Amber Peabody / Staff Writer for the Cody Enterprise / People Section May 25th, 2009

Combining his love of music with a desire to travel, Jakob Singer spent almost a year playing music in Europe. Singer, 26, graduated from college in 2007 with a degree in classical guitar. He’d always wanted to go to Europe, so he decided to take the trip.”I wanted to do something before I had to get a career,” he said. “It was a great opportunity and fun trip.”He went to Holland in January 2009 and lived with his cousin in Haarlem, about 15 minutes from Amsterdam.

Singer booked gigs in the area every weekend. He spent much of his time walking the cobblestone streets with two moving dollies that carried his equipment. He played some classical music but mostly stuck to classic rock songs like “American Pie.” It was great having 40 drunk people in Holland singing all the songs,” he said. “I’ve never had that response to music before. You just don’t get that much here.”

On week days, he took The Eurorail and traveled to several other countries including Italy, France and Spain. “My girlfriend bought a ticket, and I took her to London and Paris.” he said. “We went to a little wine vineyard in France. There was a big wine festival, and we got to see Neil Young play.” Italy and Spain were two of his favorite destinations. “Florence was the prettiest place I went,” he said. “I liked Spain, too. My original idea was to go to Spain and learn Flamenco guitar but it was too expensive to get a student visa to Barcelona and Madrid.”

Living in Europe took awhile to get used to.

“It was great having 40 drunk people in Holland singing all the songs. I’ve never had that response to music before…Jakob Singer, Cody singer”

“It’s so much more expensive over there,” he said. “The food is so much different, and it took awhile to adapt to that.”

He also had trouble with the language barrier. While most people in Holland spoke at least limited English, he found Spain and Italy much harder to navigate. After three months in Haarlem, money was low so he went to Scotland to stay with a friend he’d met in New York. “He was managing a bar and offered me a job bartending.” Singer said. “I stayed with him in his apartment above the bar.”

“I made lots of good friends and had a great time,” he said. Singer remained through September before returning to Cody. His dad Daren Singer had purchased Edelweiss while he was gone so he’s been helping with the remodel. He’s also back playing with old friend John Erwin in Big Juan and the Weed Wackers. Jake Scott and Justin Armacost make up the rest of the band. “John Erwin and I have played together a long time,” he said. “It’s Willie Nelson-like country, both acoustic and electric.”

The group will be playing at Cassie’s and the Silver Dollar every week during the summer. They also have gigs scheduled around Wyoming and at Edelweiss near Clark. Singer will release his second CD by the end of May. “Down on Rose Street” features songs written during his Europe trip. The disc will be for sale at their shows.

He plans to move to California in September to try to get a job at a recording studio. For more on Singer visit www.myspace.com/jakobsinger.