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Article Date: 11/5/09
Source: This Week – Canada East
With a father who worked for McCain foods, Jason Rogers knows the value of the international market and it is his aim to make his mark on the world with his brand of country music. Born in Presque Isle, Maine and raised in New Brunswick, Rogers is getting airplay now in India and France, among other places.
“I guess I’ve always been performing, playing at church, playing piano and guitar,” said Rogers from Nashville. His father was the piano player at the Wesleyan church in Bristol, and Rogers started playing there and in other churches in that area of New Brunswick.
Attending Carlton North Senior High School, Rogers was active in music.
“The music teacher didn’t like me, I didn’t learn to read the music, I just copied what I heard.”
He said music came naturally to him and he won several school contests.
“I was a shy little boy, but when my hands touched the piano, there I’d be,” he said of the music taking over him. “I always won first place.”
Rogers said growing up in New Brunswick had a strong influence on him.
“More than the musical part. People up there are different. Strong values, strong ethics.”
He said being taught respect and learning great qualities gave him a strong, stable foundation for the music industry. His father’s work led to the family moving to the United States.
“When I moved to Chicago, I didn’t have the blues in me.”
He said he learned to like that form of music over time. It wasn’t as friendly and open as New Brunswick.
“If you waved at someone, they might think you’re pulling a gun.”
After they moved again, he found Texas to be a lot like Canada. The people were straight forward and to the point, but he couldn’t handle the summer heat. The more aggressive American nature was something he had to learn.
“That’s something I didn’t grow up with. I learned that more in Chicago.”
With thousands of singers in Nashville, all wanting the same thing, he said he realized he couldn’t always help others and he had to push himself.
Rogers said the simplest little things can derail a career if one’s word isn’t kept. He was in Nashville six or seven years he said before he was offered a recording contract.
While pursuing the dream in Nashville he put together a three song demo. He said it was mainly for himself, he could at least have something to listen to and look back on when he was older. Then he sent one song into a contest. Breathe into Me, from the demo recorded with Martin Young, Clint Black’s guitar player, won the 2007 Country Song of the Year contest. He was offered several record deals before settling on Cashbox in August of this year and releasing his debut self-titled CD. He said some labels were too small, others wanted too much control. Cashbox offered him the artistic freedom he was looking for. His debut was produced by Young and engineered by Ricky Coble, who has worked with Black and Toby Keith.
He wrote some of the songs on the CD and recorded five from other music publishers.
“I had plenty of songs. In Nashville, they say it’s good to use other’s songs for variety.”
The current single is It Ain’t Braggin’ . A video was shot for the song in Nashville in October at the Silverado bar and will be sent out to television in January 2010. Rogers has been featured in country music magazines in the United Kingdom and was a featured rising star in Country Weekly in June.
Rogers’ music is sold on download sites like iTunes and the Wal-Mart site. The physical CD is sold in some Irving stores in New Brunswick and from his website.(www.jasonrogerscountry.com)
After making his CD tour debut in the Carolina’s in 2010, Rogers will be going up to Edmonton .
“Four years ago, nobody played me,” he said. Now he is able to work full-time at his music. Despite the growing success in diverse corners of the world, Rogers would love to come back to tour Maine and New Brunswick. Family and friends are still important.