Jake Hertzog is a critically acclaimed guitarist, composer, educator, and writer based in Fayetteville, AR. where he teaches at the University of Arkansas. He has toured throughout the U.S., Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and India and performed and recorded with a diverse cadre of artists including Randy Brecker, Ivan Neville, Mike Clarke, Blondie Chaplin, Anton Fig and many others.
In 2016 Jake joined the music faculty at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. In 2018 Jake authored his first book, Guitar Sound Effects, a deep dive into the world of contemporary guitar sounds and techniques. Under the alias Hey Jazz Guy, Jake has contributed over 30 articles to Guitar Player magazine which coined him the “Jazz ambassador to the non-jazz world.”
Hertzog’s classical recording include “Well Lit Shadow” (2016) a suite for solo electric guitar celebrating themes and images in particle physics. His latest project, a guitar duo with classical virtuoso Yishai Fisher called “Stringscapes: A Portrait of the World in Nylon and Steel” (2018, Fretmonkey) is a unique combination of nylon string and steel string guitars and is inspired by the landscapes of planet earth. He was awarded a fellowship from the Arkansas Arts Council in 2018 for music composition for this project.
Jake was co-leader and co-songwriter of the rock band The Young Presidents from 2009-2016. For three years, Jake stood as musical director and lead guitarist for Nickelodeon’s The Naked Brothers Band. They concluded two national tours and have performed on national television shows including Good Morning America, The View, Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Awards and The Today Show.
This weeks guest on the podcast is Madison Murphy. Many people know Madison in his executive capacity as a current board member and former CFO and former Chairman of the Murphy Oil Corporation and his current Chairmanship of the Fortune 500 company Murphy USA.
In addition to the impressive resume in the board room, and perhaps a product of his ability to put his passion to work in all the right places, he is a hell of a musician. Madison grew up in S. Arkansas playing the guitar at family gatherings and after a little coaxing by his mother, during church services. We discuss his history with music and the life lessons he has been able to glean from having a creative outlet in his life, despite the stresses that high profile business has brought to his doorstep.
I’ve known this man my entire life, and have been lucky enough to see him in his capacity as an administrator, board member, mentor, and friend. He is one of the most down to earth people on the planet with a wealth of knowledge and patience. I discovered his music abilities when he hopped on stage during an event several years ago to play with a friend. What initially seemed like perhaps a passing hobby immediately changed in my mind when he started laying down some pretty sweet licks on the guitar.
I’m especially happy to share this episode with a man who is so well known for his successes in the business world, as it breaks down the barrier between one’s ability to be both analytically thoughtful while entertaining creative output. To often we categorize people, especially children in early development, as either good at math or reading, left brained or right brained, analytical or creative. Well, it turns out any of us can do both when you, as Madison puts it, “Pick your passions and pursue them.”
He was kind enough to play several songs for us, and be sure to stick around after the interview for a couple of playful additions after the show’s credits. If you would like to see Madison and his bandmates the Tepusquet Tornadoes, you can see them at the Murphy Arts District in El Dorado, AR. on May 11th and at their regular haunt in Santa Maria, CA. at the Presqu’ile Winery. They post regular event updates on their Facebook Page as well.