Jon Young

Monday, January 19, 2015

By Kate Kinder
Editor in Chief 

Mr Jon Christopher Young was Stephenville native born and raised.   He enjoys listening to records and reading. 

Are you currently touring? If so with who?

"I am not currently touring, but I am about to release my first full length solo album spring 2015.  A full tour will follow with attempts to play as many places as possible!  I play acoustically pretty well every weekend now, so come find me before the big tour starts!"

Who all have you toured with?

"I have played with tons of great Texas artists, but my only touring was done with my rock band in the early 2000's."

When and why did you start playing?

"I learned to play the piano around age 8 and picked up the guitar at 14.  I started writing songs around age 10."

Which instruments do you play?

"I play/write on the guitar mostly, but I can also play the ukulele, harmonica, mandolin, bass guitar, piano, accordion and just recently I picked up the Indian flute."

What drives your passion?

"Music.  I simply love music of all kinds.  Always have, always will.  It's always been my true love in life.  It will most likely be written on my headstone when I'm gone...  "He loved music!"  well... and whiskey."

Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process?

"I write most of my songs from personal life experiences.  Good times, bad times, etc.  My wife has been a huge influence lyrically.  I find that if I try to sit down and make myself write, that the song doesn't usually turn out as good as if I can just let it "Flow" out of me."

What were the first songs you learned?

"I'm an eighties child, so of course when I was learning to play the guitar, it was smack in the middle of the nineties..  So needless to say, I learned a lot of Nirvana, Collective Soul and Metallica.  Plus tons of other riff oriented songs.  I seem to remember "Come as You are" being the first song that I ever learned."

Is your family musical?

"I have some musical members of my family, but for the most part no.  My uncle had bands in Midland while I was growing up and still plays drums with one now.  My brother is one of the best drummers I've ever played with, but gave up music years ago.  My brother was the driving force behind me playing music.  Hearing him hone in his skill always pushed me to learn and to be a better musician."

 Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?

"I love the old songwriters.  Richard Leigh is one of my favorites that I've ever met, but I love Guy Clarke, Townes Van Zandt and I it's hard to beat John Prine. I love the way these guys fought for every inch of ground they conquered not for the sake of money or fame, but for the sake of the song. It's a real testament to their love of music."

Which famous musicians have you learned from?

"Richard Leigh personally influenced me to be a better songwriter and picker, but I have learned so many lessons from the likes of Larry Joe Taylor, Ray Benson and Keith Sikes.  Michael Martin Murphy's "Cowboy songs" era really had a huge impact on me as well."

What are your fondest musical memories?

"I've seen some amazing concerts, but one of my favorite memories will always be a show that my dad took me to when I was a kid.  It was an Asleep at the Wheel show in Meridian TX.  For some reason, there wasn't much of crowd and my family and I sat on hay bales as Asleep at the Wheel played a show that seemed like it was just for us.  The funny thing is that a few years ago I got to tell Ray Benson that story, and he got the biggest smile on his face and just said "Thank You for that" as he slipped me his guitar pick.  What a guy."

Were you influenced by old records & tapes?

"Absolutely.  I'm probably a little older than most of the other guys on here, but when I was growing up, my main musical outlet was a travel case of about fifty 45 records that my sister and I played into the ground.  My first real musical love was a Beatles 45 record with "Eleanor Rigby" on one side and "Yellow Submarine" on the other.  My first truck had a tape player, so honestly, I didn't get into CD's until about 1996.  I still listen to my record player and I actually prefer the sound of vinyl.  It just has more soul."

Who are your favorite musicians?

"I'm currently finishing up a new record with Josh Serrato and Ben Hussey from the now defunct 6 Market Blvd and I really think that they some of the best musicians in the Business.  Seriously.. They are amazing and I stand behind that statement.  I've also recently been turned on to a Fort Worth Singer/Songwriter named Jacob Furr that I'm pretty sure is one of the most original and most legitimate songwriters I've met."

What is a typical week like for you?

"I run a small plumbing company in Stephenville to make a living.  It's been an interesting career and you truly never know what you'll run into next."

What's your favorite thing about being on the road?

"I'm a people watcher, so being on the road is heaven.  I love to witness the different dynamics that exist within every town.  It's fun to watch the "Town drunk" get into it with the "Town Gossip" while the Old Hippie in the corner just laughs at them all."

What's the funniest thing that's happened on the road?

"Ask any musician that's played Deep Ellum in Dallas and they will all probably have a crazy story of their own.  But one time in particular my band was loading up at about 2:00 in the morning and a homeless man came up to us and claimed that he was a Karate master....  We all kind of laughed, but he started just randomly kicking the air and making the most bizarre sounds ever.  The bouncer finally had enough and told him to go away...  So he walked away and we were all still talking and loading out when we see him drag a large block of wood across the street and begin to start yelling at us about the power of "Viper" Style.  He then proceeded to stand on top of the block of wood in the Karate Kid stance.  We laughed so hard that we all cried.  He was so serious.  The best part is that he never asked for anything.  It was all just completely random."

Best place to eat while on the road?

"Mom and Pop Greasy Spoons are always the best.  It seems like every town has at least one!"

What's the best town play in?

"I was recently introduced to the Lubbock scene and I honestly love the vibe those cats are putting off.  Great songwriters and musicianship!  They all welcomed me and I really felt like I was at home.  Thanks!"

Since everyone was a startup once, can you give any smaller or local bands looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?

"Be persistent.  Practice like crazy and just be yourself.  Write from the heart and don't try to write a song just because you think it will sell. The world does not need any more songs about whiskey or tailgate parties.  Nashville has that shit covered."

So what's next for you?

"My first Full length Solo record "Ashes of Dreams of Fire"  will be released Spring of 2015.  I'll be doing CD Release parties in Stephenville, Fort Worth and Lubbock.  This Album is going to be amazing and features Josh Serrato and Ben Hussey from 6 Market Blvd, Cody Angel from the Kyle Park Band and Wesley Holtsford from Doug Moreland.  Looking forward to sharing it with you all!"

Don't forget to check out his social media!

Thank you so much Jon!!

Xxx West Texas Sweetheart

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