Story by Scotlyn Ogle
Almost immediately after the release of his EP Return on March 13, Jacob Furr’s music came to a halt thanks to COVID-19.
Despite the fact that shows were cancelled, and concerts were moved to Facebook Live, Furr has still seen success with his recent release.
“It’s actually weird because all the lockdown stuff happened, but everyone became interested in supporting local artists,” says Furr. “We had all just lost everything overnight, all of our gigs, and people are being incredibly generous with buying the EP on my website instead of just streaming it, and they were more willing to pay for the five-track EP.”
The EP, which was originally supposed to be a full record, came to life over the course of two years. After noticing that his more recent songs have been more intimate and soft-sounding, he decided to put these songs together as a way to close a chapter of his life.
The title track “Return” came to him while on the road in Colorado, and is about the feeling of coming home.
“The other songs for me are kind of closing a bit of a chapter on my other material like “Trails and Traces” and “Sierra Madre,” says Furr. “Those two albums are a lot about grief and death in life, and I guess I kind of wanted to come to the end of that.”
“Especially with 2020 happening, turning over a new decade, I needed something to kind of mentally move on from that stuff and see what else is out there,” he continued. “To do that, I had to write those five songs to finish up some of those ideas for myself and conclude that chapter.”
Photos by Velton Hayworth
Furr has been playing folk music since his college days at Texas Tech, and studied classic guitar for years, but for the first time in a long time, he is taking his time to take his time, reevaluate and focus on what comes next.
Without the immediate need to play all the time, everything has started to slow down for him, and he was ‘oddly excited’ about it.
“After working so hard for so long I am glad to take a break for a while,” says Furr. “I don’t know what’s going to happen, but hopefully when things come back and I get the opportunity to play again, all the inspiration will be built up.”
When he has been playing, it’s been for a good cause. He recently did a live stream with Magnolia Motor Lounge, he requested that the tips go to the staff of the venue. And while he isn’t the biggest fan of “sitting in his bedroom and talking to himself” on livestream, he was happy to help others who aren’t as fortunate as him during this time.
After years of saving, Furr was finally able to buy a van for the band to tour with last December, but when the world started to shift, and gigs started to get cancelled, those plans came to a halt.
“Ideally, we will go back to playing shows in Austin, San Antonio, and Houston and take the van down there, but even that goal seems unattainable right now,” says Furr. “I’m just waiting and watching and seeing what comes next for us.”
After everything started to close, and he knew he had to find something else to do, the van quickly became his work van for a new side project, which is building garden beds for locals.
While there are local artists funds set up by different charities throughout Fort Worth, Furr says the most immediate way to help local artists is to buy their albums and their merchandise. Platforms such as Bandcamp are allowing artists like Furr to put all their music in one place, and make it convenient for their listeners, whether they want a digital or physical copy of the album.
“My music is about grief, life and working through that, and finding some sort of life and joy through memory,” says Furr. “I hope people that listen to my music or have discovered my music in this time will find some sort of comfort in the stuff that I release.”
For now, though, he’s enjoying the break, but is looking forward to grabbing a beer with old friends and talking about music again soon.
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