All over the internets you can find those that are unhappy with the Country music you hear coming out of the radio. Although there is some debate how large the group is, there is no doubt they are vocal. Just hang around SavingCountryMusic.com for any length of time if you don’t believe me. If you fall into this group, AM Country Heaven is a must have for your collection.
Instead of straddling the fence, as many country artists do, and putting out an album with a classic country “feel”, Jason has gone head first into recreating classic country. There is no updating the sound here. From the start you are transported back to the 70s.
The CD opens with the title track, which can only be described as the ultimate song for the country disenfranchised. Inspired by a line from a guy after a show in Luckenbach, TX, who said, “Welcome to Hill Country, home of AM country heaven and FM country hell,” it laments the death of traditional country and condemns the rise of pop country.
After venting his frustration, Jason moves on for the rest of the album to more typical traditional country topics: hard times, hard drinkin’, and hard love. “Old Guitar” sounds like it could have come from any Waylon album. “Longer Walk in the Rain” could easily fit into Keith Whitley’s catalog. And on “Paid My Dues”, when Jason sings, “Maybe it’s the cocaine, maybe it’s the pills, maybe it’s the habits, maybe it’s the bills,” it doesn’t take a large leap to imagine Hank Sr. singing that same line. One of the highlights of the CD is an outstanding duet with Patty Loveless, “Man on a Mountain”. Jason’s breathy twang flows easily with Patty’s iconic vocals, which are as strong as ever.
It’s clear from listening to this CD Jason’s love for old country runs deep. To be able write songs so uniquely true to the history of country music, Jason must know that history inside and out. And for those who deeply love that history, it is a relief to know that there are young musicians who love that history as well. There is hope that it won’t fade away.