Mon, 12/03/2018 - 10:00 am

In Adam Wakefield’s debut album with Average Joes Entertainment, Gods & Ghosts, Memphis soul meets New Orlean’s funk. Think crisp air, crystal blue lakes and a guitar by a fireplace. Wakefield’s songs are laced with irony and heartache. His robust vocals jolt his lyrics to life, and he’s got you right where he wants you. The swooning instrumentals in the background mixed with his melodic voice will have you envisioning Gods & Ghosts.

The initial track on the album is blues-steeped, “Breaking Strings”. The strum of a guitar fills your ears as the song breaks. It immediately makes your foot tap and your head rock back and forth. “I found the meaning of life but I got no one to tell”, are some of the lyrics of the song that many of us can relate to; having so much to say but no one to say it to. “It all goes to hell as far as I can tell”, a bold statement that brings listeners back down to Earth. “Came out feet first back when I was born but I just can’t seem to land on ‘em no more”, the line reads and reminds us how much things change as we get older. “Breaking Strings” is a track all about wholesome humor and the cold hard truth that is life.

“Cheap Whiskey and Bad Cocaine” starts with a melody that makes you feel like you should be sitting in a room with a fireplace lit and a cocktail in your hand. “I’ll be riding high as a Georgia pine on cheap whiskey and bad cocaine” are some lyrics he belts out from the bottom of a whiskey glass. You envision yourself sitting in the corner of that warm room with a cigar in your hand, very high class. “Angry or sad than I’m just left with some damn fools old heartache” are emotions most people have felt. This song will have your inner sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll self out and ready to play.

Adam Wakefield - photo by Jeff Fasano

The title track, “Gods and Ghosts”, opens with the sweet sounds of guitar strings being plucked. The song is all about the sides of ourselves we never show to anyone. The track allows an insight into Wakefield’s raw emotions. You feel for him, the heartbreak and the hurt. “As much as I’d like to, I could never forget, the days before my older brother left”, followed by, “You probably think we were never all that close, cause I don’t talk about him, but I miss him the most”. You feel the pain in his voice and have no choice but to reflect on the painful things that have happened to you. “That’s just some sides of me I never show, to anyone but Gods and Ghosts” is a powerful line anyone can relate to. There will always be parts of ourselves we do not share, the only ones lucky enough to get that close are, well, “Gods & Ghosts”.

The storyline continues with the acoustic, bubbly track “Dry Days”. The song will take you to church with the soulful sounds of an organ. It concludes with one hell of a guitar solo. “Living these dry days, too tired to try days.” Everyone has days where they are just too damn tired to try. That Friday afternoon, 2 p.m. feeling is very real. The best way to combat that though? Sit back and listen to “Dry Days”, it always helps to know someone feels just like you do. Wakefield did the world the service of putting this feeling into a song. You know what they say, misery loves company.

“Good Morning Sunday” has a woozy, lullaby sounding vibe to it. The melody is soothing and you can almost imagine humming it to your newborn as you lull them to sleep. Although the lyrics, such as, “This time last week I was sleeping it off on the bathroom tile”, isn’t exactly child-appropriate. Later in the song, he belts out the title, “Good Morning Sunday,” and it throws you back as it takes your breath away. The song signifies rebirth and remembrance. “I forgot how your sun felt on my face and the sound of the birds in the choir...know it’s been a while.”. Every once in a while you skip Sunday church. Sometimes, it turns into more than once in a while. “Good Morning Sunday” is a call home, a sense of belonging and a reminder you will always find your way back.

Adam Wakefield | photo by Jeff Fasano

“As Good As It Gets” paints a picture of simpler times. Think small town where everyone knows your business. The plucking of the guitar strings puts you on a front porch in a rocking chair. “If the rain holds off I’ll take a walk into town, start a tab down at Jeff’s and see who’s hanging around”. If you grew up in a small town, you know there was a local bar everyone flocked to. “Playing cover songs for a beer and a tip. I’d be just fine to carry on like this”. Most songwriters and performers can relate to this. You don’t always do it for the money, you do it because you love it, and you’d have no problem with it staying like this. Wakefield reminds us we need to sit back and appreciate what we have a little more.

Once you’re halfway through Gods & Ghosts you get slapped with the sweet melody of  “Prairie Lullaby”. Wakefield’s swooning vocals in this track are for anyone whose decisions have led them far from the ones they love. “What time is it now in Texas, here in Tennessee the sun just set”. Distance is never easy, and Wakefield makes you feel that deep in your soul. “Tell me it’s just a dream and we’re both where we're supposed to be”. This is a powerful line and can be a dangerous game we play in our heads, questioning whether or not we made the right choice. However, somehow, he makes you feel a-okay about it.

“The Good Times” is one of Gods & Ghosts more upbeat tracks. It’s that foot-tapping, head bopping, kind of high-quality song. It makes you want to pull out your banjo and sing along. You can just picture this song being played while relaxing on a pontoon boat on the lake. The upbeat tempo just makes you feel good inside. A line from the song reads, “One thing that I’ve learned from all the years I’ve spent on Earth is it ain’t like they show it on TV”. The world definitely is a real, raw place. It is not all rainbows and sunshine like TV sometimes makes it come off as. “So just keep doing what you like best, don’t you listen to none of the rest,” is a pleasant reminder to just do whatever you want. People are always going to have an opinion or something to say, why not give them something to talk about.

Adam Wakefield | photo by Jeff Fasano

Wakefield’s time performing with the SteelDrivers yielded some killer songwriting. One of their songs, “Peacemaker”, actually inspired the lick at the beginning of “Shoot Me Where I Stand.” This track is all about being right about a liar. It can be hard to keep yourself away from a toxic person in your past. However, Wakefield makes a bold statement with, “Promise to shoot me where I stand, if I ever take her back again”. Wakefield’s crooning vocals give you no choice but to feel the force behind his voice. You can’t help but laugh with the line, “If lies had wings that bitch would be a bird”. Whoever comes to mind when you hear that line, be sure to send them the song.

“Sometimes Sarah” is a somber love song. It’s a hard reminder that sometimes even the ones we love, leave. The track also speaks of the things we use to distract ourselves, whether it be humans or Hennessey. Everyone has something that distracts them from the now. “Brandy brings me back to before you came and left me broken behind”. Music and alcohol are powerful things. Each has the capability to bring you back to a place in time, whether you want to be or not. “I’ll just gather what’s left of my pride and I’ll go”. Wakefield’s voice forces you to feel the emotion and power behind his voice. You’re right there with him, feeling that pain.

“She Loved Country Music” is another upbeat, tempo track on this stellar album. Relationships change people, and often you find yourself changing for your significant other. This song makes you want to get up, grab someone, and dance around do-si-do style. “She’s pulling up her country roots, just traded in those cowboy boots, tell me what’s this poor boy to do”. This track and these lyrics just make you want to dance around, not a care in the world. Get rid of everything and just start fresh. “Goodbye country music say hello to rock & roll.”

Adam Wakefield | photo by Jeff Fasano

The guitar tracking on “River Stone” combined with what can only be compared to a choir of angels make the final track of Gods & Ghosts totally worth waiting for. Wakefield’s vocals are out of this world. They are almost too good to be true, his vocal range is nothing short of just absolutely incredible. The sheer talent this guy has is unreal and is a sound the music industry is desperately in need of. “That one moment stretched out for all time when I realized you’d never be mine”, is just one of the lines this heart-wrenching track contains. The last minute of “River Stone” has one of the most incredible guitar solos your ears will have the pleasure of hearing.

Gods & Ghosts is nothing short of incredible. Adam Wakefield’s sheer talent has been showcased with a real piece of art here. All of these experiences on the road, in the studio, in writing rooms, and on national TV play into Wakefield ’s artistry. “I’m not saying I’ve had a hard life,” he says, “But when I write songs about somebody dying or trying to get sober, these are experiences I’ve had. The more you wear your heart on your sleeve as a writer, the better the tunes seem to turn out. That’s what John Prine, Jamey Johnson and people in that vein do. That’s where I want to go with what I do.” One thing is for sure, Wakefield is going a damn good job of that.

"Listen to Gods & Ghosts HERE.

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 6:30 pm

The White Wolves newest track and third single “I Won’t Be Around” gives off some serious John Mayer vibes. The song places you in a state of total relaxation and sedation: you’re content just sitting there, soaking it all in. “You’re never gonna see me break on down, because I won’t be around” - a sentiment sure to stick with you. “There’s healing in pain, and there’s loss, and there’s gain” is another line that tugs on every heartbroken string.

“‘I Won’t Be Around’ was actually the second song Todd and I had written together,” said White Wolves co-founder Chuck Feltner. “But at the time we were still dealing with the context of the song on a daily basis. We weren’t emotionally ready to release the song - the story was still unfolding. Now we are ready to talk about the past and move forward.”

Doing things a bit differently, The White Wolves - the musical brainchild of Feltner (interior designer) and tour manager Todd Burman - are the masterminds behind the songwriting and musicianship, but leave the vocals and production up to whoever they feel fits the song best. For “I Won’t Be Around,” the duo tapped Nashville-based artist Ryan Steele for vocals, and GRAMMY Award-winning Joe West (Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Justin Timberlake) for production.

Given this being The White Wolves’ third single, Steele’s vocals provided an underlying layer of depth both Burman and Feltner needed to best deliver “I Won’t Be Around.” The song’s production does a great job of building suspense throughout the verse leading into the chorus, which levels out and offers listeners a musical sigh of relief. The overall combination of vocals and instrumentation has the means to soothe your soul in a way you did not know you needed - it’s a track that clings to you, leaving you wanting more.

“Writing ‘I Won’t Be Around’ was totally organic,” said Burman. “It was what we were inspired by at the time, and this song actually helped define the artistry behind The White Wolves becoming unbound by any genre or style — as it was the complete opposite to the first single ‘Burning It Down.’ This song was a gift and came relatively effortlessly to us.”

Mutual life turmoil brought Burman and Feltner together - and we’re sure glad it did. The band’s previous singles - “Burning It Down” and “Revolution” provide stellar insight into the duo’s true storytelling capabilities. Though the title of the current single is “I Won’t Be Around,” we have a feelling their unique sound and creative process will keep them around for quite some time.

Sat, 04/06/2019 - 3:24 pm

Dylan Jakobsen is a bit different from your stereotypical country singer and songwriter. He’s not from the south, didn’t grow up on a farm, doesn’t drink… Yet he’s certainly worthy of a spot-on country music’s mainstage. With his album, I Am, he paints a picture of his journey as an artist - incredibly well, I might add. Not only did Jakobsen write every song and play all the instruments on this album, he also produced it in his own home studio. His talent, across the board, is undeniable. So, buckle up: Jakobsen's album does not disappoint.


As the opening track “Dawn,” a minute-or-so instrumental, sets the tone for the entire album, taking listeners on a musical walk down and old dirt road. The choir of crickets in the background offers a nice extra touch, and leaves you wondering where things will head next. Then, Jakobsen just barely starts to sing something...

I Hope You’re Doing Fine

Next up is the heart-wrenching “I Hope You’re Doing Fine,” which opens with the sound of a phone call being dialed. As the song goes on, Jakobsen draws you in and, before long, leaves you feeling exactly the way he wants you to. He tugs on the heartstrings with a lyrical prowess. “I hope you’re doing fine, I hope everything's alright, although I know you ain't the girl I knew, know I’m still on your side” - a powerful line showing an advanced level of maturity in comparison to that of most men fresh out of a relationship.

Just Enough

“Just Enough” takes a turn and gets your toe tapping (this track has all the makings of a summer anthem). It’s a “hop in the car, windows down, and cruise” kinda song. With “Just Enough,” you truly begin to wrap your head around Jakobsen’s abilities as a musician. Lyrics “We were young, dumb, crazy kids in love, had just enough” calls the listener back to younger, simpler times when you had only what you needed - the song takes you back to the time before the world told you exacctly who you were “supposed” to be.

What She Does

“What She Does” highlights the kind of love some never find: the kind that ignites a feeling within that you can’t find with anyone else. “Every little thing has got me buzzing” plays into that theme and properly exploits the love interest in the song, showcasing her perfection in action and timing. It’s infectious - a different (and welcomed) type of love song.

In America

“In America” is Jakobsen’s debut single from the project, and one he wrote years ago. "Right after I graduated, I went on my first tour ever and, thankfully, one of the last I planned myself,” he told Pop Culture in a recent premiere of the track. “It was super cool in the respect that it was me and four of my friends playing music and touring down the west coast together – a lot of crazy memories were made.” The song not only chronicles his adventure, but once again draws the listener back to one of our own. This too could hold rankings as a quintessential summer anthem...

You Brought It

In an emotional and desperate plea, Jakobsen addresses the old saying “don’t bring a gun knife to a gun fight” as it pertains to relationships. With the lyrics, “The scars you’re leaving on my skin when the cuts you caused start to sink in” - he points out that pain demands to be felt, and misery loves company. Despite the obvious sadness associated with the song, the track leaves you feeling less alone and draws attention to the fact that others go through the same thing. Vocally and instrumentally, Jakobsen really “brought it” with this one.

I’m A Sinner

Jakobsen takes you to church with the track, “I’m a Sinner”. The harmonica on the song sets it apart from the previous six - his musical range knows no bounds. We all know it can be hard to break old habits. This song is about that process and acknowledging who you are as a person. Jakobsen owns his mistakes in this one. “I keep lying and cheating and saying things I shouldn’t have said.” But, like any good God-fearing country artist, he points to the mercy of the Lord as the song finds resolution. “I’m a sinner, but God saved me.” The track is reminiscent of Eric Church, Chris Stapleton and Tom Petty.

The Rally

“The Rally” is a true hype song, giving an optimistic view of the future and all its possibilities. Jakobsens sprawling vocals really shine through on this one. “From New York to Cali, to down in the Valley, the city, the country, we’re getting rowdy” speaks for itself. No matter where you are in the world, this song is for you. With a cool, nostalgic vibe, it calls listeners to throw down - and it’s undertones of national pride would make it a great 4th of July jam.

I Am

Nearing the end of the album, Jakobsen hits you with the title track, “I Am.” An inspirationally intimate self-portrait, he thanks everyone that’s truly made him who he is - and offers advice from lessons he’s learned along his life journey. A more laid-back mid-tempo, it’s remarkably easy to connect to and identify with, despite its personal nature, and reinforces Jakobsen’s confidence in how far he’s come while encouraging the listener to find that for themselves. “Row 30 Seat C”

Row 30 Seat C” is a bit of a mystery - another purely instrumental track, just under a minute. However, when listening to the album from start to finish, as Jakobsen intended it, it feels just right and seamlessly feeds into the track that follows, “Color.”


Second to last is the track, “Color.” “I’ve been living like a monochrome memory,” “I call her the color in my life, in a world so black and white.” With lyrics set to a symphony of breathtakingly triumphant strings, the song nods to previous track “What She Does.” It’s clear Jakobsen’s been bitten by the love bug, and the production of the song sets up I Am swan song, “What Are You Waiting For.”

What Are You Waiting For?

Rounding out I Am, “What Are You Waiting For?” is Jakobsen’s battle cry. It’s all about taking that leap of faith, ignoring all those what-ifs. “The best things come when you don’t think twice.” Jakobsen’s vocals hit you right between the eyes. The track ends with a chorus of voices - voices of fans that he enlisted from a social media post, as he previously told The Boot. It’s the perfect ending to his album, as you’re left feeling content, inspired and ready to take on whatever the world may throw your way.

Overall, this album isn’t one you’ll want to skip over while browsing for new music on Spotify or iTunes. Talented artists are a dime a dozen… But artists willing to pour their souls so unapologetically into a work the way Jakobsen has with I Am is a rarity not to be missed. So, sit back, take the evening and take in everything the album has to offer. You’ll be better off for it.

I Am on Spotify:

I Am on iTunes: