So Much Jammin’ — 22nd Annual Woody Guthrie Festival, 2019

Woodyfest 2019: Jacob Tovar

Jacob Tovar

Jacob Tovar

Jacob Tovar didn’t set out to be a musi­cian. The Tulsa-​based musi­cian grew up with (Sidenote: This is the sixth post in our cov­er­age of the twenty-​second annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival. We’ll be alter­nat­ing our report­ing with essays and photo gal­leries from the six­teenth fes­ti­val in , so check in often for a mix of old and new Woodyfest good­ness.) a deep, abid­ing love of clas­sic coun­try music, par­tic­u­larly from the ’s and ’s. In an inter­view in the Tulsa World he name-​checked Marty Robbins, Hank Thompson, Hank Williams, and Merle Haggard as exam­ples of “roots” coun­try musi­cians he admires. (Sidenote: Tramel, Jimmie, “Jacob Tovar Bringing Country Flavor to Hop Jam Audience,” tul​saworld​.com, . )

But when he moved from his parent’s Perry, Oklahoma (Sidenote: Tovar was born in Stillwater but grew up in Perry.) farm to Tulsa in he found him­self sur­rounded by like-​minded musi­cians, includ­ing Paul Benjaman and Woodyfest reg­u­lar Jared Tyler, who encour­aged him to get […] up on stage and […] just start doing it. I had always loved that old, clas­sic coun­try style, and I knew I could sing it really well and I thought, man, I’m going to start doing that. (Sidenote: Tovar, quoted in ibid.) r, he has a reg­u­lar Thursday night spot at famed nightspot The Colony, or at least he did until COVID-​19 shut down all the bars and restau­rants.

Tovar’s mother imparted his melodic sense when she taught young Jacob to whis­tle, and his late brother inspired him to begin play­ing the gui­tar. His music bor­rows rev­er­ently from west­ern swing and honky-​tonk. Bob Wills’ spirit suf­fuses songs such as “Three Good Reasons” and “One Track Minded Baby.”  (Sidenote: The lat­ter musi­cian was based in Tulsa, too, hav­ing uprooted his band, The Playboys, from Waco, Texas, and reset­tled them in T-​Town with a name-​change to the The Texas Playboys.) Both songs may be found on Tovar’s sole release to-​date, ’s Jacob Tovar and the Saddle Tramps.

Tovar is cur­rently work­ing on an album with pro­ducer Isaac Hanson and a music video with film­maker Sterlin Harjo, both to be released soon.

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About Chris J. Zähller

International Man of Mystery. Cocktail Nerd. Occasionally designs websites. Sometimes snaps a picture or two.

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