Jake Walden Rocks The Folk OUT


By Justin Ocean

Are you switching anything up for the west coast version of the tour?
We might have some dates where we play in the round, where all three of us are on stage at the same time, each singing a couple songs and going back and forth like that. When we first started on the last tour we didn't know each other, we didn't know each others' music and we would just each do our own sets. But as it went along, we'd each come up harmonizing or play each other's instruments, and that was really special. But it's so dependent on each city. In New York we played at a beautiful theater and then we got down to some lesbian bar in Virginia and it was just like being in a different universe. You just never know what to expect -- and that's what's exciting. What I can guarantee is three guys that all put their hearts out there. Stewart and Tom's passion for what they do is the same as mine' It's gonna be amazing!

Is there any particular town you are most looking forward to playing?
I'm playing my hometown for the first time: Cotati, this little hippie town about an hour north of San Francisco. And of course my home venue in LA, the Hotel Caf'. I'm really excited to be able to share Tom and Stewart with them. For me, part of it is just seeing the country. We start in Colorado this time and then go all the way up to Seattle and then down the coast to San Diego and all the way over to Arizona, so I'm just so excited to see every city that I have never seen before.

What's it like to be on the road for so long?
It's incredible -- especially how we do it with no budget in a big station wagon! [Laughs] You drive all day. You set up your show. You play your show. You meet the most incredible, incredible people. You pack it up. You stay either in a hotel, or if we're lucky we get to stay with friends, or fans. That's the best when we get to stay in people's homes. You get up the next day and you drive to the next city. You get in a rhythm, but it's also exhausting. The most exhausting experience I can imagine. I think we do something like 18 days straight before we get one day off.

The way your music has been described -- sensitive, expressive, bittersweet and with an elegant growl, bristling and lusty -- and with your name sounding a bit like a porn star's, it's all pretty sexy for folk music. Any offers to be your BandAid?
Ohhh' there will be, believe me! [Laughs] But a lot of them will be women. A lot of women seem to really identify with me. And a lot of gay men, too. But really it's not how you'd imagine it I suppose. Or how I imagined it. [Laughs] Perhaps it's just the vibe I put off. I'm very warm. I love touch and hugging people. And yet there's not a real sexuality to my music. There are superfans and such, who have driven 1000 miles to come to my shows, from the top of Canada. Obviously they're fans' but not in that kind of '80s Sunset Strip kind of way. People aren't quite so overt. And I'm not a player... I wish I was! It'd be a lot more fun. Hey, I look at it as an awesome opportunity. You never know. Maybe I'll meet the love of my life.

Rock the Folk OUT! kicks off on April 22 in Boulder, CO. For a full list of dates and more info visit the tour's Myspace page here.

For more Jake Walden, check out his recent post on the Out Traveler blog.

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