At one moment he's introspective and pensive, and the next he's breaking into laughter that seemingly comes from his toes. Engaging, and warm, full of Texas enthusiasm and Southern hospitality, charming, talented and sitting on go. Meet Jeff Jenkins.
At a time when country music is searching for something unique, yet familiar, something young and fresh, but solidly country, Jeff Jenkins steps in to fill the bill. But he isn’t just a gifted singer. He’s a solid entertainer with a natural and cool confidence that is less about arrogance and more about knowing the stage and studio are his innate home.
When he unfurls his voice, hold on. Better yet, come in – it’s as welcoming as his dynamic personality. With an effortless control and maturity that belies his years, Jeff’s round tenor voice wraps around you like a blanket, drawing you into his thoughts, telling you stories and sharing memories that feel as much like a conversation as they do a song. And his versatility is nothing short of amazing, all while sounding…well, sounding like Jeff. From the almost powerful and compelling “Power of a Woman” to the wide open, rolling “Our Days in the Sun” he gives every song effortless finesse, passion and fun.
Funny thing is, he’s used that amazing voice, that incredible control to herd Brahman bulls in a show ring. Yeah, remember? He is from Texas. And Brahmans? Yeah, they’re the big ones. He may not look it, with his boyish grin and surfer hair, but he grew up in tiny Jones Creek as country as they come, working cattle after school and roaming the countryside on horseback, swimming in the pond, hanging out on the tailgates in the pasture throwing down brisket.
Still, working with one-ton bulls is not nearly as scary as navigating the murky waters of the music business. Jeff laughs and says, “I think the bulls and cows are a lot less intimidating than these people that are going to decide my life for me.” Yet, it taught him responsibility – a characteristic that has served him well as he moved to Nashville alone and took on the audition process that brought him to The Voice.
Jeff didn’t have the resources or connections to get through that process any other way that going to the open casting call. That’s courage. And when the chairs turned on the reality show, he bucked the predictable and chose Maroon Five’s Adam Levine even though all four judges wanted him. He says, “I’d been living in Nashville for years…I’m a country singer, I’ll always be a country singer and a country fan…but learning about the other side of the industry can only help.” Another display of courage came when he took on Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” – a tune he was completely unfamiliar with.
His journey on The Voice ended too soon, but his career was just beginning. And Jeff says, “I feel blessed to, after the fact, be working with who I am.” He caught the ear of hit songwriter and record producer Phil O’Donnell, affectionately known in Nashville as “Philbilly,” who became his mentor. In fact, the pair penned “Crackers,” an upbeat toe-tapper composed of lighthearted vignettes of Jeff’s Texas upbringing that every country lover can connect with.
Jeff admits that patience is not his virtue. He’s eager to hit the stage that he calls “home.” But he has no grandiose or overblown ideas of success. In fact, he defines it as, “It isn’t fame and fortune, my idea of success is reaching as many people as I can reach with the music I love and hope they love it, too.” It’s a lofty goal, but not as lofty as his desire to feel a gap in the industry. He says, “I have more of a contemporary country voice, but I have more of a rootsy country past, so that’s what I want to do is marry the two of those.”