By David Humphrey
For The Herald Bulletin
PENDLETON, Ind. —
Jacob Brown was 7 years old when his grandfather taught him to play “Jesus Loves Me” on the guitar. Since then, the Pendleton Heights senior has become an accomplished singer, songwriter and musician.
On Friday, Brown will perform selections from his recently released album, “Let Love Speak,” at Falls Park in Pendleton. The concert begins at 7:15 p.m. with singer Emily Oliver billed as the opening act.
With the $10 entrance fee concert-goers will receive a copy of Brown’s disc. The 18-year-old musician recorded the album in January at Quad Studios in Nashville, Tenn.
“It was an eye opening experience,” Brown said. “Working with the amazing musicians that I did helped me to grow as a musician. The whole process of recording taught me a lot about how the music industry works today.”
Brown now joins the ranks of legendary acts Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and Journey who have worked with Quad Studios.
“It is a dream come true to think that such great talents have recorded in the same studio,” he added.
Brown said that lyrics and music of the songs from “Let Love Speak” were highly influenced by his interest in pop, rock, and country music. With a “sky is the limit” approach, Brown used electric guitars, full drums, bass, and keyboards on the album. On one song, he threw in a dub step breakdown, which is a type of electronic dance music that originated in South London in the late 1990s.
“I aimed at creating an album that had a new sound and would please those of all ages and of all music preferences,”Brown said.
While a student at Pendleton Heights High School, Brown has been a member of the National Honor Society and the National Beta Club and served as Student Council vice-president and Senior Class vice-president.
After graduating from Pendleton Heights this spring, Brown will attend Ball State University where he will major in Business and seek a minor in Music Production and Engineering.
At this year’s commencement, Brown will perform “Your Story” from his album. Pendleton Heights High School Theatre Director Jacque Brown has worked with Brown in the past and believes that he has the talent to succeed in music.
“My theater production class decided a few years ago to host and promote a concert for Jacob,” Brown said. “As part of the class he performed five songs that we recorded. The class created a CD that was sold at the concert.
“The profits were split to pay our costs and to benefit a missionary-type project that Jacob felt strongly about. Jacob has a nice, smooth and pleasant delivery style enhanced by his creative music choices. Musically, Jacob is very talented and I think he could have a great future in the music business.”
When not writing and performing his own material, Brown enjoys listening to Bon Jovi, Brad Paisley, and John Mayer. Unlike some of his classmates, Brown is cool enough to have songs by Justin Beiber on his Ipod. His instrument of choice is a Gibson Les Paul guitar and he gives lessons to those yearning to play.
“I have found music to be one of the more important aspects of my life,” he said. “Music is often my getaway where I can just relax and enjoy myself.
“I do not underestimate the importance of music to younger children. I have taught lessons for a couple of years now and have found that whether a child sticks to it and finds that it could be a serious path for them or not so much, they still have come away with a great lesson and learned more about themselves as a person.”
Though Brown will be promoting his album at Friday’s concert, he is seizing the opportunity to help the less fortunate. Brown is asking those attending his concert to donate newly packaged underwear, socks or other clothing items to Outfitters, a Pendleton-based organization that benefits needy children in the South Madison area.
“I have always wanted to do my part to help the community and those less fortunate,” Brown said. “When I was planning the album release concert, I found that it was the perfect opportunity to do so. By teaming with Outfitters, I know that my town will benefit and it is important to me that the local area is served.”