Jack Ingram leads the pack at Wolfe Dance part II

Posted in Pictures, Video, Commercials, Media by wolferadio11 on August 30, 2009

909729011_l By Lana Sweeten-Shults
Friday, June 6, 2008-Times Record News

You might call him the alpha male of the rockin’ country pack.

Or you might just call him Jack Ingram, Texas’ own country rocker, who just walked away with the Top New Male Vocalist award at the Academy of Country Music Awards ceremony just three weeks ago after years of scratching his way to the top.

Expect Ingram to do a little more scratching in the rocking country vein when he headlines Vernon’s Wolfe Dance June 14 at the Santa Rosa Arena — the second time he’ll do so for this second annual convergence of Texas music in Vernon.

He’ll be joined by opening acts Twister Cain, Brazos Stone, Eddy Raven and Johnny Cooper, as well.

The Wolfe Dance came about in 2007, when Ingram set about to fulfill a promise he made to Vernon auto dealer John Wolfe, an old college buddy of his. Wolfe was in the hospital recovering from a serious car accident in 2004.

“I told him when he gets rehabbed up and walking again from his paralyzing accident in 2004, we would play Vernon, so this is it,” Ingram said before the Wolfe Dance in 2007.

At the time, Ingram had just released a new CD, “This Is It,” and was in the midst of promoting that CD on a tour. Normally, he might not have been able to fit in a stop in Vernon, but he made an exception for his old friend.

As it would turn out, “This Is It” would become the breakthrough CD for Ingram, though he has been working in the music business for more than a decade with his share of disappointments. He has bounced between independent and major labels (even appeared in a dancehall scene in Sandra Bullock-Harry Connick Jr. film “Hope Floats” and appeared as Lee Ann Womack’s love interest in her video “I Hate Myself In the Morning”), but he could never find the magic formula.

“This Is It” was the magic formula. It debuted at No. 4 and then unleashed a number of hits or Ingram, including his first No. 1 hit, “Wherever You Are,” along hits “Love You,” a cover of Oklahoma hard-rock band Hinder’s song “Lips of an Angel,” and a duet with Sheryl Crow called “Hold On.”

He appeared on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show,” CNN and was even named Esquire Magazine’s Best Country Artist in 2007.

But “This Is It” would launch itself right there at Vernon’s Wolfe Dance, about a week before the CD’s release.

Wolfe and Ingram met when the two were students at Southern Methodist University in the early 1990s. Ingram was studying psychology — a field he jokes that’s pretty close to being a musician, if you consider all the soul-searching involved in both. But he also decided back then that maybe music might be his calling.

“I owned a bar when I was 19,” said Wolfe. “He and I were at SMU together, and I opened a college venue at TCU called The Plaid Pig … Every Thursday night was Jack Ingram night for about two years.”

Other on-the-rise bands like Better Than Ezra and Deep Blue Something would also play The Plaid Pig. Wolfe, after developing a relationship with these bands, would become a promoter for a time.

“So Jack and I have been doing shows together for a long, long time,” Wolfe said.

Although the two would go their separate ways after college, they always kept in touch over the years.

In fact, Ingram had a hit about seven years ago called “Flutter” that got to No. 14 on the charts. Wolfe thought, “Oh good, Jack’s finally going to take off,” but then he was eventually dropped by his label, Sony, at the time.

“He was still a struggling musician just four years ago … I told him, ‘I still believe in you so much, I’m going to give you a car to drive, a demo. It’s going to help you now because your name is not that big yet, but it will help me when your name is big,” he said.

Wolfe’s prediction was right, and he predicts the same big things for Johnny Cooper, who is also playing the Wolfe Dance.

Last year’s concert was such a success that Wolfe decided to bring it back again this year.

While Ingram and two other Red Dirt acts took the stage in 2007, the music event will offer even more musical choices this year, with Twister Cain, Brazos Stone, Eddy Raven and Johnny Cooper each taking hour-long sets.

Ingram will take time out from spending part of the spring touring with Martina McBride.

Eddy Raven has a string of hits to his name, from “Sooner or Later” to “Island,” “You’re Playing Hard to Forget,” “I Could Use Another You” and “Operator Operator.” He has also written hits for everyone from Johnny Cash to Kenny Chesney, Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings, the Oak Ridge Boys (“Thank God for Kids”) and Roy Acuff (“Back in the Country”).

Johnny Cooper, meanwhile, saw a lot of success himself with his CD, “Ignition” and hits like “Texas to You.” He was also nominated for the Best New Artist award at the recent Gruene With Envy Awards.

Twister Cain and Brazos Stone will also bring their country rock sound to the Wolfe Dance.

About 4,500 attended the Wolfe Dance in 2007, which was the reason for moving the concert from Wolfe’s dealership to the bigger Santa Rosa Arena. He’s hoping by bringing in Eddy Raven, who should appeal to older country music fans, that the Wolfe Dance will reach a wider audience.

Wolfe is putting a lot of resources into making this concert feel like a Dallas event, he said.

“It’s fun for me to come back and finally have the big shows I always wanted to have,” said Wolfe about his return to music promotion. “I think this one is going to be a humdinger.”

Arts and entertainment editor Lana Sweeten-Shults can be reached at (940) 720-3462 or by e-mail at ShultsL(at)

Just the facts

What: The Wolf Dance featuring Jack Ingram in concert

Where: Santa Rosa Arena

When: 5 p.m. to midnight June 14

Tickets: $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. Tickets available at Wolfe Ford-Dodge, Cavender’s and at the gate.

Etc.: No coolers. Beer and food concessions at the event. Parking is $5. Bring a chair if you want to sit on the arena floor.


Wolfe Dance schedule

5:15 p.m.: Twister Cain

6:15 p.m.: Brazos Stone

7:15 p.m.: Eddy Raven

8:45 p.m.: Johnny Cooper

10 p.m.: Jack Ingram

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By Lana Sweeten-Shults
Friday, June 6, 2008

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