Jade Marie Patek took a tour through our classic 20 Questions survey. She's the queen of River Jam and one of the most soulful singers on the planet. She just released her first full length record and is headlining River Jam on Sat July 8 at Billy's Ice. Read on to find out about her polka roots, what her favorite Shiner is, where she loves to go for TexMex and what her deep sea fishing spots are.
1. What’s new and exciting in the world of Jade Marie Patek?
The full album is finally out! I’m playing River Jam full band July 8, the music video for "VooDoo Child" is coming out June 15, Cabo Fest June 11-15, Caveman Festival Sept 1-3 and an out of state tour in the works!
2. You’re based out of New Braunfels. Recently there was an article about all of the musicians that live there. How did you end up there? What do you love most about the town? Why do you feel it attracts musicians?
I worked there while I was in college at Texas State and actually moved there right after I graduated college for about a year. After moving about 5 more times, I talked my boyfriend and now husband into moving back and we’ve loved it ever since. I love the live music scene, the culture and of course the river! I think it attracts musicians because it has a beautiful river that inspires creativity, great venues to play gigs, and it’s close enough to most areas of Texas that have the venues we all play. I love our little NB musician community.
3. Favorite touring memory of the following towns:
-Corpus Christi: Brewster Street and having all of my friends and family come out from Rockport and Corpus, and then getting to fish the next day.
-Fort Worth: getting to hang with Heather over at 95.9 the Ranch, getting up and singing with Josh Weathers at Tannahills, opening for Shane Smith and The Saints at Texas Live.
-Stephenville: Recorded "T is for TX", "Dancing With the Devil" and "Gaslight" all at Melody Mountain Studios with Josh Serrato and Ben Hussy, and competed in the LJT songwriter competition with by bud Tanner Usrey.
-Lubbock: Played a show with Erick Willis at the Spoon.
-Houston: Dosey Doe shows with Adam Hood and Red Clay Strays.
-College Station: Playing at the Tap for the Texas Music Seminars.
-San Angelo: FIFI’S!!! Getting to hang with Toni and drink pootie tangs!
-Austin: playing Saxon Pub after Walt Wilkins and the unofficial SXSW showcase with Keystone Artist Connect
4. All musicians are big music fans, but you are a super fan! If you're not gigging, it is very common to see you out at shows. When you’re just at a show as a fan, is it hard to turn your musician brain off and just enjoy the show? Are you watching in an analytical way or just enjoying the music?
(laughs) I am a super fan! If I am out watching a show, I definitely look at stage presence and instrumental transitions to learn how to make my shows better, but I am mostly just enjoying the music and taking it all in!
5. Your grandfather was a renowned polka musician. So, when can we expect your polka phase?
I played a show once with Alex Meixner and now I am hooked! I would love to be part of a polka album in the near future. And when polka makes its big comeback I’ll definitely have a tribute band to the Joe Patek Orchestra!
6. What’s your favorite type of Shiner?
Shiner Light Blonde is the go-to, but I love the classics and the new flavors they come out with. Since my cousins work at the brewery and my parents moved back to Shiner, I always get to try the new stuff right when it comes out.
7. Stories behind the following songs:
-Perfect Day: I was part of Bonnie’s creative course and for an exercise we wrote a song together. One of the other students has a book out called “Perfect Day” so we decided to write about that! It was an effort of about 10 of us and we had so much fun writing it. I knew I had to put it on my album; it makes you feel so good!
-Hey Darlin: My little sister was visiting from Albuquerque and we were sitting around drinking wine and she was telling me about the good ol’ dating pool these days. I realized I had to turn a song into my song group that evening, so I told her I’m going to write it based on all the hilarious stuff she just told me. I added a bit more sass by having one of those guys try to come back into her life and she’s like, nah, too late.
-VooDoo Child: This was a song group prompt: “Halloween”. My husband and I were about to leave for a New Orleans trip, and was and still am so intrigued by Voodoo and Marie Laveau, so I knew this song was going to be about someone pining after a red-headed woman from New Orleans. The music video we shot was on location in New Orleans and it turned out to perfect. I can’t wait for yall to see it.
-Ruin a Good Thing: I co-wrote this song with the super talented Kendall Potesta. We met through BMI and we got together in New Braunfels for a co-write. I had the first line in my notes “I did everything I could but draw blood, nothing’s harder than quitting when you said you never would.” Kendall came up with a great melody and we started talking about times that we’ve sabotaged relationships on purpose and the song came to fruition.
-Beautiful Liar: This one hits me in the feels when I think about it. This is the less glamorous side of what people may not see or know about being a female musician. It’s a story about an amazingly talented female artist that wants so much to be loved and constantly gets used and abused. She has to self-medicate to get through those nights of playing shows, someone wanting to take her home and her falling for it over and over again only to be disappointed every time.
-Dancing with the Devil: I had the line “can’t keep dancing with the devil and wonder why you’re still in hell” and I was waiting for the perfect melody to fit. Queue Dustin Schaefer! After already writing the banger “Cold Shoulder” for his album, we got on Facetime over Covid and came up with Dancing With The Devil. It was perfect. I gave him the line and he just busted out a badass guitar riff and I knew this was it. We had a lot of fun writing that one.
-Love’s to Blame: I wrote this one about dodging a bullet! I was so close to marrying someone else and it did NOT end well at the time. It’s pretty much a true story about how it all went down. I’m so glad it happened because I wouldn’t be where I am today if it didn’t go up in flames.
-T is for Texas: I was in Nashville doing a co-write with a Texan (Alyssa Michaela) and a Coloradoan (Olivia Rudeen). Alyssa and I were reminiscing about how much better Texas is than everywhere else, and Olivia was over it (haha). But it was actually her idea to write about things we love about Texas. She gave us a cool melody and Alyssa and I just started naming things off. It’s so fun and I love playing it at live shows.
-Just to Survive: It was one of my first few weeks in the songwriter group that I’m still in. “Survival” was the prompt. I wanted to originally write the song about my mom’s dad who was a farmer and worked his ass off to provide for his wife and 8 kids. It ended up being more about a struggling Vietnam veteran, but still had the farmer aspect in the song. This farmer couldn’t make ends meet so he joined the war. He comes back traumatized and injured and relies on pills to make it through the day. These may be stories I create in my head, but there are also real things that happen to real people.
-Dead Flowers: This is an older prequel to Love’s To Blame about the same situation I was in. The message is that he may have ruined OUR life, but he didn’t ruin MINE. I actually wrote the third verse while in the studio on a time crunch and I was pretty proud of myself for that.
-Damn the Rain: I wrote this with my friend Tanner Carson. We were sitting at the pool at my apts back at Texas State and a huge storm just came out of nowhere. So we ran inside and decided to write a song about rain and broken hearts. He was going through a break up and he realized he was pushing her away this whole time and didn’t realize it until she finally ended it with him. Music is therapy man.
-Drive: This was the first song I ever wrote (that was worthy of listening to). I co-wrote it with Tres Womack. We were talking about the shows we had that weekend and how much we love playing gigs. So we wrote the song about that. No matter how big or small the crowds, we’re just happy to get to play music for a living and it’s always worth the drive.
8. You led a songwriting retreat alongside Bonnie Bishop. It led to one of the all time River Jam moments when y’all brought the participants to the stage and delivered a knock out version of a song y’all had all just written that weekend. Talk a bit about how that came about, why you did it and what you got out of it.
Bonnie posted back in Nov 2020 about doing a Creative Course and wanted some students to sign up. She’s been an idol of mine forever, so I jumped at that chance. It went from Jan 2021 to April. Every Tuesday night, we’d get on zoom and we’d go over the book “The Artist Way” and work on ways to explore our creativity. One of our projects was writing a song together, and “Perfect Day” was born. Later that summer, we had a retreat all together in the Hill Country and we polished the song up to be ready to play it for all the fine folks at Float House for River Jam. It was such a great experience getting the other students (most of them for different part of the country) down to Texas and to bring them up to play a song with us. I got some really great friends, a great song and more confidence in my creativity out of that whole experience.
9. What’s your favorite stretch of driving? What’s the worst?
Favorite: Any road that doesn’t have traffic. Worst: Any road that has traffic. I love an open road where no one else is around and I can listen to my podcasts.
10. Name association:
-Cody Canada: Legend
-Josh Grider: Topo Chico Cowboys
-Bri Bagwell: a literal saint
-Courtney Patton: hilarious and brings you to tears
-Adam Hood: the kindest soul with tons of soul
-Sean McConnell: genius
-Josh Weathers: best voice in Texas/US
-Rio Tripiano: Rockstar
-Eric Middleton: pure poet
-Jamie Lin Wilson: walking jukebox
11. You have a very close relationship with the guys in Shane Smith and the Saints. Over the past couple years they have become one of the biggest bands in the scene and country. What lessons have you learned from them? How did you connect with those guys?
The biggest thing I have learned from them is to never give up! They’ve been through literal hell and back and they’re finally getting their moment and I couldn’t be happier for them. I’ve known them and known of them for years, but I officially connected with them back in April 2019. We were playing Gordy’s Birthday Bash up in Idaho. I was the opener and they were the headliners. Hail Mary album was just released. I was super excited to open and reached out to Shane to see if I could sing a song with them. He asked me if I wanted to sing “Born and Raised” and of course said hell yeah. So we are in Idaho and when the time was right he asked me up and Shane, Bennett and I did the song together. I was hooked after that. Ever since then, they’ve been the most supportive of me and my career and they get me up to sing that song with them whenever they can. I am so grateful for those dudes and will always be one of their biggest fans.
12. Related to you being such a big fan of music yourself, what is your biggest musical guilty pleasure, or what song/artist would it really surprise people to find out you dig?
Polka music shouldn’t be a surprise, but it might be! I love listening to my family. I also really love 90s and 2000s hip hop. Those will always be my go-to karaoke choices.
13. It is admittedly harder for female artists to breakthrough, despite lots of good work and progress made the past few years. You are part of a solid network of female songwriters based in Texas. What has being part of that friendship network meant for your career?
It keeps me sane. I can call up and vent to my fellow women and they freakin GET IT. And they’re always the first to support and help out wherever and however they can. We’ve got some great ones, the greatest, in this scene.
14. You are quite the outdoorsy lady and can often be found with a fishing rod in your hand. How did you get into that? Do you have any other major hobbies aside from music and fishing?
I’ve lived half my life in Rockport, and when my parents moved back there in 2008, we got really into bay fishing. That’s another thing that keeps me sane. When I’m out there in the middle of the water and just taking it in, I am at peace. There’s also something about getting dirty and catching your own food. Other than music and fishing, I love going to west texas and adventuring around on a giant ranch my husband has a lease on. Just being outside and away from everything is such a blessing. Camping and hiking is super rad too. I’ve been doing it a lot more now that my younger sister lives in a state with mountains.
15. If you could give your 18 year old self some advice, what would it be?
You’re beautiful, talented and worthy and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Don’t worry about boys and focus on that dream of making music a career. You can do it. Be patient and don’t give up. I love you.
16. What’s your favorite Tex-Mex restaurant?
Cantina Del Rio, Casa Garcia and NB Tortilleria!
17. How many instruments can you play? When did you start playing?
Guitar: 15 years old. Basic Piano: 8 years old. Percussion Instruments: 12 years old. Harmonica: 24 years old
18. Rapid fire:
-Your go to order at Lone Star Floathouse? Float house burger with cheese
-Florida Keys fishing or Texas Gulf fishing? Hmm..Florida will have bigger fish, but Texas Gulf fishing is less expensive (laughs)!
-Band of Heathens “Hurricane” or Shane Smith and the Saints “Hurricane”? Oof! That's tough. Grooviest: Heathens. Most Haunting: Saints.
-Mountains or beaches? Beaches, but mountains are a close second.
19. Favorite George Strait song and why?
I can't just pick one. So, I'll go with I Cross My Heart, Troubadour and You’ll Be There
20. What do you feel sets your music apart from all the other stuff out there?
I think I bring a bit more or a gritty, masculine energy to my music as a female. I also blend different genres which makes it not as straightforward country. I bring a more blues/soul and southern rock vibe to my live shows. My band and I make sure we bring a ton of energy to those shows and want everyone to have a great time.