Music has the power to move the masses and few artists understand that better than Jake McVey. A relentless road dog who performs nearly 300 dates a year, McVey has earned a loyal fan base that’s addicted to his fiery stage show and arsenal of ear-grabbing songs.
A compelling performer who combines youthful enthusiasm with a seasoned eye for reading a crowd, McVey is so in demand that he was booked 10 consecutive days at the 2015 Iowa State Fair. He’s shared the stage with some of country’s most acclaimed acts, including Dierks Bentley, Jason Aldean and Little Big Town. “We do a lot of touring and spend a lot of time on the road in front of the fans and new potential fans,” says McVey. “I’m always trying to look at what they are responding to as well as growing as an artist myself.”
McVey’s mission is to have fun and draw audiences into the revelry. “I love the feel of these new songs and how they’ve been going over live,” he says. “We’ve been able to do some pretty big shows and are getting some great reviews from the promoters and everybody lining up the shows. It just feels good and I’m super excited about it because I’ve never really done anything like where I just put together something fun. Depth is a great thing, but this is just fun. We said, ‘Let’s show the fun side of Jake,’ and it’s definitely working.”
Though McVey could easily take time off and not push himself so hard, that’s just not in his nature. He’s currently writing songs for two film projects and he also takes time when he’s in a town to visit local hospitals and nursing homes to do acoustic performances. “I’m just a good Iowa boy who likes to work hard,” he says with a grin. “I was brought up with a great work ethic. I was raised that when the sun is shining, it’s time to make hay. That’s just who I am. I love to work.”
McVey grew up working on his family’s Iowa farm, but knew from a young age that he wanted to pursue a career in music. After high school graduation, he moved to Phoenix to learn guitar making at the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery. “Most of the guitars that I play on stage are ones that I built,” he says. “When I first started and my tour schedule wasn’t so busy, I had my own little shop, but it started getting bigger and my goals were still here in the industry. I said ‘I can make guitars when I retire.’”