The former marine has embraced outlaw country and his debut album is one of the year’s most exciting new offerings
Name: Gethen Jenkins
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Style: Outlaw country
Look out for: New album Western Gold
Outlaw country has always been an exciting genre and with Gethen Jenkins now in the mix it just got even more interesting. The former marine wrote every single song on his debut LP Western Gold and is definitely one to watch out for.
Despite penning every track, Jenkins didn’t set out with the purpose of writing an album. “I’ve never sat down and wrote a whole record,” he says. “But usually when I’m writing a song and something inspires me, whether it’s a place or person or any type of experience I’ve had, sometimes it just comes to you without any warning. This last record almost seems to have a theme to it because of where I was at in my life when those songs were being written”
This theme was also partly inspired by the sonics and instrumentation. “Pedal steel is a big part of our sound and you know songs about life, songs about experiences, not necessarily about pick-up trucks and potholes,” says Jenkins. “So an outlaw country/country-western sound”
It’s also clear that Jenkins’ love of this genre came from his childhood, lending the record an authentic vibe. “My mom and dad used to play music when I was a young kid and they both sang a lot. Honestly, my biggest influence besides my dad would be Hank William Jr. and Waylon [Jennings], Merle Haggard and all the greats from that time. That’s still the music I listen to today. I think the music we grew up on is what we always go back to.”
So what is Jenkins hoping listeners take from Western Gold? “I guess, it’s up to them,” he says. “I write music for other people. And I think just like any other art, music is supposed to move you, whether it stops you in your tracks or makes you feel some type of emotion. Whether it brings up a memory, something you can relate to as a listener and takes you back to a time in your life when you were hurting or, you know, makes you get fired up and want to have a good time.”
If our reaction to this heartfelt debut is anything to go by, Jenkins has achieved exactly what he hoped to.