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September
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Jason Blaine
Biography

  • At the end of the day, when the stage lights come down and I get off the plane or the tour bus and I come home, I’m just a husband and a father. -- jason blaine

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
PLEASE CONTACT:

Eric Alper, Director of Media Relations

Licensing and Distribution
eOne Music Canada
99 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 314
Toronto, On M6K3J8
P: (416)913-0998 ext 240
C: (647)280-3345

W: www.eonemusic.ca
E: ealper@entonegroup.com
T: www.twitter.com/ThatEricAlper
FB: www.facebook.com/Eric.Alper
Personal: www.thatericalper.com
Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/thatericalper

Fun, family, friends and faith.

They’re the cornerstones of life for Jason Blaine. So no wonder they inspired the title — and the music — of his fifth album Everything I Love, out July 9 on eOne Music Canada.

“I just wanted to share all the sides of my personality,” explains the 33 year old singer songwriter, husband and father from Pembroke, Ont. “I like to cut up with friends and play a little too loud. My family’s really important to me. And in recent years, I’ve had a kind of spiritual awakening. Entering my 30s, I finally found balance in my life and got my priorities right. I learned you can have a little bit of fun on Saturday night and be at church on Sunday morning. That's really where I’m at. In fact, I toyed with the idea of calling the record Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. But really, there’s much more Saturday night than there is Sunday morning on the album.”

He ain’t whistling Dixie. Fun comes first and foremost on the upbeat and celebratory Everything I Love, as anyone who’s heard the leadoff single Rock It Country Girl knows. Driven by a lightly funky hick hop groove, laced with a twangy guitar lick and a plucky banjo hook, and topped with cheeky lyrics like “All that caboose on your choo choo train ’bout knocked me off my tractor,” the song — co written with frequent collaborator Derek Ruttan and Nashville ace Jim Beavers — sets the tone and tempo for the 12 song disc. Make no mistake; from the southern friend country honk of Get a Little Wrong Tonight to the afternoon‐delight ode Way Too Pretty and the twangy shuffle Friends of Mine, this is an album that knows how to crank the guitar and kick up its heels.

But in keeping with Blaine’s balanced approach, it also knows when to set both feet firmly on the ground, with songs that celebrate simple joys, universal truths and down to earth values. “At the end of the day, when the stage lights come down and I get off the plane or the tour bus and I come home, I’m just a husband and a father,” says Blaine, who lives in Nashville with his wife and three children. “And I can never make a record without a song for the people I love most in my life: My wife and kids. You'll find that in songs like Always You.” And you’ll find the Sunday morning element in Tears on a Bible, an episodic ballad of faith during strife that closes the disc on a moving, tender note.

Of course, that brand of personal, no bull honesty is nothing new for Blaine. It’s been his stock in trade since his first single in 2003: The tellingly titled That’s What I Do. His independent full length debut, While We Were Waiting, came out in 2005 and included the Top 25 singles Heartache Like Mine, While We Were Waiting and What I Can’t Forget. The follow up Make My Move arrived in 2008 on Koch (now eOne) and hit the Top 5 on the Canadian country chart thanks to singles like the Top 10 Rock in my Boot and Top 5 Flirtin’ With Me. On 2010’s Sweet Sundown, he dug deeper, thanking overseas peacekeepers on Heroes. And on 2011’s Life So Far, he pushed himself even harder with heartfelt songs like You Can, Til’ the Sun Burns Out and They Don’t Make Em’ Like That Anymore, a tribute to his grandfather. That song helped turn 2012 into a banner year for Blaine, who earned CCMA nominations for Male Artist, Single of the Year, Songwriter, & Producer. Life So Far turned out three Top 10 singles, including On a Night Like This, Cool and They Don’t Make ’Em Like That Anymore, who won Single of the Year at the Canadian Country Music Awards, and whose video hit No. 1 on CMT Canada.

Ultimately, the success of They Don’t Make ’Em Like That Anymore and the introspective stocktaking of Life So Far set the stage for the fun filled Everything I Love.

“That album was really a time of reflection for me. I covered all the personal topics I wanted to cover—there was a song for my wife, a song for my children, the song for my grandfather. I poured my heart into that, and was so overwhelmed at the way it was received. So after that I got to thinking, ‘Where do I go from here?’ I really just wanted to hand it back to the fans and make an album that I, as a country fan, would want to hear. That's why the overall tone of this album is entertaining. I literally made a list of themes I wanted to cover. I wanted to write as many up tempo, crowd friendly songs as I could. I wanted to have a lot of singles. I wanted to breathe new life into my set list. I wanted songs that people could sing along to. I wanted something that would surprise people—something they might not expect to hear from me if they only know me for They Don’t Make ’Em Like That Anymore.” To achieve that, he enlisted the services of some of Nashville’s top musicians, along with producer/engineer Scott Cooke, whose resume includes everyone from Nickelback to Jake Owen and Florida Georgia Line. “I lean a little bit more country and he leans a little bit more rock ’n’ roll,” explains Blaine, “so he really brought an edge to this record — an excitement in the music that worked well and that I was definitely looking for. I wanted to make a record that was competitive and relevant for where country is at as a genre right now, and that would stand up and hold its own with stuff that’s really happening on the radio now. So the guitars are beefed up with a bit more crunch and energy. But I still love the sounds of traditional country — steel guitar and banjo and mandolin. Those tones and colours are what make it country for me. So it’s got both those elements.”

And if the raucous energy that drives Everything I Love might surprise some who only know Blaine from They Don’t Make ’Em Like That Anymore, that’s just the way he likes it.

“I felt last year like some people might have come out solely to see me perform that song and seen a different show than they expected. Don’t get me wrong; that song is completely special to me. It’s a career song. But it’s just three minutes and 40 seconds long. And it’s just one part of me. I also like to play my electric guitar loud. I feel like I come alive on stage when our band is really connecting and I’ve got my guitar in my hand and take a solo. That sets my soul on fire. And this album most closely reflects my live show, more than any other album.”

But more than that, it reflects his growth, maturity and confidence as a singer, songwriter, performer and person after 17 years in music — more than half his life.

“That’s been dawning on me lately,” says Blaine, who picked up a guitar at age 8, joined his father’s hobby band at 16 and has a business degree from Ottawa’s Algonquin College. “I’m getting to where I feel qualified to be doing what I’m doing. A lot of things about it are starting to make sense, and things that were harder before are coming much more naturally and easier. I’ve toured enough and been around enough to know that there is no pleasing everybody all the time. And I’m OK with that.

“But I think that this album represents me well. I think that it’s the closest I’ve come to capturing who I am and where I’m at. I think I constantly improve with every album, just from playing shows and getting better at singing and delivering vocals and expressing what I want to express. But often, within six months after you record a record, you think: ‘I would do this or that differently.’ Not this time; I wouldn't change a thing. I know it’s cliche to say, ‘This is my best album.’ But from top to bottom, from track 1 to track 11, this is a really solid album.”

Everything I Love: Track by Track

Track 1
Feels Like That — “This is one of those songs that’s like driving down the highway and feeling as good as it gets. At least for me. It started with that intro guitar strum and the groove. And that's just how the title came out. I carry a list — I’m constantly making a list of topical song ideas. And then hopefully when you find a groove, you'll have something that matches that groove. That song just feels like love. I think it opens the record well. It says, ‘This is, for the most part, what this record is going to feel like.’ ”

Track 2
Rock It Country Girl — “It’s the first single, but it wasn't originally the first single. I hesitated because I didn't want people who haven't heard me before to think I’m all about this one particular song. But I have to credit my co‐writer Derek Ruttan for figuratively giving me a kick in the pants and saying, ‘Nobody can fault you for having some fun.’ And then I thought, if I’m going to have fun, I’m going to exaggerate it and push the line a little bit and not over think it. I have a tendency to do that. So this time, I just went, ‘This feels good and feels fun.’ And now I love it. But I need to get some choreography happening!”

Track 3
Laying Your Love on Me — “I like this song because it tells a sexy little love story. I think that if you have a beating heart, you can relate to this song. I hope there will be a lot of country music fans living this song this summer — it might not be in a tractor under the moon; it might be a pickup truck or a blanket in the field somewhere. But I think a lot of people are going to relate to this song.”

Track 4
Good Old Nights — “I approached this song wanting to write an anthem for the memories of good times. Between my co‐writers and I, we pulled some personal memories from our youth and how we spent summers. My first job really was baling hay for the farmer across the road in square bales. And getting the satisfaction of working in the sun all day long when you’re 17, for just enough money to go buy a six‐pack — which is illegal.”

Track 5
Always You — “That one happened fast and kind of fell out of the sky. I wanted there to be no misunderstanding — just direct lyrics, very simple and to the point. It’s one of the more personal songs on the record. It’s directly to my wife and kids. But I wrote it in such a way so that somebody can request this song and send it out to the person that is most important to them — whether it be their child or the one they love. That's my hope.”

Track 6
Friends of Mine — “I’ve never recorded one of those shuffle grooves before. That was definitely a goal on this record. I wanted to have that feel. It’s a great feel for a live show. In fact, we’ll be opening the show with Friends of Mine all year. It’s a great opener — an invitation to have some fun with us. And I’m so thrilled that my friends Gord Bamford, Derek Ruttan, Chad Brownlee and Jason McCoy were into doing it. The song is so much better for it. Otherwise, I would have had to call it No Friends.”

Track 7
Way Too Pretty — “It’s kind of my Easy Like Sunday Morning. It’s got that kind of feel. It’s like sleeping in on a Saturday morning and escaping the world a little bit. It was a line one of my co‐writers brought in: ‘It’s way too pretty in here to go outside.’ I love that and I’m lucky to have it on my album.”

Track 8
We Got it Made — “Thematically, this song really represents a sense of contentment. I come from a small town, and I’ve lived it. You don't have to jet off to Paris for dinner or head down to the Caribbean every winter to get the most out of life. You just need a little piece of heaven. That song is a reminder of that to myself, and hopefully when other people hear the song, they'll feel good about what they have too.”

Track 9
Get a Little Wrong Tonight — “I wanted to write an intro guitar riff inspired by the great riffs like CCR’s Down on the Corner, something where it's just so hooky and so melodic. There’s a bit of Joe Walsh in it too. It’s just a totally great song to play in front of a crowd. And the lyrics are very simple in the chorus and easy to catch. Those songs are tricky to come up with — to get all the components right so you don't have to hear the song 50 times before you can sing along. Hopefully people will be singing along by the second chorus, even if they've never heard it before.”

Track 10
Home Sweet Home — “I had never written a song about my home town before. We go back home to visit all the time. It's very important to me to stay connected with friends, and I want our kids to know their grandparents. Of course, in my late teens, I couldn’t wait to get out of my little town and get to Tennessee as fast as I could. And now I’m surprised how much I look forward to going back. I think a lot of people can relate to that — whether you go off to college or move away for a job, there's something about where you're from that connects you.”

Track 11
Tears on a Bible — “That got added to the album at the 11th hour. I actually had the song for a long time. It was a late‐night song I wrote for myself. But I didn’t know whether I felt brave enough to humbly share this side of my heart. But at the end of the day, I wanted to put it on the album because every one of us is looking for answers and has spiritual questions. I certainly do. It’s something I care about. And I would be withholding if I didn't put it on there. And anyway, it’s my album!”

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
PLEASE CONTACT:

Eric Alper, Director of Media Relations

Licensing and Distribution
eOne Music Canada
99 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 314
Toronto, On M6K3J8
P: (416)913-0998 ext 240
C: (647)280-3345

W: www.eonemusic.ca
E: ealper@entonegroup.com
T: www.twitter.com/ThatEricAlper
FB: www.facebook.com/Eric.Alper
Personal: www.thatericalper.com
Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/thatericalper