Signing the curved glass of a bottle of tequila presents an autographing challenge for Texas country singer Jon Wolfe, but it’s one that experience will soon make easier.
Fans will see why Friday when Wolfe returns to Waco for a show at The Backyard, opened by Houston native Triston Marez, with more than new songs on hand: He’ll also bring his new signature tequila, Juan Lobo.
Juan Lobo — Spanish for Jon Wolfe, a nickname given the singer by his South Texas fans — represents the country singer’s new side venture and it makes its Waco debut in two bottle-signing events, one from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Friday at Stoney’s Liquor in Bellmead and a pre-concert party and tasting for winners of a Backyard ticket drawing.
The tequila has been about two years in the works, with multiple trips to agave farms and distilleries in Jalisco, Mexico, and part of Wolfe’s expanding his reach beyond his music. “It adds a new element to my shows,” he said in an interview from his home in Austin.
The Oklahoma native described his tequila as a high-quality traditional blue agave tequila from a small craft producer, nothing exotic, but good. “I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel,” he said.
His advice for those contemplating their own tequila brand? “You’ve got to really like tequila because you’ll taste a lot of it,” he said with a laugh.
In addition to his Juan Lobo tequila, Wolfe comes to Waco with some new material that also represents a change of pace. Wolfe used an outside producer, Dave Brainard (Jamey Johnson, Brandy Clark), for the first time for his five-song EP “Feels Like Country Music.”
While Wolfe’s past three studio releases had an enviable track record with 12 consecutive No. 1 radio hits, “Feels Like Country Music” hasn’t disappointed fans: Its first single “Some Ol’ Bar in the 90’s,” also topped the radio charts after its release this summer.
After 10 years, Wolfe is riding high on his brand of traditional country, measured in part by more than 215,000 monthly listeners and 34 million streams on Spotify. There’s more new ahead than his tequila, too. He’ll make an acting debut of sorts in upcoming weeks with the release of a short film connected to his tequila. A second single from “Feels Like Country Music” will drop in January.
And, in the sort of life-changing moment that calls for a tequila toast, he’s getting married in three weeks, to Amber Calderon of San Antonio.