Another side of Jake Hooker

Jake Hooker will share a different side of his music at his Jan 6 show at Lantex Theater in Llano. Photo by Phil Houseal

Dec 27, 2017–“How can we go to a Jake Hooker show and not dance!”

According to Sheila Hooker, wife of the popular dance band front man, that is a common plaint from fans about the band’s first “sit down” theater show set for Jan 6 at Lantex Theater in Llano.

It’s a good question. After all, Jake Hooker has built a reputation playing western swing music for up to 180 shows a year.

But those gigs traditionally have been at dance halls, fairs, and festivals.

The Lantex Theater performance will be a bit of a departure. Fans used to two-stepping to Jake Hooker and The Outsiders are going to see–and hear–a different side of Jake Hooker.

“He’ll sing more of his gospel music, and share some of his personal story,” Sheila Hooker said. “Plus he’ll be able to do some of his originals.”

Jake Hooker stands out from the western swing crowd as that guy who fronts a band while playing upright bass. He started out as kid on electric bass like his dad, but always wanted to try upright.

“It has nothing to do with appearance and is all about the sound of the music,” Jake Hooker said. “I found one and it took off from there. I just love it.”

This stage show will be a departure as well. It will give Hooker the opportunity to stretch beyond a typical dance hall performance.

“We’ll be able to talk a bit with the audience, to be intimate and a bit more open,” he said.

That “other side” of Jake Hooker may surprise some longtime fans. While Hooker is a devotee of western swing and classic country music a la Marty Robbins, he also loves Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, and the whole big band era.

“The brand of musicianship, entertainers, and singers back then were fantastic.”

Longtime fans have no need to worry that The Outsiders will ever abandon the dance hall circuit.

“I don’t ever want to stop playing dances,” he said. “I love dances. But we are able to do both, to go play a dance, and then play a theater show, too. We’ll be able to entertain both a theater audience and a dance crowd, too. I want to be a little more rounded for the same people.”

He hopes this show will be “a blessing” for fans. So much so, that he almost hates to charge for it.

“The fact is it costs money to do stuff, but I wish it didn’t have to be that way,” he said. “One of these days maybe one of those big guys will record a song I write, and I can give back to these people who come out and support us. I would love to do that.”

For Jake Hooker, it is all about being a blessing to somebody.

“I want to touch somebody’s life with words or music, to make a difference in someone’s life,” he said. “So maybe when they leave, they are going to feel better. That’s what it is about for me.”

But what if his dance crowd shows up at this theater show? Not a problem.

“I want them to get the other side of our music, too,” he said. “I want them to say, that was something different.

If they aren’t cool with that, Hooker has another idea.

“If they can’t handle it I might have to set up outside and play a dance in the parking lot!”

Details:

Jake Hooker and The Outsiders perform a concert at the Lantex Theater in Llano on Jan 6, 2018. Tickets are $21 in advance, $25 at the door, available at www.jakehookermusic.com.