A Nashville bartender belted out a stellar impromptu version of decades-old country music ballad “Tennessee Whiskey” for patrons of his bar; and he’s now going viral on Tik Tok for the effort. Big Machine Distillery bartender Jake Puliti, known as gingerspicelatte on the social media app, may have just caught his big break thanks to a few bars of the George Jones and Chris Stapleton classic.
In the video, another singer behind the bar hands the microphone off to Puliti, who doesn’t exactly look the part of crooner in his oversized black bar shirt and hat. But once the music starts and he begins singing the smooth country classic, the entire room takes notice. The original singer even laughs a bit as he knows Puliti is about to bring the house down.
@gingerspicelatte That’s me and @Cian Pedersen #fyp #toodrunktodrive #chrisstapleto@chrisstapleton ♬ original sound – gingerspicelatte
By the end of the one-minute clip, both singers are hugging behind the bar and the modest crowd is going crazy for the performance. It just goes to show, throw a rock in downtown Nashville and you’ll probably hit a talented, up-and-coming musician looking for a break.
Seven years before the Nashville bartender covered “Tennessee Whiskey,” Stapleton, himself, covered the timeless standard for his album, Traveller
A few months before the 2015 CMA Awards (a night where he would win three trophies and become the new king of country), Stapleton released his solo debut album, Traveller, after many years of playing in set pieces.
Stapleton conceived the album in 2013 while on a road trip with his wife, Morgane, following the death of his father. Chris and Morgane flew to Phoenix, where she bought him a present: a 1979 Jeep Cherokee Chief S; which they drove back to Nashville.
“I wrote the album’s first song and title track, ‘Traveller,’ while I was driving back,” Stapleton told Outsider’s Jim Casey during an interview in 2015. “My wife was asleep. And it was either sunset or sunrise, going 60 down Highway 40 somewhere in Arizona or New Mexico. I just started singing and trying to record it softly so she wouldn’t wake up. The lyrics came beginning to end as I watched the sun over the mountains.”
While Stapleton wrote most of the now-classic album himself, arguably its biggest hit, “Tennessee Whiskey,” originates from a bygone era of country music. Dean Dillon and Linda Hargrove wrote the classic in 1981 for David Allen Coe; but the song eventually reached Number 2 on the Hot Country Charts in 1983 with George Jones at the helm. But Stapleton’s soulful interpretation of the classic brought new meaning to classic country in the modern era.
“That song still stands the test of time,” said Chris in 2015. “I like to dissect the magic of what makes something timeless. The goal of every artist should be to make something timeless. I’m always looking for that. How great would it be to have one timeless hit like ‘Tennessee Whiskey’. It’s a great song worth listening to, still to this day. If you can just write one of those, that’s it.”