rare tunes that has the total package. The elements of lyrical genius combined with the musical arrangement is nothing short of a masterpiece. The song is, “A lament about the struggles of a troubadour with a family at home and a heart full of questions as to whether or not they are on the right path.”-Jake Stringer.
The final song to be highlighted is the final tune on the album, “Green Eyed Devil.” While this album is one that no songs need to be skipped, the sixth track is by far my personal favorite. I have spent a lot of time listening to this song over and over again. Jake says that this song is simply a mob song. But then, he takes it further to play with your mind by saying that it is not just a simple song. Rather, the tune has a deeper meaning. “Just a good old fashioned, the mob hired me to risk my life to rob a bank and then wants their cut and I say, hell naw song… or is it?” There’s a way deeper meaning to that song for me, but I’ve never told anyone and I’m just waiting for someone to figure it out.”-Jake Stringer. After examining this song over and over again, I’m not certain that I have the answer. Is it about a woman? A first love? Hell, I don’t rightly know. You listen and try to break this one down. Either way, it is another genius tune on one hell of an album.
Go support independent artist Jake Stringer by picking up some merchandise and music directly from the source. This album is certainly one that should be in your collection and spinning in your playlist for a long time to come.