Want to go?
• Old Dominion Barn Dance
• The Beacon Theater, Hopewell VA
• Date: Saturday November 9, 2019
• 2 Shows: Doors open 1:15 PM and 6:45PM
• For tickets check the website:
• (804) 446-3457 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Millie Voliva-Wiggs
Even if you’re a new country fan, into the new country stuff, it won’t take long before you will find yourself wandering into the world of classic country. To know the future of music, its important to know the history — country’s past is pretty amazing.
When you meet an artist that is the result of two worlds colliding — it’s pretty special. It's no secret that some of the earliest and most talented country artists started in Virginia. After all, Virginia is the bedrock of country past.
Thanks to Tony Jackson it will continue into the future of country.
The son of a Navy man, he grew up living base-to-base — he even spent three years in Rota, Spain.
“When I was living in Spain (I was 10 to 13 years old), Randy Travis came over there on a USO tour,” Jackson tells us. “Some friends and I were out there early when they were setting up the stage, and we actually got to talk to him before we realized he was the
guy who’d be performing later. He was really
cool to us.”
Though he didn't grow up a country fan, Spain gave
him his first true intro into country music.
Two weeks after graduating from high school, Jackson joined the Marines. Fortunately the Marine Corps had just started a computer science school in Quantico, VA and he qualified for the school.
It was during his time in the Marines that he first started paying serious attention to country music.
“When my friends and I played music for each other, we were all homesick,” he says. “So when you’d listen to these country songs that talked about family and home and heartbreak, it would really grab you.”
When Jackson finished his military service he went to work in the Information Technology division of a Richmond VA bank. His military training and ability to learn fast got him promoted fast.
“I was a senior vice president by my early 30’s,” he reveals.
While he learned to appreciate the stories of country music — performing full time hadn’t really entered his mind.
All that changed about ten years ago when a friend whose band had lost its lead singer asked Jackson to try out for the spot.
“I did,” he says, “and I was hooked after that.”
Now his talent has taken him to the bank — one could say.
When an artist is a combination of classic country meets new country it produces a buzz among a slew of fans young and old alike.
Such is the case with Tony Jackson.
He’s a traditional country singer that is fresh and knows when to add his own spin and when to stay true to the original. The ability to take this knowledge and use it the way he has in his music makes Tony Jackson a force to be reckoned with.
In just the last couple of years, Jackson garnered over 45 million views, and one million shares on Facebook, and over 570,000 Spotify streams — leading the artist to be named as a “new artists to watch” and some of his songs as “song to watch” from several media outlets.
And the numbers are growing.
While his music includes country favorites like fiddle, harmonica and pedal steel guitar, truly his voice is the prevalent instrument here. He’s a classic crooner that can take you places when he sings.
I was first introduced to him via YouTube singing “The Grand Tour” by way of my younger sister. His mesmerizing baritone has already stolen the hearts of both her and my 74 year-old Aunt — and they haven’t seen him live yet.
Most fan reviews professed their love after hearing his rendition of the George Jones classic but admit now they are “hooked” on anything he has to offer. Some say they sought him out on YouTube (he has over 2.25 million views and 14,000 subscribers) after seeing him on a RFD-TV promo.
Regardless how they heard about him — the fact is fans are hungry for more Tony Jackson.
The song was included on his self-titled debut and while it has the classics, it also offers different singing styles — including “Old Porch Swing” and “Drink by Drink” both co-written by Jackson. And his version of “Nashville Cats” is ‘must have’ on any playlist.
Even Rolling Stone is singing his praises.
In April they named him as one of the “10 Best Country and Americana Songs to Hear Now” for his newest single “Country Road,” slated to be included on his upcoming album due out next year.
The magazine cited his 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.”
And the buzz continues.
In August, a Nashville marketing research company released a popup report via Callout America called “5 Indie Songs You Should Be Considering.” His current single "Country Road” is listed as number two on the list.
The song is dynamic and is the first single from his upcoming project and features a cast of A-list recording musicians including: John Sebastian (Rock & Roll Hall of Fame/The Lovin’ Spoonful), Garry Tallent (Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band), George Marinelli (Bonnie Raitt’s bandleader) and members of Vince Gill and the Time Jumpers.
The “Made in Virginia” singer is the buzz of Nashville.
Jackson rocks-up and belts-out the James Taylor classic with the same fire and gusto that brought the crowd of 4,000 to their feet at his Grand Ole Opry debut in February.
One recent reviewer claimed, “His voice is as smooth as Virginia Whiskey, warm as a glass of brandy and takes me to a soothing and relaxing place.”
We think that’s pretty accurate, as did the audience earlier this year when he preformed at the Old Dominion Barn Dance to another standing ovation.
As he looked out at that crowed he recognized and was grateful for the opportunity to do what he loves for a living.
“I have appreciation for the audience, the band, and it was an honor to be able to perform and share it with the people,” he tells Country Star.
Back by demand of Old Dominion Barn Dance fans, Jackson will return to the theater on November 9 along with Opry legend “Whispering” Bill Anderson.
The singer has performed in 46 of the 50 states and his mission is to extend to all 50 states including Colorado (his aim is for the Colorado Red Rocks Amphitheater which in itself is an historic masterpiece that holds a capacity close to 10,000), Wyoming, Vermont, New Hampshire and he wants to take his show overseas.
Along the way, his vision for 2020 is clear, “I want to continue to expand my growing fan base and take the music to them, wherever they are!”
After that his only dream is to take that next level of his musical journey far into the future.
“Interestingly enough, I only hope to be able to say that I am still enjoying the privilege to play music for a living!”
His fans hope so too.
… and the beat goes on.
L to R — Vince Gill, Tony Jackson, John Sebastian and producers Donna Meade, Jim Della Croce in the studio during the recording of Country Roads at Nashville RCA Recording Studios.
Tony Jackson debuts at The Grand Ol' Opry in Nashville.