Sunday, 21 October, 2007 12:10 PM
CMA New Artist Spotlight: Jason
BY MELINDA NORRIS
recording artist Jason Meadows
2007 CMA Close Up News Service
America got to know Jason
Meadows as the young man with the chiseled good looks, self-deprecating
charm and rugged but tuneful voice who made it all the way to second
place in the third season of "Nashville Star." But though
he looked and sounded right at home on a sleek stage set, bathed
in a high-tech halo of spotlights, part of his charm was that sense
that there was someplace else closer to his heart.
That place is Oklahoma,
where living close to the land nurtured his twin interests in music
and rodeos from the moment he was old enough to sing and ride. Meadows
developed quickly in both areas, sharpening his skills as a calf
roper with the Oklahoma Youth Rodeo Association while soaking up
every note his cousin and grandfather would play on guitar, fiddle
By age 16, Meadows had
developed his own vocal sound, based on Hank Williams Sr. and Jr.,
Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Conway Twitty and other influences but
shaped through his own emerging gifts as a songwriter. His reputation
grew to the point that Reba McEntire, on the basis of recommendations
from trusted friends, brought him to Nashville, where he scuffled
on construction jobs to pay for the time it took before Nick Pellegrino
agreed to produce his demos.
Those recordings won
Meadows his shot on USA Network's "Nashville Star," which
in turn opened the door to his album debut, 100% Cowboy, on Baccerstick
Records. If that title doesn't say all you need to know, then the
title track will, from the opening guitar, slithering like a rattler
in the dust, to the pride behind the lyrics he wrote: "I'm
not one of them posing pretty boys." And you'd better believe
IN HIS OWN WORDS:
Who is your musical
"Chris LeDoux is
someone who shines in my eyes as a musical hero. He stayed true
to who he was. No one ever influenced him to the point of compromising
the fiber of the man that he was. He was high energy and he put
on one heck of a show. He played his own music with a fury and a
fervor that you can't teach someone. It's either in your determination
and grit or it isn't. That's exactly what I like to do. I just want
to do a great show and have a great time right along with everyone
in the crowd. Even Garth Brooks learned from Chris LeDoux."
Which song would
you like to cover?
"We've been doing
a song in my live show and we changed the words a little and turned
it into 'Play That Country Music Cowboy,' a Country Music version
of the funk song 'Play That Funky Music.' People just absolutely
eat it up. I don't know whether it will ever appear on one of my
albums or not, but it's a fun thing in a live performance setting
and the audience goes nuts."
What CD is on your
"I don't really
have a lot of CDs, but there's one in my truck by a guy named Randy
Archer. Boy, do I love it. It is so Country. It has that old Country
feel to it like the old Conway [Twitty] stuff . the Buck Owens-type
REAL Country Music."
What book is on your
"I have two. I have
the Holy Bible and a book by Joel Olstien titled Life's Changes.
It's a series of totally positive, motivational stories that basically
coach you in positive thinking. If you think positive thoughts and
believe, then positive things will happen. Negative thoughts can
have the opposite result."
What do you sing
in the shower?
"If I sing in the
shower, it's probably whatever was the last song I heard on the
radio before stepping into the shower. Songs have a way of sticking
in my head like that."
What is your pet
me one thing and then going and doing another. That just aggravates
the tar out of me. I try to stay true to being a man of my word
and I hold everyone around me to that same standard. If I tell you
I'm going to do something, then that's what I'm gonna do."
What actor would
portray you in a biopic about your life?
"Whoooo, that's a tough one. I'd have to select Kevin Costner,
not only as an actor, but as a person. He knows and understands
the 'cowboy way.' He appreciates cowboy tradition, he truly loves
music and he incorporates both into his everyday life. Someday I
would love for him to direct one of my videos."
What moment in your
life would you relive if you could?
"The night that
I met the love of my life is a moment in my life I would relive
if I could. That was such an interesting night because we had never
seen each other before in our lives. We met in a honky tonk and
we both instantly felt the same way about each other. I pulled out
all of my best lines . something like 'I think your daddy was a
thief 'cause somebody stole the stars and put them in your eyes.'
She fell right for it, man. I think of that night often."
What song do you
wish you had written?
"Wow. The first song that comes to my mind is probably 'The
Dance.' Lyrically, it's one of the strongest songs I've heard and
it has made an impact on so many people. That was really a once-in-a-lifetime
chance to write a song like that and impact as many lives as that
one has. It stands alone and speaks for itself. I hope my music
affects people's lives one day in that same sort of positive way."
What word or phrase
do you find yourself saying over and over again?
"Well, there are several that rank about equal to each other:
'You know?' and 'Yeah Boy' and 'Ahhh-ight Then.' I really have to
watch myself. We just grow up saying things and they're effective
at the moment and we use them whether they're grammatically correct
or not. Sometimes they're just fun, and they work at the time."
Do you have a lucky
"I used to. It was
my Skoal can. I used to carry it in my right rear pocket of my Wranglers.
If I wanted something to happen in a lucky way, I would put it up
in my front left shirt pocket. That's where I'd carry it during
roping competitions, for example."
Who is your dream
"Dolly Parton is definitely my dream duet partner. I've always
been a huge fan of her singing and I've always wanted a chance to
sing a song with her. She just has the sweetest voice. I've actually
held back a song for her to sing with me. I have it tucked away
and I'm saving it for Dolly and me."
If you wrote an autobiography,
what would the title be?
"My Life: Country as a Dirt Clod."
When they look back
on your life in 50 years, what do you hope people say about you?
I hope people say that
I've had a good career with my music and that I've changed people's
lives and inspired people to do good things. I want to be that George
Strait 50 years from now. Now that's a career! We all long for the
day we have 51 hits under our belt, but those are some mighty big
boots to fill. I'd be grateful if I accomplish half of that . of
course, I wouldn't turn down the other half."
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