Sunday, December 12, 2010

Concert Review: Jason Michael Carroll's Christmas and Honky Tonk Friends Show

Artist: Jason Michael Carroll
Event: Christmas and Honky Tonk Friends Appreciation Show
Date: 12/11/2010
Venue: Crossroads Entertainment Cplex Wake Forest, NC

If you've never heard Jason Michael Carroll 's music or had the chance to see his live show, what rock are you hiding under and you seriously need to get out more. Jason puts on one of the best, most energetic and most engaging shows of any artist I've ever seen. From the minute he takes the stage, his insanely high energy and jumping around makes you just wanna kick your boots off and let loose like a jumpin' fool, while trying not to spill your beer!

After being discovered at Raleigh's version of American Idol, "Gimme the Mic", Jason signed a deal with Arista Nashville in 2006. He released his top selling debut cd, "Waitin' in the Country" which has produced three consecutive Top 40 smashes on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts: "Alyssa Lies", "Livin' Our Love Song" and "I Can Sleep When I'm Dead". Jason's second cd, "Growing Up Is Getting Old", has also produced his fourth and fifth Top 40 hits. Jason and Arista went in different directions in February 2010, which is fortunate for his fans, or as he calls them, his "HTF's" (Honky Tonk Friends), because this allows him the freedom to take his music in his own direction and work his own promotions, which Arista dropped the ball on. Jason's talent is immeasurable, his fans are some of the most loyal and dedicated fans in country music, and yet for some reason, Arista fumbled the hell out of the ball by not paying him enough attention. That's ok because from the music I heard last night, he's coming back with a vengeance and taking no prisoners.

The concert was awesome, very casual and laid back, as are most of his shows. He spends the whole time focusing on audience participation, not just standing there singing like the majority of artists do. He, jokingly, told his audience that while he was gonna take requests for anything and everything, cover or original songs, that he would only take them if they were written on $20 bills. He got plenty! LOL! He sang alot of his own music including "I Can Sleep When I'm Dead", which started out with technical difficulties that got worked out a short time later. He also sang "With You", "Honky Tonk Friends", "Waitin' in the Country", "Looking at You", "Let it Rain", "Where I'm From", "Barn Burner", "Growing Up is Getting Old", "Livin' Our Love Song", and the one that started it all, "Alyssa Lies". He also sang his brand new single, "Meet Me in the Barn", which is due to hit radio in January 2011. Get ready because this song is FANTASTIC! Start requesting it now! He really livened up the night by throwing in some surprises. He did the best version of Prince's "Purple Rain" that I've ever heard, including the original by the "Artist Formerly Known As" or is it the symbol, or his Purple Majesty? He also sang "Angel" by Aerosmith which just blew me away. Next to the emotional rendition of "Purple Rain", my favorite part of the night was when his keyboard player broke out some Jamey Johnson, "Can't Cash My Checks". At one point, he brought his young son, "JW", out to sing a father/son duet and it was the coolest thing to see.

Thanks to Jim Carroll, Jason's dad and a wonderful friend, for the invitation to the show. I would have never been able to afford to attend otherwise and I really wanted to go. I'm so glad I was able to make it. I can't wait for the next one!
Remember, start requesting "Meet Me in the Barn" now so radio will know how bad you wanna hear it!

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