INTERVIEW: Country Singer/Songwriter Jacob Melton Talks Music Career & Remastered Version of “Pass It Around”

Self-described as being a “Redneck Rob Thomas”, is Woodbury, Tennessee native & country singer/songwriter Jacob Melton.

Growing up in a musical family, family gatherings were never short of entertaining. His grandfather was a rock bass player for 30+ years and his great-grandfather played bluegrass music for 60+ years. So whether it was holiday parties or family reunions- the Meltons’ always had an open mic and someone willing to perform. This led to Melton forming a deep appreciation for a variation of musical genres and heightened musical intelligence. Inspired by his family, he started playing guitar and writing songs in high school. In his 20s, he played in a rock band, Burning Years, that performed both originals and covers. Then in his 30s, he made the switch to country, pursuing a solo career after witnessing the rise of red dirt country gaining popularity across the United States. 

As he explored the genre, he found his niche sound in southern rock- alt. country– “Bringing a classic kind of sound back, with an alternative twist” (Melton). Later on, “He met studio musician and Tim McGraw’s guitar player, Adam Shoenfeld, and the two immediately found a groove together.  Jacob and Adam produced the single “90 Proof and Smooth” which gained attention from established artists and radio stations such as 95.5 KLOS where he was featured on the Frosty, Heidi and Frank Show” (Melton). The success of the single led to Melton’s debut “Self-Titled” EP which was released in early 2020.  

Gaining the attention of “The Boot”, the popular country music publication premiered the track, “Live This Lie” on the day of the EP’s release. In late 2020 he released his latest single, “Pass it Around” which is a country-party anthem about having a good time with your buddies and sharing stories over a cold one. With its catchy melodies and fun lyrics, it’s the perfect song to listen to and sing along to with your friends at your next summer bonfire. 

Official cover art for Jacob Melton’s latest single, "Pass it Around". Photo courtesy of Jacob Melton.

Pass it Around began as an idea a friend of Melton’s had, who was proficient at the acoustic guitar but couldn’t quite find his footing lyrically. As he explains, “He started this song and liked the melody but didn’t know how to write a song. He had the first verse which needed some revisions.” (Melton). So Melton helped him out. After countless days or arduous work and approximately 5 months of sitting on a line they were stuck on, they finally finished writing the song. Melton then brought the song into Adam Shoenfield’s studio where he put down the rough vocals. It was produced by Dan (Lee Brice’s producer) and once it was it was all mixed and mastered, he rushed to get it out to digital platforms before the end of 2020. As he put it, “I wanted to end the year strong” (Melton). Since then, it has garnered over 10K+ streams on Spotify alone.

In 2023, Melton released a remastered version of “Pass It Around”. This re-invention of a fan favourite sets the stage for what’s to come for the artist. Melton’s new artistic sound has been well-received by country music lovers thus far, as the new version of the song has already surpassed 36K+ Spotify streams.

A professional artist for more than a decade, Melton has had his fair share of memorable experiences. One of them being when he met his now longterm collaborator, Adam Shoenfeld by chance at a Christmas party 4 years ago. As he shares, “ It was about the time I stopped playing with the rock group and was stepping more into country. We sat and talked.  I sent him my rock stuff and he saw the potential.” (Melton). As a well-respected studio session musician in Nashville who is also credited as a songwriter on Faith Hill’s Mississippi Girl, Shoenfeld’s approval of his music weighed more than a grain of salt. In the years to come, Melton hopes to continue to work on future projects with Shoenfield. As he mentions, “It’s been a great experience to collaborate and learn from him. He’s a great person to have in your corner.  And I truly appreciate having him in mine,” (Melton). 

Melton also has had the luxury of being a part of the thriving Nashville country music scene. Providing more insight he explains, “Everybody plays and everybody sings here. The scene is also heavily influenced by the younger crowd, all wanting to be a part of it and to take their business degrees to the many labels around. They are a deciding factor in what music is being signed and recorded.” (Melton). In addition, the city is filled with opportunities to perform and collaborate with fellow artists. As he relates, “It’s always great to sit in with the session guys. Meeting new people and sitting in the same room as the big artists and seeing them spout out a whole song in 45 min is impressive. They are so proficient at their craft.” (Melton).

With his years of experience in the industry, Melton is now sharing the lessons he’s learned along the way with up-and-coming artists. As he mentions, “One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is to treat people the way you want to be treated. You don’t know who is on their way up or down. You don’t know what might happen to them. You never get too big, too high or too low to be kind. Also, a lot of doors and pretty much all are closed, doesn’t keep you from knocking on them.” (Melton).

Moving forward in 2023, Melton has grand plans for his music in store. As he shares, ” I’ve got some pretty big potential stuff like opening for big acts and some festivals in the works. I have been writing with Shane Ward from the UK. I will have a cut on his next album, which will likely be out in early 2024.” (Melton). Stay tuned for what’s to come by connecting with Melton on socials. 

*This article is a re-release of an article originally published in 2021. A remastered version of “Pass It Around” was released in 2023, so this article includes that updated information.

Listen to "Pass It Around" now:

 

Stay up to Date With Jacob Melton:

Facebook: @jacobmeltonmusic

Instagram: @jacobmeltonmusic

Twitter: @Meltonmusic 

Order your official Jacob Melton merch from the latest collection: www.jacobmelton.com

Works Cited

Melton, Jacob. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, Jan. 6 2021.

Melton, Jacob. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, Feb. 28 2023.

Melton, Jacob. “Featured: Country artist and songwriter Jacob Melton”. Photo courtesy of Jacob Melton. Accessed Jan. 6 2021.

Melton, Jacob. “Official cover art for Jacob Melton’s latest single, ‘Pass it Around’ ”. Photo courtesy of Jacob Melton. Accessed Feb. 28 2023.

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