The crowd at The Where House had started to grow, becoming heavily populated in the sweet spot in the middle. As Jake Paleschic and Patriot set up, the room took on some chatter. Before the first chorus, we could all hear the devotion and attention given to the songs. From nostalgic dreamers to afterhours on Music Row, Paleschic covers the map of songwriting. To be clear, I mean the construction of tunes with distinct will and spirit which carve themselves into the listener. Having seen him deliver the sweaty glory of The Longshots’ closer, “At a Time Like This” just the night before, I was forewarned when he sang, “There’s only room in my mind for one song at a time.”
What I had a sense of was character, the way a song immediately resonates in your subconscious. But one must not underestimate the range of the songs. He delivers apt voicing for each tune, transporting the crowd to an otherworldly honky tonk where in the corner a heartbroken game of shuffleboard concludes.
One could call it Americana, but it is not played an assembled quilt of styles. Those undercurrents live beneath the surface, and if you listen closely you may catch their trail. Running the show with youthful prowess, the barefooted Paleschic drives the engine looking like the triptych of Hank, Peter Pan and Huck Finn. Only moments before setting up, he entered from a pre-show soak in a pool out back. But he just as well could have returned from a swimming hole off yonder.
Jake Paleschic cut his teeth as a teenager on the speed trials of metal guitar, following bands like Cannibal Corpse, “Death stuff, that’s what got my fingers moving.” His fingers kept moving as he branched out and towards a broader range of the craft, but the early chops have served him well as he develops into a serious songwriter.
Shot out of a cannon, he moved to Nashville after high school in the summer of 2009, returning to Fort Worth two years later. The partnership with Joey Gorman developed through the Nashville tenure and beyond as the two are dedicated to procuring their own sounds. They met in Burleson and have functioned as co-conspirators for a while, “We’re grounded at the same place, we’re just moving in different directions.” As Gorman’s journey takes him from folkie to rocker and Paleschic continues to hone his craft.
Paleschic is currently backed by Austin Lee Crowell (bass), Tyler Brown (guitar) and Robby Rux (drums), known collectively as Patriot. Rux told me before the show that he’d had about two weeks to learn the whole set, “There’s a lot to these songs.” Talking to Paleschic a few days later, he elaborated, “The goal is the illusion of being simple. But I’m kind of a stickler to make sure nobody overplays. I like to leave as much space in there so the lyrics can do their work. But you’ve got to leave license to the band.” Often the melodic guitar leads Brown plays originated as sung vocal phrases Jake has written into the song. “I’ve got two records pretty much written.” That is twenty songs waiting to be recorded, a significant amount of work and preparation. Though I considered lobbying for a double LP debut, he’s much too nice for shenanigans.