Jake Ward first impressed us with his debut single, Hit the Road, last year. The release landed in the Top 20’s, and instantly put him on our radar. Ward followed that up with another successful single Ignorant Bliss earlier this year and we’ve been anticipating the release of his debut album “Love Don’t Live Here” ever since!
Well the wait is finally over! The 10 track album landed in our inbox two weeks ago, and we’re excited to announce that it was definitely worth the wait!
Ward has an uncanny knack for making his songs appear effortless. It all just seems to flow naturally. His vocals are smooth, the songwriting is well-balanced, and it all combines to make solid country. It’s very easy to embrace and enjoyable to listen to; the listener gets the feeling that Ward is genuinely having a good time while he’s performing the tracks. Our conclusion: it’s a solid album from start to finish!
The first song, and title track, kicks the album off with a strong punch! You can’t help but notice (and love) the energetic guitar and fiddle licks. Your boots get an insatiable urge to stomp and the expectations for the rest for the album are set!
From there, Ward guides you through a quixotic waltz (Sleepless Nights), an energetic party song with great music (Mr. Tonight) and an Ameripolitan love ditty (See It All). Ward displays his best vocals on Drive, his strongest songwriting on Slow Down, and we think Take My Hand has the best music of the album. We also love the energy of Out the Door and have our fingers crossed that it hits radio waves soon!
It’s no secret how much we’ve loved the past two singles and you can check out our single spotlight on them here >> Single Spotlight: Jake Ward – Ignorant Bliss & Single Spotlight: Jake Ward – Hit the Road
Our PICK of the album is “One More Night”. It’s a little different than the rest of the album and provides a great conclusion. It’s not as traditional as the other tracks and it’s probably the most soul-bearing. It’s a whiskey on the rocks, in the dark corner of a dive bar, with shot of redemption, type of song (my favorite type of song). Ward’s vocals capture the emotions perfectly and the songwriting drives a deep message. It’s the first song that I went back to after playing the record in its entirety and it’s been the most played song on my iPod the last week.
Throughout the record I kept hearing a resemblance to another artist. It would only come in flashes, so it took me a while to put my finger on it. It finally hit me while I was listening to Take My Hand. This album reminds me a lot of Pat Green. No not “Nashville Star”, Pat Green, I’m talking “Georges Bar”, “Dancehall Dreamer”, Pat Green. The good stuff. Maybe it’s the ever-present fiddle, maybe it’s the adventurous writing, or maybe it’s something else…but whatever it is….we LOVE it!
The album drops tomorrow and we definitely recommend you get your hands on it!
Check out one of our favorite songs from the record “Slow Down” below!
Jake Ward live at Mercer Street Dancehall
Dripping Springs, Texas
Jake Ward opening for Curtis Grimes
Gruene Hall, Gruene, TX
Jake Ward at the Backporch
The Backporch, Port Aransas, TX
Jake Ward at the Pelican Lounge (Acoustic)
Corpus Christi, TX
Music addict, a sucker for heartbreak songs, and avid Houston sports fan! I’am also the Editor-in-Chief of Texas Music Pickers.