New Country: Jake Ybarra — ‘Something In The Water’

Ready to fall in love with country music again? I know, it’s happened before, but these things come in waves and the time to renew your appreciation for clear, meaningful music, compellingly sung is approaching. All it will take is your discovery of Jake Ybarra. He’s the rich voice that you’ve been longing to find as you plan your spring and summer concert-going calendar.

Don’t thank me; thank Texas. It seems that whenever country music hits an uninspiring lull, a Texan artist appears — just in time to bring authenticity and excitement back to the scene. This time it’s Texas-born, South Carolina-raised Jake Ybarra. He spends his time in Nashville these days, but he brings along the legacy of his journey so far with the songs on his new album, Something In The Water. It’s a collection of 10 songs, all written by Ybarra, that allow him to showcase his natural storytelling ability.

On the album, Ybarra’s acoustic guitar work and trustworthy baritone vocals are supported by a fine group of musicians: David Flint (acoustic guitar/electric guitar/mandolin), Dow Tomlin (bass), Dane Bryant (piano/organ), and Billy Thomas (drums/backing vocals).

Jake Ybarra is a true descendant of a strong Texas songwriting tradition. Think of the soul of Guy Clark, the wisdom of Rodney Crowell, the poetry of Townes Van Zandt, the wit of Kris Kristofferson, and the survival instinct of Steve Earle and you get an idea of what Jake Ybarra is capable of. He delivers songs that fuse a neotraditional country sound with a free-and-easy outsider’s point of view. It’s a style that allows for an ever-widening definition of the Texas artist, and Jake Ybarra is right at home in the space he creates. He sings what he knows, he knows what he sings, and we all can relate. And that’s just good for music.

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