Jesse Jackson:On Life & Music

(Part II)

Continued from Jesse Jackson: On Life & Music (Part I)

Photography by Rod Deal

Didn’t we tell you? The guy has got a story. And so do his songs! Let’s get right to it then. Today, we talk music with Jesse Jackson.

How did you meet Carlos Alvarez? How did you end up working on the album together?

Carlos Alvarez saw me play at a Nara’s event. After I finished playing he expressed to me his desire to work with me. He thought I had something and I thought he had something. So we did something about it.

Grammy Award Winner Carlos Alvarez

What was it like to record your first album? How long did this take you?

The process of recording it was great and actually went quite smooth thanks to Carlos’ extreme diligence and deep reverence for the creative process.  You’d be so happy to find someone half the man he is. This is a solid and a wonderful album. What I found challenging was allowing myself to release the record. Not because I didn’t want to but probably more because I had never really flexed that particular muscle before.

Letting go is a rite of passage, a blood baptism of sorts, an offering which I feel ready to make now. I learned a lot about recording and even more about myself.  I learned that an offering is not necessarily just a physical object, but an act, a deed. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work alongside someone who has, himself, been blood baptized many times over and who, as a person, understands both how to offer and to receive. Cumulatively we spent exactly 3 months in the studio working 4 and 5 hrs a day. Letting go of it took 4 years almost to the day.

During this process, did you continue to play shows? How do you connect with your fans?

Yes,  I played shows but not that often.  I connect with fans through my website

Anything interesting happen in or out of the studio while recording the album?

I lost my dad on the 25th of April 2011. The song “Thunder” on the record is dedicated to him.

Your lyrics…fact or fiction? What comes first the lyrics or the tune?

All songs are unmitigated fact.  Sometimes lyrics come first.  Sometimes the tune comes first.  Sometimes they arrive at exactly the same time.

What instruments do you play? Which do you play on the album?

I am a virtuoso at everything I do.  I never make mistakes!  On this record, I play acoustic guitar and an AWESOME electric guitar solo on the song “Leather.”

Which is your favorite track on the album? Why?

That’s like asking a mother which of her children is her favorite.  Yes, I very clearly have one “BINGE”  because it has never left any dirty dishes in the sink and it always comes when I call.

Any plans to record any of the tracks in other languages?

Hmm, that sounds COOL. I’ll get back to you on that one?

Now what? What’s next for Jesse Jackson?

Now I get ready for my cd release show Saturday, May 19 at The Vagabond in Downtown Miami where I will be selling my cd for $15. If you like what you hear and wish to order a cd, please email: [email protected].  I will be happy to mail you a copy for $15. The album will be available on iTunes soon. Keep an eye out for a Jesse Jackson Kickstarter page to begin raising funds for the next project!