Singer tied to Clovis

Courtesy photo Jack Ingram is scheduled to perform tonight at 9 at the Curry County Fair.

By Tony Gutierrez: CNJ staff writer

Jack Ingram recently released “This Is It,” an album containing several hit songs including “Wherever You Are,” “Love You” and “Lips of an Angel.” Ingram, who will perform tonight at 9 at the Curry County Fair’s entertainment area following an opening act from country singer Liz Carlisle, did a telephone interview with Freedom Newspapers.

Q: I understand your wife is from Clovis. Where did you meet her?
A: She went to Clovis High School. Her name’s Amy. It was Amy Hensley. Now it’s Amy Ingram. We went to college together. I met her in Dallas at Southern Methodist University.

Q: Did her being from Clovis influence your decision to perform here?
A: We tried to get a performance out there for two years. Both times it’s rained. I always liked playing in front of family, in front of the in-laws, make sure they know I have a job.

Q: Have you written any songs about the Clovis/eastern New Mexico area?
A: Being in Clovis to me is kind of like Texas-West, since it’s only eight miles from the Texas border. There’s a song on there (“This Is It” album) about family in West Texas called “Great Divide.”

Q: You’ve done collaborations with Radney Foster and Bruce Robison, and you may have a duet’s album coming out. Can you talk about that?
A: I have a show coming out on CMT called “Cross-Country” with Miranda Lambert. I love collaborating with other artists. I enjoy what they do and they enjoy what I do, so let’s see if we can get together and make something better.

Q: You’re friends with Pat Green and Robert Earl Keen. Have you ever thought about doing something with them?
A: Pat Green and I talked about doing a record for years. Maybe one day I’ll get that done.

Q: I was reading you were influenced a lot by the Outlaws —Willie, Waylon and the boys. Are there any specific songs that particularly influenced you?
A: Well, Willie, the entire record “Red-Headed Stranger,” had a profound impact on me. Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, rock artists were Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan.

Q: Have you ever thought about covering some of their songs?
A: My entire set used to be Willie Nelson songs when I started out. I played every Willie Nelson song I knew.

Q: I noticed a lot of the venues you’re playing are county fairs. What’s the appeal?
A: We’re only playing four or five county fairs. We opened 65 tours with Brad Paisley. I enjoy them. I think they’re fun. Seems like a lot of real people out here.

Q: What do you do at the fairs when you’re not playing?
A: I usually hang out, walk around during the day. We normally have to leave after the show. I like to check things out.

Q: Does your family travel with you?
A: No.

Q: But I assume they’re coming here.
A: (My wife’s) coming to Clovis. We’re going to have a good time, a mini-family reunion.

Q: Along with other Texas country artists, you’ve been really popular in Texas, but not until recently did you hit it big nationally. What’s that like?
A: It’s been great. It’s really nice to get some national exposure with hits across the country.

Q: One of your recent songs is a cover of Hinder’s “Lips of an Angel,” which is not a country song. Why did you want to cover it?
A: I just thought it was a good song. It’s a cheatin’ song, so I thought it would be a great country song, so I made it my own.

Q: What’s your favorite song to perform?
A: My favorite song is “Measure of a Man.” It really means a lot to me. It’s a song about reconciliation. I didn’t write it, but it’s part of my story and I love playing it.

Q: Do you think your music has changed since you started, or has it been pretty much consistent?
A: I think my style evolves every time I make a record, so there’s always change. I think that’s what artists are supposed to do.