“Bring me the stone, to carve my emotions, I can’t be stranded, time after time. Maybe I might just write you a letter, tell you I was too proud to shout it out loud!” [Letter Lyrics]
Jason Callear is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from the UK, offering a gritty, eclectic fusion of new Americana music in a retro style. As a solo recording artist working with Inspire Music, he delivers soulful tracks that evoke feelings of nostalgia. With a raw and emotive style that connects with the listeners on a deeper level, Jason’s music is a perfect blend of various influences and styles of the past and present that showcases the evolution of music over the decades.
He’s been in the business for over a decade now, and following the rebranding of his artistry and the re-release of his track “Brother,” Jason has grabbed the attention of the country music scene with his follow-up single “Fortunate Sons,” which debuted at #1 in the UK Country iTunes Chart.
2023 brings the release of his third single, “Letter” which was chosen by his fanbase on social media! It was released on January 31st.
Following in the footsteps of our magazine DNA’s mission to support singer-songwriters, we were delighted to have the opportunity to speak with Jason about the new single and his plans for 2023.
We began with a nod toward Jason’s background in music, he was originally a drummer.
Jason- That’s right. But going back to the start, I did learn guitar back in the 70’s and I still keep in touch with my original teacher! But from the age of 6, I was interested in recording music and assembling my own tunes; it has always been a bit of an obsession. Studios are not cheap, and back in the day I couldn’t afford one, certainly not in my teens! So I settled on the drums, and I joined a few rock bands. But only in the last decade have I been recording as a solo-songwriter. But I would write everything acoustically, and I like the dynamics. I used to love those unplugged sessions you would get on MTV, no-matter what, they were all on a level playing field. I’d love how you hear the sound of the song rather than the heavy guitar. I loved that sound and stuck with it. I considered myself a fusion artist, I’m Americana I think. It’s a mixture of rock n’ blues, and folk. Anyway, I feel there is no such thing as a pure genre, there is always a fusion that comes together at various points. The advice I got was: “don’t consider yourself a rock n’ blues artist because that narrows the audience.’ So I took advice, and there we are.
It is great to get into music early, experimenting with different instruments and finding the one you are happiest with.
Jason- I have a bit of a home studio now, which is great for assembling demos and bits of vocals and guitar, but I can’t really set the drums up, and you need a lot of microphones and equipment to do that. I tend to assemble the basics and then head off to a local music studio where everything is set up. Mind, in the digital world now you load a few things up to a drive and everyone can access it, it saves time when you can send things around.
Jason shares his love of Queen with us here at the magazine. Queen were one of those bands that you never quite knew what you were getting in an album, they were so diverse, and had the musical chops to deliver.
Jason- It goes back to the start of our conversation, I love that stuff, and I was obsessed with their music in younger days. They have such a mix of styles, and I like that. They were also great musicians. That is why I got stuck between guitar and drums, as I love Brian May and the drum sound of Roger Taylor too. In early pictures of me, I hope I look like Roger! You can also hide a bit behind the drum kit, just do your thing behind the kit, and lose yourself in the kit.
Jason is a narrative storyteller through his music. There is this wonderful video for the song “Brother.” It has this great tale and a guitar sound to die for. We have placed the YouTube for this one at the end of the feature, and it shows what Jason is doing today really well.
Jason- I came up with the riff for that one when I was in a guitar exhibition at Haydock park. I was messing around with a bit of down tuning, and I started to fiddle with the riff and knew I had to do something with it. I settled on the Civil War as a subject and really just read into it and came across this tale of two guys who had fought together in a previous conflict but then ended up on opposite sides in the Civil War. So these great friends are fighting on opposing sides. Legend says he found his injured mate and carried him off to safety even though he was the enemy, so humanity overcame conflict. I was able to find some old stock footage, which I used for the video, and the whole thing just fitted together so well. The tune itself didn’t have a traditional structure, it didn’t have the chorus-bridge structure. I didn’t really think people would love it, but Rachel (from Scarlet Rivers) said that it would be a good one to put out. “Brother” is a contrasting song; it came from an album released in 2016 called “Contrast.” That album didn’t sell as well as I wanted it to, but there are some good songs on it, “Brother” being one of them.
There seems to be a renewed energy for Jason at the moment, a lot of things in the pot for 2023?
Jason- I turned 50 last year, and I decided I would go on more of a sprint and see what I could do. I have a team now for PR, social media, and so on. I have a great guy for the videos. I used to teach a couple of lads music, so I usually start with them and their extensive connections for musicians. Of course, I’d love a regular team of musicians for shows to present songs in the best possible way. I take the trouble to record in layers with the harmonies, etc., and I want the songs to sound their best live as well. Some songs you can do with just you and a guitar, but some you don’t want to do that way.
Jason has been looking at possible festival appearances for 2023, and he has been making a few waves in the country charts.
Jason- Yes, and that came from advice. I think the UK country scene is very broad, it moves from country pop toward the rock side. We put out “Fortunate Sons,” the first song from the new album, which has taken six years to evolve, and that did really well. It actually peaked at number one in iTunes country sales.
The last point in this feature has to be the news of the new single, “Letter,” that was released on January 31st.
Jason- “Letter” is the second single from the new album. The new album will be called “Train Rolls On,” and when I approached the PR company, I was wanting to move straight to the album, but the advice was for the singles to be released first as a taster. We ended up remixing this piece, giving it a polish, and it sounds great. I have some other new songs brewing, and I may include the new songs on the album. I’m looking at four releases this year: “Letter,” then the album in October, with two other singles on the way too. I’ve spent over ten years releasing original material into the digital space, so it’s all been positive. I probably have enough material for another album after that, so it’s just a matter of when things come out.
By Benny (the Ball) Benson
Mark C. Chambers
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