Hidden Beats

Spotlight – Jason Blaine

Today’s Spotlight – Jason Blaine. We caught up with Jason to talk about some music during this Covid life we are living in. Jason talks about his charity and his journey in music. Take a read and see what he has to say now!


Spotlight - Jason Blaine

You have been playing guitar and music since you were 8 years old with your dad and older brother, what made you fall in love with music?

Growing up, music filled our house. My mother turned on the local country radio station first thing every morning and my father was always pickin’ on the guitar. As a kid, I also got to go see my fathers or my uncles’ band playing somewhere and so the seeds were planted early for me.

When did you have the moment of realization that music is not only what you want to do for the rest of your life, but what you could do?

Garth Brooks was my first concert. I was 13 years old and I had already learned all of his songs. There was a moment I’ll never forget, watching him alone in the spotlight with his acoustic guitar as he stopped singing and let the fans take over singing, when I thought, that’s what I want to do with my life. The moment I realized that I could actually do it for a living was the first big royalty check I received from SOCAN, I think it was for about $10,000. It was both encouraging and validating.

You broke out onto the scene with “That’s What I Do” back in 2003, when you were only 23. Can you tell us looking back on almost 2 decades of music how you think you’ve grown as a musician?

Oh, I think I’ve grown on just about every level one can grow. I’m a much better writer, singer and guitar player today at 40 than I was back when I first got going. But the biggest thing you have going in those early days is a blind fearlessness and restless youth on your side.

You released the single “Drink too much” back towards the beginning of the year. Why the decision to start the year with that song?

I wanted to kick this year off with something light and fun, something to add to our live show for summer touring. I think it’ll still be a fun song to play live one day. The crazy thing is, we never even got to play it live one time in 2020.

That was of course just a teaser for your new EP ‘Go with Me’ out oct 23. Your latest single off that album is “mood swing” and congrats on the video dropping. It really resonates in todays climate. Tell us a bit more about that track.

‘Mood Swing’ was an idea my co-writer Jimmy Thow had and my producer Danick Dupelle help to give it the rolling-banjo, driving-tempo that it has as well. I like these types of songs that just feel great; songs that can literally change your mood when you hear them.

Speaking of changes; you are originally from Canada, but moved to Nashville about 14 years ago. Was its difficult transitioning from Canada to living in Nashville?

Not really actually. I mean, it was a scary move to make at the time with a 3-month old baby girl and only barely $2000 in savings but from the moment we arrived, the town and the people we met and became friends with seemed to welcome us and made us feel at home.

You are the only person I’ve interviewed with a charity event named after them. The Jason Blaine Charity Concert and Golf Tournament was unfortunately cancelled this year due to Covid-19, tell us a bit about how that got started, how folks can make donations, and any other charity work!

It started some seven years ago and has been a labour of love ever since. It has been my way of giving back to my hometown and using music as a way of bringing people together. We have been able to raise over $500,000 for some 40 different charities in the Pembroke area. It was heartbreaking to have to cancel this year but we’re planning to return in 2021 and all the info will be updated at

www.jasonblainecharity.com

You are of course married and have 4 children, is it difficult being away from them and touring? How did you find that work-life balance?

Well, certainly not this year, lol. I’ve basically been home all year. It’s honesty been a very long time since I’ve done a tour that’s lasted a month or more. I’m more of a summer weekend-warrior with a bigger tour here and there. Being around for my family is very important to me but they also know that it’s how I work to keep the lights on so it’s also important that my kids see me working so they understand that it’s possible to pursue a career that they’ll love too one day.

Spotlight - Jason Blaine

You are an open and proud Christian. How has your faith helped you in times of uncertainty throughout your career? Has it ever hindered or made people think of you only in that box?

I mean, I’m a work-in-progress in the faith department. I’m sure there are people who walk-the-walk better than I do but I definitely lean on my faith for fear of missing a blessing or being a blessing, trying to “go it alone”. Everyone puts their faith and trust into something. I just chose to continue in the Christian teachings I was raised with and to pursue in the journey. I won’t be leading the preaching anytime soon but I also won’t be ashamed of it either.

It was just announced that you are already playing Boots and Hearts in 2021. Can you tell us how exciting it was to see your name on that bill?

I’m really, really excited for that show. It’s probably my favourite festival and next year would be my 4th time to play it. B&H’s just puts on such a great event and they treat everyone like gold. From the fans to my band as well as my friends & family from Ontario who always come out to cheer us on.

A little while back you paired with Artisan Guitars in Nashville to do live online shows. Was it weird switching to an online format vs big stage shows that you normally do?

The dead silence at the end of a song performance can be a little weird (lol). We had a few people in that room to make a little noise to drown out the awkwardness. They did a great job on the video and sound quality and I was happy to be invited to play their amazing guitars.

Spotlight - Jason Blaine

Covid-19 disrupted a lot of plans, but with a new EP, can we expect any other big tour dates anytime soon?

Sadly no; nothing live yet but I will be doing more and more live streaming shows so please follow me on instagram at @jasonblaineofficial (blue checkmark – See below) for updates on that.

Is it difficult seeing the difference in how folks are handling Covid back home in Canada vs in the US?

That’s a tough one and a bit of a tricky question to answer. I can tell you that I’ve seen certain things on both mainstream and social media that I know for a fact misrepresented the truth. In reality, both countries have been hit hard by this pandemic, relative to population, and everyone is doing the best they can. There are many different perspectives on what could and should be done but I just think it’s important for everyone to continue to stay kind and respectful as we all find our way through this together.

How have you been staying sane over the last few months not being able to travel and play as regularly? What are some other forms of self care you suggest to folks?

Oh, it hasn’t all been all sunshine and roses, if I’m honest. I’ve had to drag myself out of bed and refocus and set new goals. Get back to exercising, eating healthy, drinking less, and recognising that I need to control my mental health with all of these things. There’s been a lot of uncertainty this year but I’ve found that you can create stability by controlling what you can.

With some places reopened, what are some favorite local joints you are excited to get back to? Whether it is bars, restaurants, organizations, etc? Canada and/or US are acceptable.

I just love live music. Whether I’m “sitting-in” with my fathers band in the little bar in my hometown or jamming with or checking out a great band somewhere in Canada or lower-Broadway here in Nashville, I just love live music and I really hope we can get that back soon before too much damage gets done, if it hasn’t already.

What would you like to say to your fans?

I love you all. More than you know. And I miss seeing everyone on the road and hearing you all sing along. I CANNOT wait until we can all be together again. Until then, please take care of each other and God Bless – JB


Spotlight – Jason Blaine is a wrap! Big thanks to Jason for taking the time to chat with us.


Check out Go With Me out now!


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