Review: Jake Pyeatt, by L Hannon

Pyeatt makes it work at The Garage
By Lisa C. Hannon, 1/16/16


Photo by Chrissi Sumner

Jake Pyeatt celebrated the end of his second solo year by playing an acoustic set at The Garage Coffee, Music & More, Saturday, January 16, and was well worth the price of admission.

“We’ll Dance” – Pyeatt’s first single, which reached #36 on the Texas Regional Radio Report – has a number of echoes of John Mayer, a comparison he’s used to hearing. His listings identify him as an Americana, country and blues musician. Is he traditional country? No. But he’s got that crossover set of vocal licks that should serve him well as he moves forward in his career.

His performance on “When I’m Gone,” has the bluesy undertones you’d expect from that listing, but has a kicky rhythm that’s reminiscent of Brad Paisley’s dance tunes. And, like Paisley, the guitar work is not just good, it’s amazing. Pyeatt adds a percussive element with the heel of his hand behind the bridge that feels as if it’s pulling your breath out of your chest. With your eyes closed, you could believe there is a bass drummer in the room with impeccable precision, hitting that beat.

Pyeatt’s wife, Shelly, gave up a corporate design career in Dallas to join him on the road as his manager, and was the driving force behind bringing him to Fort Stockton. “She told me this was this amazing place with terrific people that everyone was talking about, and we just had to play here,” said Pyeatt when asked what brought him to this crossroads town. His enthusiasm for what he was doing pulled the crowd into his performance, and he seemed sincerely happy to be there—the mark of a musician who loves what he does.

“Where Else Would You Want to Be” was probably my favorite of his original songs, with a comfortable intro and words that, as a radio listener, I would want to sing along to in the truck. It had echoes of Miranda Lambert’s “Me and Charlie Talking,” and that same vibe of comfort and memory all wound up with guitar strings.

When he broke into pure string work, uncluttered with words, I simply couldn’t look away. The boy can play a gee-tar. There’s an old saw that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to get really, really good at something. Pyeatt’s thousands of hours have created something very special. I can’t say enough about that percussive element—it adds something unexpected in an intimate venue like The Garage, and it’s not just intriguing, it makes you feel as if your heartbeat is part of the song.

His self-titled first solo EP is available now at, among other places. Get it. He’s got chops, and it shows.

Pyeatt covered a number of artists during his set, including Van Morrison, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Stoney Larue, and I’d love to see him add some Keith Urban covers to his set… those soft-edged vocals with pure emotion added to rhythmic, sterling guitar work will go over big. He’s got all the ingredients, and when he finds that one song with the hook that will pull the general public in, has a great chance to go all the way.

Pyeatt, along with local “flailer and wailer” Snotty Hicks, performed at The Garage, Coffee, Music & More, 1110 N. Main Street, in Fort Stockton, Texas. Upcoming events can be found at their website at, call (432) 701-0588, or email them at

lhannonLisa C Hannon’s email is
She lives and writes in West Texas.
Her first novel, “This Little Pig”,
a murder mystery set in East Texas,
can be found on,
as well as her lighthearted collection of essays,
She’s Thinking Out Loud”.