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New England-based songwriter Jason Spooner from Portland, Maine discovered the family stereo at a very early age and never looked back. He attributes his musical roots to his father's secret stash of 8 track tapes. "My parents always stayed visibly hip when it came to the records they displayed publicly...disco in the 70's, pop in the 80's.", says Jason. "It was finding my dad's collection of tunes early on that really set me off on the right foot." Whether it was the intricate songsmanship of Jim Croce and early Van Morrison or the heart-felt soul of Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, Jason began to absorb a variety of styles and influences. "If I'd stuck to the Bee Gee's records that my parents kept out for house guests to peruse", imagines Jason, "things may have been very different...scarily different."Read More...
Jason was naturally drawn to the acoustic guitar and began writing and performing at local coffee houses in his teens. His unique chops began to take shape during a year in Europe living in London, England and then in Seville, Spain. In London, Jason became a regular at local folk and blues clubs throughout the city. It was here that he became known as a formidable songwriter known for smooth, soulful vocal delivery and engaging live performances. In Spain, Jason continued to perform in clubs, public squares and festivals. Deeply influenced by Andalucian flamenco and gypsy music, he developed a unique rhythmic playing style that continues to shine through as one of his trademarks today; "The Spanish players gave me a completely new vocabulary in terms of approaching the acoustic guitar. Their style incorporates a great deal of energy and capitalizes on the percussive elements of the instrument. So many songwriters do little more than strum...Spain is where I realized there was a lot more to it."
After Europe, Jason produced a demo tape of original music which made its way into the hands of various college and community radio stations. A producer at a local independent record label heard a track and invited Jason to join his operation which focused on Blues and American roots music. Jason's already growing interest in blues reached a summit as he worked for the label and witnessed the masters of the genre in recording sessions and on stage. Blues greats like Eddie Kirkland and former members of the Muddy Waters band, Pine Top Perkins, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, and Luther Johnson all had profound effects on Jason's musical outlook.
In the last few years, Jason has been building a strong following with little more than a demo, an acoustic guitar and a bag full of superb songs. His songwriting has emerged as a crucial strength drawing from a melting pot of influences while remaining strikingly original. Whether exploring the factual, the fictional or the psychological, Jason's writing remains consistently poignant, compelling and mysterious. Jason's distinctive vocal style is always center stage and has been compared to the understated, half- whispered soul of Kelly Joe Phelps and the smooth, casual tenor of Paul Simon.
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