Jon Wolfe, with Fire Line, Thursday, March 29, 7 p.m., blacksheeprocks.com
ountry crooners are very rarely booked to play all-ages venues like the Black Sheep, which makes Jon Wolfe’s upcoming Colorado Springs appearance all the more special. An Oklahoma native who is now based in Austin, Texas, Wolfe follows in the tradition of George Strait, Clint Black and Merle Haggard. And while that may not be the surest route to airplay beyond his home state, it sure didn’t stop his song “That Girl in Texas” from racking up more than 2 million views on YouTube. This despite of the fact that Wolfe doesn’t traffic in the kind of country cliches that populate Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road” or unfortunate crossover collaborations like Florida Georgia Line and the Backstreet Boys’ “God, Your Mama, and Me.” Wolfe parted ways with Warner Bros. Nashville in 2015, but is still carrying on as an indie artist. His 2017 album Any Night in Texas
debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard Heatseekers Album chart and No. 14 on its Independent Albums chart. The fact that it didn’t crack the country charts at all says more about the industry today than it does the artist. If there’s any justice left in this world, and there may still be, Wolfe will land an opening spot on a Brad Paisley tour, where he wouldn’t sound the least bit out of place. In the meantime, it’s gratifying to see that he’s still out there making a go of it.