With the release of his second EP, “Volume II,” under his belt, Jacob Stiefel has started making a name for himself in Nashville and beyond. Born and raised in Fort Payne, Alabama, home also to musical greats Randy Owen, Jeff Cook, and Teddy Gentry of the group Alabama, Jacob has been singing his way through life since before he can remember. He started playing piano around age 7, guitar by age 10, and knew he wanted to make a career out of it in fourth grade when he dressed up as Elvis Presley and sang “Hound Dog” for parents and teachers at his school’s Open House Night. Fast-forward about 15 years, and Jacob’s schoolboy dreams of becoming a fulltime entertainer are a reality.
After graduating from the University of Alabama in 2009 with a degree in Civil Engineering, Jacob moved to Music City, and started paying his dues in the downtown Nashville honkytonk scene. Soon after, he started playing guitar for famed singer-songwriter Bridgette Tatum, responsible for Jason Aldean’s 2009 hit, “She’s Country.” Knowing he wanted more than to play other people’s music every night, Jacob began touring the country in a used van and homemade trailer from Craigslist, playing original music, selling his own merchandise, and building his fan base. But Jacob doesn’t think of them as his fans; they’re his friends. And helping him raise close to $10,000 through Kickstarter campaigns for the production of his two EPs, they are a huge part of his journey. Jacob has already opened for major acts like Blackberry Smoke, Stoney LaRue, Tyler Farr, and Maggie Rose. Likewise, he’s played casino pre-parties for some of his own musical heroes, including ZZ Top, Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, and Creedence Clearwater Revisited.
Since penning his first song in 2005, Jacob’s hard work, dedication, and perseverance have helped him gain notoriety in Nashville as not only an all-star performer, but a songwriter in his own right. His co-writing sessions have produced fan-favorites, including “If Kentucky,” and “Need Me No One.” “If Kentucky,” featured on Jacob’s first EP, was co-written with Drew Smith, his close friend, producer, and promising singer-songwriter, who has also composed hits for Randy Houser, Kevin Denney, and Jason Charles Miller. The second track on “Volume II,” entitled, “Need Me No One,” released in October 2013, was co-written with another close friend and famed Nashville singer-songwriter, Brent Cobb, who’s penned hits for the likes of Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, David Nail, Kellie Pickler, and the Eli Young Band.
Listen to Jacob’s music and you’ll hear originality along with hints of his major musical influences, such as, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Elvis Presley, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers, The Band, and AC/DC. His hybrid musical style can be attributed to his familial background, mixing his mother’s Texan roots with his father’s Southern Rock, Alabamian heritage. His music brings listeners the feel of Rock and Roll, with the sentiment of Country music’s storytelling.
Since the beginning, Jacob has been willing to put the time in to get what he wants out of his music career. Outside of rehearsing, writing, and sharpening his craft, Jacob’s time is spent on social media, establishing himself as one of Nashville’s finest, connecting with fans from all over, and interacting with anyone that will listen. His best friend and co-writer, Chance Gray, is one of Jacob’s biggest supporters. “To me, what separates Jacob from others is the kind of person he is off stage,” says Gray. Anyone who knows him will attest to the fact that Jacob’s work ethic is second to none. He isn’t waiting around for someone to make his career happen for him. He’s taking every opportunity that comes his way to be the best musician, and the best man, he can be. His “Work Hard, Be Nice,” mentality has taken him all over the country. Since starting to tour, Jacob has played over 200 live shows from Texas to Wisconsin, Chicago to Miami, and all across the Southeast, with no sign of slowing down. He’s come a long way from that fourth grade “Hound Dog” performance, but he’ll tell you he’s just getting started.
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