Since the Stillwater-based musician first started taking guitar lessons in middle school, music has been the love of Jake Moffat’s life.
But that love got lost somewhere along the way of his long battle with drugs. For some time, it looked like the last note had rung.
“There’s a few years when I was down-and-out, where I don’t think I even owned a guitar. It was the last thing on my mind,” Moffat said. “I decided to man up and take care of my problem, and I was looking around at the guys I played and hung out with. I saw where those guys were at now, and I knew I had to do something. It was time to get serious about it.”
With the help of friends and family, he’s been winning that battle. Living clean for more than a year, and with a renewed focus, Moffat picked the guitar back up last winter, found himself a new band, and started walking the right path in not only music, but life.
Picking up where Moffat left off, the group wrote songs that play out as delicate balances between Moffat’s affinity for folk-rock icons like Neil Young, their roots in the red-dirt mecca of Stillwater, and the openly emotional balladry of ’90s alt-rock acts like Third Eye Blind and Matchbox Twenty. At the heart of each tune is the lifetime of trials and tribulations Moffat has traversed; sometimes they find the perfect audience, as they did a few months ago at Oklahoma Vintage Guitars in El Reno.
I was so down-and-out, I don’t think I even owned a guitar.
Jake Moffat Band was opening for Ellis Paul when an AA group that met just a few doors down wandered in to listen. It felt like things had come full-circle.
“There was one lady that was crying. Hearing my stories and hearing me play, they were glad that I was willing to stand up there and share my story,” Moffat said. “It was like they had hope that they’d be able to move past their situation, too. I’ve seen people suffer who never get better, but I still try to help, man. That’s all you can do.”
He plans on committing to his love fully in this final shot at making a career in music work. The band makes its first big step with its debut album, “Tired of Being Nice,” and hopefully, good things will follow.
“I don’t need a million-dollar deal or to be playing arenas,” Moffat said. “I’d just be happy to make a living playing music. Now that I’m a little older and have got a new perspective on things, it’s a chance to do what I love to do.”