“Last year, we got to open up for Jason Boland at Gruene Hall. That was a dream come true for me and the band - getting to play a sold-out show at Gruene Hall with one of my heroes.” Isaac Jacob Pineda
Back in October of 2018, a small team of us here at J.Forks Designs were tasked to find a musical act for our first-ever Fall Bash. We spent hours listening to great local artists trying to find that perfect Americana sound, but we could not land on a unanimous decision. Then, one of Jenny’s longtime friends chimed in with, “Hey! What about Isaac Jacob Band?” After a thorough google search and a couple of hours on Spotify, we all gave Isaac Jacob Band the thumbs up. On Saturday, October 13th, they put on a live show at our production studio. To say we were astonished is an understatement! Since Texas is almost bursting at the seems with decent country musicians we were expecting a solid show, but what we got was a hair-raising performance.
Isaac Jacob Band is comprised of front-man Isaac Jacob Pineda with Julie Meridian on harmony vocals, Josh Center on drums, Dave Perceful on lead guitar, Adam Odor on bass, Wes Barlow on fiddle, and Steve Littleton on keys. When they're on stage, you'll be hard-pressed to find Isaac without a hat, blue jeans, boots, a one-of-a-kind J.Forks pendant and, a Lone Star Beer. The band itself is based out of New Braunfels, Texas. Though "based" can be used loosely. New Braunfels just happens to be close to their recording studio, Yellow Dog Studios, and therefore New Braunfels is "home." Truthfully, these guys are rarely in one place, especially as of recent. Isaac Jacob Band's schedule is packed full of shows, tours, and festivals. They may not be a household name today, but hang tight, these guys are definitely on the move and are worth listening to! But they did not get to this point overnight. The story starts long before Isaac ever picked up a guitar.
Isaac grew up in Falfurrias, Texas spending most of his time outside in the fields of South Texas. His hardworking family members set extraordinary examples. Isaac's father worked for refineries, his grandfather farmed watermelons and cantaloupes, and his uncle owned a small cattle company. "I attribute a lot of my success to what my Dad and uncle instilled in me when I was young." Isaac credits his work ethic to his father who was often traveling to various refineries, "He would work his butt off, as much as he could until the sun went down. When he would get home he would find something to do, he was just always working." While his father was on the road, Isaac spent a lot of time with his uncle, “My uncle was like my second dad, and he taught me everything: how to put up a fence, how to back up a trailer, ride a horse, rope I mean I learned everything from him."
Isaac's interest in music was sparked at an early age. At 13 Isaac got his first job as a gate guard on an oil rig eager to make enough money to buy his first guitar. After receiving his first paycheck, his mother drove him to the nearest town with a music store that sold guitars. Isaac recalls, “It was like a scene from a movie. I get [to the store] I go to pull on the door, and it is locked. The guy sees me [from inside], unlocks the door and asks, ‘Can I help you?’ I was like, 'Yes! I want to buy a guitar.'" From then on, Isaac spent every spare moment learning how to play guitar and how to pursue music professionally. By high school, he was playing in nearby bars and BBQ joints.
After graduating high school Isaac moved to Corpus Christi to work at Brewster Street Ice House, a bar that was infamous for attracting some of the best Texas country musicians to perform on Thursday nights. Simultaneously, Isaac started his first band Southern Scarred and released an EP “Getting Gone.” Over the next few years, Isaac transitioned from Brewsters Street Ice House into refineries, attended Texas A&M University - Kingsville, and got his CDL. Throughout his various positions and locations, he managed to keep Southern Scarred together and they never stopped playing music and, Isaac continued to chase his ultimate dream of becoming a professional musician.
In his early twenties, Isaac's dream came to fruition when a refinery laid him off. “Instead of being down and out about it, I saw it as a sign that I needed to try something new!” Isaac started booking shows throughout the week to compensate for his lost income and he realized that it was possible to make a living by playing music. This sparked Isaac's interest in moving to New Braunfels. His Southern Scarred band members (who he is still very close to) encouraged him to go at it alone as they had established families and careers. So, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, Isaac took off to New Braunfels in an RV to take his career to the next level.
Once in New Braunfels, Isaac went straight to work on his first LP “The Dream" at Yellow Dog Studios under the Isaac Jacob Band. Still new to the area, Isaac utilized studio musicians (which ultimately became the members of his touring band). "The Dream" released in 2016 and kickstarted the transformation for both Isaac as a person and Isaac Jacob Band. “I feel like over the last two years I have really come into my own as an artist. ”Even their look has evolved since 2016. “I notice that when I was just getting started, a lot of my stuff was real sporadic…. When I was young I would try to always emulate a lot of guys that I look up to instead of just being myself and being original. Since the first record, I have just kind of morphed into what I am now. I did not know what the hell I wanted two years ago. Now I’ve got my head on right and I have a really good team behind me.” In 2018, Isaac Jacob Band released their second LP as a self-titled album.
Isaac is truly a shining example of how hard work can pay off. Within the past year, he hit milestones that he never could have imagined: opening for Jason Boland at Gruene Hall for a sold-out show, touring to California with Mike and the Moonpies, and singing half of "One Step Closer" alongside his idol Wade Bowen, “That was a dream come true-- to get to sing with one of my heroes on stage. Especially that song, that freaking song was on my Myspace [back when Myspace was was a thing]!”
Isaac Jacob Band has some great projects on the horizon. Isaac is already breaking ground on the next album which he hopes to release by the end of 2019 or early 2020. In addition, their tour schedule is packed-full from the Frio Rio Fest in March to the Texas Country Music Cruise in September alongside Pat Green, Bart Crow, Bri Bagwell, and many more great artists! That is just the tip of the iceberg for the group, Isaac Jacob Band is truly on the rise and 2019 is going to be a stellar year for them.
We strongly encourage you to give Isaac Jacob Band a listen! Be sure to like them on Facebook, and follow them on Instagram and Spotify. But more so, go see this group perform and have the same blown-away experience that we had back in October of 2018!
Written By: Courtney Cobb