Rootsy Country Rocker Tennessee Jet Slides Into Newport This Week

Jet — whose style recalls everything from early White Stripes to classic Dwight Yoakam — plays Thursday at the Southgate House Revival

Jul 16, 2019 at 11:19 am
click to enlarge Tennessee Jet
Tennessee Jet

TJ McFarland began writing lyrics and poetry when he was young and took the next step of setting his words to a traditional Country music soundtrack as a teenager. After moving to Nashville, he rebranded his musical identity utilizing the name of his newly adopted home state and James Dean’s character in Giant and Tennessee Jet was born. McFarland makes a mighty racket with spartan simplicity; his standard set-up includes acoustic and electric guitars, his ever-present harmonica rack and a drum kit designed for foot/occasional right-hand execution. Jet has the creative and structural flexibility to shift from visceral, foundation-rattling Blues stomps reminiscent of early White Stripes and Black Keys to confessional, reflective Country/Folk balladry and raucous Honky Tonk hoedowns that nod to Steve Earle and Dwight Yoakam.

McFarland dropped his eponymous Tennessee Jet debut in 2015, and became a minor sensation without the benefit of label assistance; in short order, he had song placements in high profile ad campaigns for Mini Cooper and Miller Lite. His sophomore album, 2017’s Reata, cemented his status as a legitimate songwriting talent, with some reviewers going so far as to draw comparisons to Hank Williams and Johnny Cash.

McFarland has the smoldering good looks of Johnny Depp (think Gilbert Grape rather than Captain Jack Sparrow) and more than enough songwriting and performing talent to make up for the dearth of band members. 

Catch Tennessee Jet at the Southgate House Revival this Thursday, July 18 at 8 p.m. Get more info at