Jake Shafer.JPG

The first music Jake Shafer ever experienced was his dad singing Johnny Cash every morning to wake him and his siblings up. 

“Dad would sing songs that we all hated until we got out of bed,” Shafer said. 

Growing up on a farm in the small town of Moscow Mills, he listened to a lot of country music. That was until he got a hold of a guitar and taught himself how to play. 

“I started playing music young and I enjoyed doing it whenever I had the chance to, I was always “that guy” at a party, the one that would bring a guitar and play covers,” Shafer said. 

He became involved in baseball which began to take up most of his time. Shafer was a natural at the game and after graduating from Troy Buchanan High School in 2004 he attended college on an athletic scholarship to play baseball for Missouri State University. 

“I was the first Shafer to graduate from college,” Shafer said. 

For his college graduation his family all pitched in and bought him a brand new guitar and sound system. However after graduating college he was drafted to the New York Yankees in 2007 where he played two seasons until injury struck and he finished out his baseball career playing three seasons with the Gateway Grizzlies of the Independent Frontier League. 

Wanting to get back to his roots, Shafer headed home and with his new guitar he began playing at local bars again and booking gigs when he could. Eventually he hit the road in 2010 with a band called County Line Band. Shafer never really had a plan for his music career, he just played for fun and to make a few extra dollars. 

“I always had people telling me to go to Nashville because that is where you go to make a name for yourself in the county music industry,” Shafer said. 

Eventually he listened and was able to transfer with his job, of designing basements, to Nashville. One night he was at Alan Jackson’s Good Time Bar, AJ’s, in Nashville and was just watching. “It was a slow night so I tipped the singer twenty bucks and he told me to keep my money because he knew who I was,” Shafer said. 

The singer was Ricky Lee Tanner another Missouri artist. Tanner invited Shafer up on stage to sing with him and his band. 

“I thought I was just going to play a song or two but I ended up playing for forty-five minutes,” Shafer said. 

During that performance he sang two of his original songs with a band he had never worked with before. 

“While I was performing, I saw people gather and stop to listen to me sing, that’s when I thought that maybe I really could do this,” Shafer said. 

After the show Shafer was caught by a stranger that stopped him, the stranger ended up being the person who booked musicians at AJ’s bar. With his current job he couldn’t fully commit to being a regular at the bar but said he could fill in whenever possible. Shafer plays at AJ’s and also travels to St. Louis regularly to play at several bars. A local radio station, 99.9 KFAV, based out of Warrenton, caught wind of Shafer and started playing his music. 

“I’m very grateful for everyone that has helped me on this journey and I am especially thankful for Mike Thomas of 99.9 KFAV who has helped to promote my music,” Shafer said. KFAV has helped Shafer’s music career grow and boost his social media presence. “It was hard to keep up and it just kind of all took off at once,” Shafer said. 

With his music career taking off, he was able to book a show where he opened up for Jerrod Niemann. The day of the show it had rained a few inches, and when Shafer got up on stage to perform his guitar malfunctioned. 

“I panicked, I was only playing with five out of my six string on my guitar,” Shafer said. He continued to play even through the malfunction. “That’s when the thought crossed my mind that maybe I am not cut out for this if I was having problems on a pro stage,” Shafer said. 

He was later told that no one noticed the malfunction because he continued to play. “It happens to the best of us and sometimes we don’t learn until we learn the hard way,” Shafer said. 

In Nashville, Shafer is currently working on recording and writing new songs. “I love working in Nashville because it is full of like minded people that all have the same dream of wanting to “make it” one day,” Shafer said. 

Nashville allows him to get a closer look at the county music industry. He loves when he can get stuck on a lyric or go nuts over a guitar riff. “I am constantly surrounded by inspiration, sometimes I will bounce a lyric off of a friend and then we will work on it for hours and by the end have a few songs,” Shafer said. 

When he is not working in the studio writing new material, one of his favorite things to do is perform at charity shows. He sets out a jar for tips and if he makes enough to cover then he donates anything over the amount to a local charity. One cause that he is very passionate about it giving back to the veterans of the United States armed forces. 

“Some have given up their dreams or sanity or life for us, it is the least I can do to give back to them,” Shafer said. Shafer uses his music career as a vehicle to give back to those that have given him the freedom to do what he loves everyday. 

The Lincoln County Fair is the biggest show for Shafer to date. Shafer grew up with Lincoln County roots and was a regular attendee at the annual Lincoln County Fair. He remembers spending the fair night’s watching the truck and tractor pulls, overloading on funnel cakes and riding the carnival rides. 

“I grew up standing in the crowd at the concerts listening to Travis Tritt and Neal McCoy and now I get to be on the other side performing for the crowd that I stood in for many years,” Shafer said. 

This year he hopes to bring some of his original works to the Lincoln County Fair stage. “I am so humbled to be able to perform on a large stage in my hometown and open for a big name like Scotty McCreary,” Shafer said. 

He would like to thank Dennis Brooks and the Lincoln County Fair Board for giving him the opportunity to share his music in his hometown. 

yourself in the county music industry,” Shafer said. 

Eventually he listened and was able to transfer with his job, of designing basements, to Nashville. One night he was at Alan Jackson’s Good Time Bar, AJ’s, in Nashville and was just watching. “It was a slow night so I tipped the singer twenty bucks and he told me to keep my money because he knew who I was,” Shafer said. 

The singer was Ricky Lee Tanner another Missouri artist. Tanner invited Shafer up on stage to sing with him and his band. 

“I thought I was just going to play a song or two but I ended up playing for forty-five minutes,” Shafer said. 

During that performance he sang two of his original songs with a band he had never worked with before. 

“While I was performing, I saw people gather and stop to listen to me sing, that’s when I thought that maybe I really could do this,” Shafer said. 

After the show Shafer was caught by a stranger that stopped him, the stranger ended up being the person who booked musicians at AJ’s bar. With his current job he couldn’t fully commit to being a regular at the bar but said he could fill in whenever possible. Shafer plays at AJ’s and also travels to St. Louis regularly to play at several bars. A local radio station, 99.9 KFAV, based out of Warrenton, caught wind of Shafer and started playing his music. 

“I’m very grateful for everyone that has helped me on this journey and I am especially thankful for Mike Thomas of 99.9 KFAV who has helped to promote my music,” Shafer said. KFAV has helped Shafer’s music career grow and boost his social media presence. “It was hard to keep up and it just kind of all took off at once,” Shafer said. 

With his music career taking off, he was able to book a show where he opened up for Jerrod Niemann. The day of the show it had rained a few inches, and when Shafer got up on stage to perform his guitar malfunctioned. 

“I panicked, I was only playing with five out of my six string on my guitar,” Shafer said. He continued to play even through the malfunction. “That’s when the thought crossed my mind that maybe I am not cut out for this if I was having problems on a pro stage,” Shafer said. 

He was later told that no one noticed the malfunction because he continued to play. “It happens to the best of us and sometimes we don’t learn until we learn the hard way,” Shafer said. 

In Nashville, Shafer is currently working on recording and writing new songs. “I love working in Nashville because it is full of like minded people that all have the same dream of wanting to “make it” one day,” Shafer said. 

Nashville allows him to get a closer look at the county music industry. He loves when he can get stuck on a lyric or go nuts over a guitar riff. “I am constantly surrounded by inspiration, sometimes I will bounce a lyric off of a friend and then we will work on it for hours and by the end have a few songs,” Shafer said. 

When he is not working in the studio writing new material, one of his favorite things to do is perform at charity shows. He sets out a jar for tips and if he makes enough to cover then he donates anything over the amount to a local charity. One cause that he is very passionate about it giving back to the veterans of the United States armed forces. 

“Some have given up their dreams or sanity or life for us, it is the least I can do to give back to them,” Shafer said. Shafer uses his music career as a vehicle to give back to those that have given him the freedom to do what he loves everyday. 

The Lincoln County Fair is the biggest show for Shafer to date. Shafer grew up with Lincoln County roots and was a regular attendee at the annual Lincoln County Fair. He remembers spending the fair night’s watching the truck and tractor pulls, overloading on funnel cakes and riding the carnival rides. 

“I grew up standing in the crowd at the concerts listening to Travis Tritt and Neal McCoy and now I get to be on the other side performing for the crowd that I stood in for many years,” Shafer said. 

This year he hopes to bring some of his original works to the Lincoln County Fair stage. “I am so humbled to be able to perform on a large stage in my hometown and open for a big name like Scotty McCreary,” Shafer said. 

He would like to thank Dennis Brooks and the Lincoln County Fair Board for giving him the opportunity to share his music in his hometown. 

 

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