Tony Jackson: The Story Behind the Voice

Is it premature to see Hall of Fame material in a guy who’s just releasing his first album?  Not if that guy is Tony Jackson. To put it plainly, Jackson is the most talked singer in Nashville today and one of the most gifted singers ever to grace country music.

 

Rolling Stone magazine cited Tony Jackson’s latest single, “County Road,” naming it among the 10 Best Country and Americana Songs to Hear Now stating — “fiddle, harmonica, pedal steel guitar fill this less-known James Taylor salute to the rolling ribbons of backwoods blacktop, but it’s Tony Jackson’s voice – which could easily pass for Taylor’s classic croon—that packs the biggest punch.”

 

Since his highly praised May 2017 debut album release, Tony Jackson, the affable singer has already been invited to perform on the Grand Ole Opry (multiple times) and CMA Fest, and has appeared on several important national TV shows.

 

            His initial videos from the album have excited over 62 Million Facebook views and 1.1 Million shares seemingly overnight while Jackson tours tirelessly in support of his debut album and material from his new album.

           The respect Jackson has already earned within the music community is evident throughout Tony Jackson, as the new album is titled.  It features songs and/or performances by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members John Sebastian, Steve Cropper and Dr. John “Mac” Rebennack, Country Music Hall of Famers Vince Gill, Bill Anderson and Conway Twitty and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame luminary Norro Wilson. The top session players in the business played on the record including: Vince Gill, John Sebastian, Bill Payne (Little Feat/The Doobie Brothers), Glen Worf, George Marinelli (Bonnie Raitt), Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson), Joe Spivey (the Time Jumpers), Billy Thomas (Vince Gill), Paul Franklin (Vince Gill/the Time Jumpers), Garry Tallent (Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band) and Kate Markowitz and Arnold McCuller (James Taylor).

            But it is ease with which Jackson makes every song—even the familiar ones—distinctly his own that sets him apart.  Who else would dare to try and then succeed in bringing a fresh layer of emotional urgency to such a classic as George Jones’ “The Grand Tour” or Conway Twitty’s eternal “It’s Only Make Believe?”

            On the first-time and lesser known songs, Jackson mints his own classics.  With its sweeping steel guitar flourishes and ambient barroom clatter, he transforms John Sebastian and Phil Galdston’s “Last Call” into the sweetest, most affectionate separation ballad imaginable.  With reverence and a twinkle in his eye, he enlists Sebastian and Vince Gill in revivifying (after 50 years) the Lovin’ Spoonful’s 1966 romp, “Nashville Cats.”  “When asked if we should recut the song,” Sebastian begins, “I said absolutely but we have to get Vince Gill, Paul Franklin and today’s real Nashville Cats in on the session and fortunately that session was preserved on video,” he beams.

            After capturing perfectly, the excitement of new love in Bill Anderson’s “I Didn’t Wake Up This Morning,” he moves on to a memory-stirring homage to Merle Haggard, Hank Williams Jr. and Willie Nelson in “They Lived It Up,” a lyrical scrapbook from Anderson and Bobby Tomberlin.

            Jackson shines as a keen-eyed songwriter in his own right with such memorable excursions as “Drink By Drink,” “Old Porch Swing” and “She’s Taking Me Home.”

            From start to finish, Tony Jackson stands out as a “discovery” album, the kind you listen to with such delight that you have to recommend it to friends.  And Millions have done just that.

             Jackson is almost certainly the only major bank executive ever to abandon a prominent IT job in finance at a Fortune 500 company to embark on a career in country music.  But he didn’t grow up a country fan.  . . 

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