Meet country singer and songwriter Jack Ingram in person, and the first thing you notice is an easy smile that stretches from ear to ear. He's a warm, down-to-earth person, and his music is a natural extension of that personality.
Born just outside of Houston in The Woodlands, Ingram is an award-winning singer-songwriter who has been a regular on the U.S. Top 40 country music charts since 2005.
When he learned through a friend that H-E-B was looking for a Texas musician to star in its commercial, he was on the phone to his agent almost immediately.
"When I found out they were looking specifically for a Texas musician, I knew I wanted to be part of it," he says, smiling. "If they were looking for a Texan, I'd fit the bill."
Authentic to the core
Ingram started his music career singing at a friend's bar near the Texas Christian University campus in Fort Worth. He then landed on the U.S. Country Top 40 charts in late 2005 with the song "Wherever You Are?"—one of the first songs he recorded for his Big Machine record label. A chart regular ever since, he's performed at the Austin City Limits music festival for the last several years in a row.
There's a reason his style resonates with fans. Ingram's songs are authentic and cut straight to the heart, talking about life, love and all that goes with it. And it's clear after talking to him for only a few minutes, that it's no accident that he's the same way.
In fact, he's adamant about only supporting those businesses, products and causes that he's also a fan of himself. And that's why he wanted to partner with H-E-B. "If I'm going to do something for a client, I need to already use the product or the business," he says. "You want to be authentic about it."
About that song...
Even more important to this down-to-earth artist, Texas is home for Ingram; he lives just outside of Austin with his wife and three children. And it doesn't come as much surprise that Ingram is a regular at the H-E-B just down the street from his house. "I didn't know the song and the project was for the Super Bowl," he says "But I shop at H-E-B, and it was a natural fit."
The H-E-B Super Bowl commercial with Ingram was shot at Gruene Hall, the oldest dance hall in Texas. Originally built in 1872 as the home of German immigrant Henry Gruene and later turned into a dance hall, the acoustics were perfect for Ingram's signature sound.
The commercial celebrates and recognizes all the great things about Texas. It features a rockin' song called "Can't Spell Texas Without H-E-B" that references well-known Texas cities and traditions. Ingram says the song was a fit, too.
"It was already done by the time I heard it," he recalls. "In a commercial, you know, songs can be tricky—you want them to sound good. But when I read it, I liked all the Texas references."
It was also important to Ingram that the song would come off sounding like him, and his authentic, down-to-earth style. And he was happy to discover that it fit the bill.
"It's a straight-up, rockin' country song," he says with a smile. "The way I sound, the way I deliver a song is unique and authentic to me—and I knew this would come off sounding like me."