We asked country music artist Ty Herndon about his new, deluxe album “Jacob”
In anticipation of Ty Herndon’s November 17th deluxe album release for “Jacob,” the Focus team had the privilege of catching up with the Grammy-nominated country singer behind the work for an insightful interview.
Join us as we explore the essence of “Jacob,” delve deeper into the inspiration behind his latest creation, and gain a deeper understanding of Ty Herndon’s musical journey.
Evolution of the “Jacob” deluxe album
The original 11-track version of “Jacob” was released in July 2022. How has the album evolved in the Deluxe Edition, and what additional layers or dimensions does the new material bring to the overall narrative of your life and experiences?
When we released the original version of the album, I was coming out of a pretty difficult time, which is chronicled in the song ‘God or the Gun’ and has been pretty widely reported on. Since then, two of the songs on that album — ‘Till You Get There’ and ‘Dents on a Chevy’ have hit the country radio charts, I fell in love and got married, and celebrated two years of sobriety — coming up on three this January.
So a lot has changed in my life, but I felt like I had a little more to say before we close out this JACOB era of my career and you’ll hear that in the two new songs on the album. Plus we were able to go back in and reimagine some of the other songs and deliver 17 tracks for the fans on this Deluxe Edition.
How Ty Herndon found influence from Jacob, the Biblical Figure
The album draws its title from the Biblical figure Jacob, known for overcoming challenges. How does the inclusion of additional tracks in the Deluxe Edition further explore the parallels between your personal journey and the experiences of Jacob, and why was it important to expand on this theme?
I named the album JACOB — not because it’s a Christian album per se, it’s a country album — but because Jacob used his afflictions to his advantage. They became his biggest strength, his super power. So in telling my complete story for the first time ever in my career and being honest about my struggles, I felt like I was turning my challenges into my strengths. There’s nothing folks can say about me now that I haven’t already said myself, and that’s very freeing.
Upcoming Collaboration for Ty Herndon
The Deluxe Edition is released in partnership with Pivotal Records. Can you share insights into the collaboration process and how this partnership has influenced the creative direction or presentation of the additional tracks on the album?
Pivotal Moments Media and Pivotal Records are all about using art and media to improve mental health and wellness. They initially approached me to be an ambassador for the organization and I was proud to say yes. But then when they heard the album I was working on, they said, “we want to release this.” And they signed me as their first artist to their new record label. They put an enormous amount of trust in me to deliver an album that fit their mission, and I think we nailed it in its original version and in this new Deluxe Edition.
Ty Herndon’s Reflections on Past Successes
You’ve had a remarkable career with chart-topping hits since your debut in 1995. How does the Deluxe Edition of “JACOB” reflect on your past successes, and do any of the new tracks draw inspiration from your earlier musical style or themes?
As Reba once told me, the key to a long career is in both remaining true to who you are as an artists but also evolving with the times and reinventing yourself to reach new audiences. She’s very wise. When I listen to these songs on JACOB, I feel like they’re both true enough to my roots that they could sit well alongside those early hits but also modern enough to be played on country radio today. I we spent almost 60 weeks on the country radio charts over the past year and a half so I think I’m right about that!
Since coming out in 2014, you’ve built a strong connection with fans and expanded your reach to diverse audiences. How does the Deluxe Edition of “JACOB” contribute to this connection, and what messages or emotions do you hope to convey to both longtime fans and those who might be discovering your music for the first time?
When I came out, I remember saying that people just know a little bit more about me now. I’m so proud that I’ve been able to hold onto those old fans and add a lot of new ones — especially from the LGBTQ community. The songs on this album, I think, are universal — especially the two new ones that really deal with my relationship with faith and the church. I think a lot of LGBTQ folks can relate to that.
Some of Ty’s Herndon’s Favorite Tracks
Among the tracks on this re-released album, do you have a personal favorite, and if so, what makes that particular track stand out to you?
It’s so hard to pick favorites, but I would say if you ask me today, it’s the new single ‘How You Get To Heaven.’ I didn’t write it, even though I co-wrote most of the album. But when I heard this lyric by Jamie Floyd and Ken McMeans, I knew I had to record it. It spoke to me so deeply and I think it will speak to others. We’re shipping it to country radio this week as our new single.
How Ty Herndon Connects with Fans and Diverse Audiences
Country music has a diverse fan base. How do you aim to connect with both your LGBTQ+ audience and the broader country music community through your music, considering the diverse perspectives and backgrounds?
I feel like good music is just good music, and so I don’t sit down to write or go into the studio thinking, how can I appeal to a certain group. But I do bring my full self to the work, and so listeners are getting my life experiences baked in to everything I do. One of the things I’m most proud of those is how Nashville has really begun to open up to inclusion over this last decade since I came out. I like to think that I had a little something to do with that, but it’s been a team effort with a lot of people putting in the work.
Check out Ty Herndon’s “Jacob” deluxe edition album drops today, November 17, 2023.