Fans of Americana and country have a nice choice of singer/songwriters to choose from this evening.
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Hailing out of Tulsa, Jon Wolfe has the looks to be easily dismissed as (yet) another Garth Brooks wannabe. But don't let the big black hat and tight fitting jeans fool you. Wolfe has a killer set of pipes (ala Randy Travis) and he knows his way around a good, weeping honky-tonk song. Wolfe's self titled debut contains the single "She Won't Be Lonely Long," a great song clearly inspired by Dwight Yoakum and Merle Haggard (i.e. the "cool" country influences). Plus, Wolfe has an interesting background story: Seems the guy gave up a lucrative career as an oil commodities trader for British Petroleum in order to pursue his dream of becoming a country singer. Talk about walking the walk.
Wolfe may indeed be too pretty for his own good, but if you're hanging out in the West End this evening, he is certainly worth checking out.
And if you are looking for country of a more rootsy variety, local guy Kevin Deal will be up in Los Colinas this evening doing his thing. Deal's released five albums of quality Americana, the latest being Roll, an effort full of rough-and-tumble country-folk. Songs such as "Texas and Beer," "What I'm Fighting For," and "Hard Times" recall legendary alt-country icons Steve Earle and Joe Ely. And Deal has an interesting bio as well: The guy is a stone contractor who put his musical ambitions on hold while he busted his ass feeding his family. Once the coffers were relatively full, Deal went about doing what he loved: making killer country that is long on sincerity and short on slickness.
The area could stand about a dozen more like Kevin Deal.