Mitch Jacobs

Mitch Jacobs

BandCountryAmericana

A little slice of Wills, a little slice of Elvis, a dose of rock and roll, and a respectful country tip of the hat to Johnny

Biography

From somewhere between Elvis’s flashy Vegas and Johnny Cash’s earthy Arkansas comes a country boy in a little old Texas town called Houston. That’s where rural folk music, showbiz pop, and American rock and roll reached Mitch Jacobs.

Like any other kid growing up in the sixties and seventies, he listened to all kinds of music, and he played all kinds too, because Mitch spent some years in eighties cover bands. But he had a spiritual kinship with one particular artist, and he didn’t even realize that time, experience, and personal history would result in a respectfully similar singing style. “I’ve got a natural baritone and I had relatives from that same area of Arkansas where Johnny Cash was from, and I spent a lot of formative years around them. Their mannerisms and their way of talking was very similar. It just rubs off on ya. And of course we were listening to Johnny Cash and all the music of the era.”

While that baritone would evolve and percolate over time, Jacobs went from cover bands to Houston party band the Romeo Dogs, a tight little outfit that rocked with a southern touch and a cheesy sense of humor. “I took on this stage persona with the Dogs, Mitch Vegas. It kinda stuck. I’d do three songs in a row, and I was making my voice morph into different things within three songs. Sort of a Vegas styled variety entertainer.”

Mitch’s voice started morphing in another direction, too, taking the band and himself by surprise. “I started singing ‘Six Days on the Road,’ and everybody just kind of jumped back a couple of feet and went, ‘Hey, you’ve really got a natural baritone and you’ve never used it.’”

It was time to use it. The Dogs could deliver fiery instrumentals like “Wipeout” and “Tequila,” then Jacobs would croon out an Orbison or a Cash tune into the mix, and it quickly became apparent that Mitch Jacobs was even more fun than Mitch Vegas.

For the past five years as a Romeo Dog (whose full life spans a dozen years), Jacobs has worked on developing that voice, along with a songwriting style that walks the line between country and rock.

When Austin Music Hall of Famer Freddie Steady Krc crossed paths with Jacobs, he heard something special in the Houston artist, one with an obvious musical kinship to Cash while creating a sound that was uniquely his own. Krc knew it was time for Jacobs to do his own thing, which led to this, the first solo Mitch Jacobs album, with Freddie Krc as producer. Krc’s production has captured a rock and roll rhythm with a western swing sensibility. One way you’ll hear that Bob Wills swing influence is in the piano work of Floyd Domino, one-time Asleep at the Wheel keyboardist. That’s a lofty job title to a fan like Jacobs.

“I’m a fan first of all,” says Jacobs of the Wheel. “How cool is this that guys like this are gonna be on my record? I’m freakin.’”

Jukebox Music boasts eight Jacobs originals, three from his friend Tony Murphy, plus a cool take on Cindy Walker’s “Dream Baby,” a huge hit for Roy Orbison. The other cover is an unrecorded gem by Houston’s own Dr. Rockit, a beautiful western country ballad that Jacobs has been playing for years. His own comments on the song pretty well sum up what Mitch is all about. “It’s soft, but it’s clipping along at a nice little gallop. And it’s got a lot of room for people to wail on, with mandolins and accordions.”

So here’s a little slice of Wills, a little slice of Elvis, a dose of rock and roll, and a respectful country tip of the hat to Johnny, all in the tremolo baritone of one Mitch Jacobs from Houston, Texas—but make no mistake, he’s his own man, not an imitator.
“I could really Cash it up if I wanted to. All I really have to do is put a little more quiver in my voice. If I try not to sound like Johnny, all I do is not quiver. And it’s me. Does that make sense?” Jacobs asks with a laugh. “But if somebody wants to request ‘Ring of Fire’ and write it on the back of a fifty and send it to the stage, I’ll quiver for ‘em all night!”

Discography

Mitch Jacobs "Jukebox Music"
In Stores October 25 on SteadyBoy Records
Distributed by Burnside Distribution.

Set List

Never use one!!!