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Jake Maurer is a product of Metamora, Illinois, which to this day remains his favorite place on earth. Jake spent his grade school and high school years listening to Garth Brooks and dreaming of becoming a football star for the Redbirds. He then became just that, as an All-State Linebacker and the Redbirds leading rusher. He attended Eastern Illinois University, where he continued his football success as a linebacker, starting his career as a walk-on and ending it on a full-ride scholarship. At EIU, he earned his high school teaching degree and every now and then entertained his friends around a bonfire picking and singing some of his favorite “Red Dirt” Texas country songs. Inspired by Pat Green, Jake picked up a pen and started putting some thoughts to music. Those first Jake Maurer songs are still some of his friends’ favorites. After college, Jake began coaching and teaching but found himself looking for ways to fill the void left after a decade of playing football. He and a fellow coach discovered their common interest in playing guitar. Jake and “Sledger” mixed their love of country and rock and started playing in their living rooms, at open mic nights, and then picked up some band members to create “Irons in the Fire.” Within those two years playing in bars and dives every weekend, Jake realized he enjoyed his night job far more than his day one. He and his fiancé walked into the principal’s office and let him know they were leaving for Nashville the moment school ended. The response, “You’re kidding, right?” No joke, school ends, celebrate nuptials and head south to find out what Nashville is all about. Days later Jake landed a gig at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge on Broadway in downtown Nashville and has been playing there ever since. Jake enjoys a mix of traditional and outlaw country while finding ways to insert original material. In describing the process of recording an album, Jake says, “I wrote at least 100 sub par songs to get 13 good ones. We are not getting worse J.” He likes to write songs that are his life and his current CD includes several of those. With his expanding family and fourth baby coming in May, he might start writing nursery rhymes or pick up heavy drinking just to stay sane. Jake is not only a talented song-writer, but is also a gifted singer, plays acoustic guitar and his best quality just might be his natural ability to entertain. He loves to talk to the crowd and make them laugh by saying just about anything that might pop into his mind; the more ridiculous, the better. People walk into Tootsie’s for a beer and before they know it they have spent four hours with the Jake Maurer Project. Look for Jake’s self-titled album, “Jake Maurer” on i-Tunes, on Facebook, at jakemaurer.com or at any live Jake Maurer show. He’ll be at Tootsie’s and anywhere else the wind blows him.