Someday I'll Write This Song
April 18, 2013
Washington, DC. 9:56 am Eastern Time, 8:56 Central. I am exiting Reagan National Airport on foot and at speed.
See, I'd just gotten off a flight that required I get up at 4 am (ouch), fly out of KC at 6, and make it to and through an overly-full slate of meetings beginning immediately upon my arrival. Thanks to some heavy rain, shifting winds, and a cautious pilot, we went ahead and took two tries to land...costing me 45 minutes I couldn't get back, and setting my entire day behind. Yeah, I was cranky.
So I hit the taxi line while grousing silently to myself about my situation, told the attendant I was headed into the District, and she pushed me toward one of the approximately two billion weary-looking Ford Crown Victorias that dominate the DC taxi landscape. The trunk clicked open, I tossed in my bag, slammed it shut, and dumped myself into the back seat.
Now, as some of you know, when I'm not wearing boots and singing country music, I'm wearing a tie and working for Uncle Sam. My employer isn't one of the big famous agencies, so when I take a cab to my building, I always just say the street address, because 99% of the time they won't have any idea what I'm talking about when I mention my agency. This time, though, I caught me a one-percenter. My driver, a very large, very dark-skinned gentleman with a very thick accent I couldn't quite place, bellowed out both the name AND the acronym of my agency, as well as the name of the President the building's named after, saying "I know it like de back of my hand!" I looked up from my iPhone, no longer intentionally distracting myself, and said "that's cool...most drivers don't know the place." Without delay he shoots back, "Well, dat's because I been waitin' for you to come in all mornin', friend...I'm de only one supposed to take you dere dis day!"
So by now I'm grinning, if only a little. This guy clearly has enough good spirit to knock me out of my temporary funk, and I'm thinking about letting him. It's at that moment I hear the radio playing in the background. 99% of the time a DC cab will have the government news channel on, but again, my new chum shirks the odds...because Brad Paisley's "I'm Gonna Miss Her" is just finishing up, followed immediately by Jason Aldean's "Flyover State." I mention I love his taste in radio, and tell him that back home I actually write and sing a little country myself, and I'd love to give him a copy of my album so he can see how we do country out in the actual country. He almost drives onto the shoulder at 45 mph with the excited double-take he shoots me. After the other cabs cease their chorus of honks for his transgression (he gives them the "my bad" wave, to his credit) he simply says "den you are gonna love dis, friend..." and stabs at the CD player. It whirs to life and I enter a country music time warp as the immediately-recognizable intro to "Luckenbach, Texas" comes wafting out the tired Crown Vic's speakers.
Except it's not just gonna be Waylon serenading me this morning.
On this day, my new friend is belting out said intro with a big resonant baritone, in a totally different key than Waylon, in a language just barely considered English:
"De only two tings in life dat make it worth livin..."
"Are guitars tuned good 'n' firm feelin' women..."
At this point I know I'm at a juncture. It's time to commit to this moment fully or relegate myself to a terribly awkward ride as we hurtle down the GW Parkway. As I look back on it now, it was never even close. By the time he gets "back to the basics of life," my heart has already given me all the direction I need. He launches into the chorus with reckless abandon, and I come in at full volume with Willie Nelson's high harmony part, grinning from ear to ear. Now he's grinning too, and pauses only a moment to shout "dere you go!" as we motor on down the road, engaging in the most enthusiastic, atonal, and (in my mind) beautiful rendition of that classic the DC metropolitan area will likely experience all year.
As if on cue, Waylon, my driver, and I all wind down "Luckenbach" just as we pull up to my building. I say "man, you don't even know how much you just made my day..." to which he replies "Jason, friend...you makin' my day too!" He gets a free download card for my album and a generous tip. I get a honk, a wave, and the slowly-fading sounds of "Good Hearted Woman" as he merges back into traffic and out of my life...singing every word like he's on stage at the Opry.
As I move through the rest of my day, the meetings come and go, the schedule rewrites itself to accommodate my late start, and ultimately everything gets done that needs to...and I never quite lose the grin. Thanks to a country-loving cabbie with no knack for notes but a soul as big as the ancient hunk of metal he was driving, my perspective took a big turn for the better. As I reflect on that little ten-minute lesson, I think I ultimately came away with three little jewels:
1. Brantley Gilbert was right, folks...country truly IS country-wide.
2. Always be open to the possibility that someone's about to make your day...because then someone just might.
3. When you feel it, sing it...because you never know who's ready to join in and make a beautiful moment of it.
And with that, it's time to move on from this post and resume my routine. Maybe I'll go downstairs, pick up the old Guild, and practice some Waylon.
After all, it's only two weeks until I'm due back in DC.
Hope Your Halls are Decked…
December 5, 2012
Hey gang, I hope y’all are doing well as we rush headlong into this holiday season. JC&W have been busy too…we haven’t been playing out as much as we did this summer, but we’ve been working diligently on new material for our second album, tweaking our live show, and taking some well-earned time off with family for Thanksgiving. Look for our live show schedule to fill up again beginning in January, but in the meantime, if you’re looking for some last-minute gifts for country-loving friends or family, I’d love for you to visit my store--just click the link above. The “Half a Lifetime” CD is still available, or you can snag a T-shirt or other stuff. We also have a bunch of other cool merchandise available at our live shows, like bumper stickers, can wraps, and those exclusive “Wife for the Night” ladies’ Ts…but if you want some before Christmas, email me direct at Jason@jasoncraigcountry.com and I’ll have ‘em shipped out to you ASAP!
So we recently got the opportunity to play for a new non-profit foundation’s kickoff, and it was a great show. The Stephen Corbin Heart of Gold Foundation helps needy children financially so they can play organized sports. This great cause really helps those kids who might not otherwise have a chance to “play to win” and we were proud to support it. The foundation was started to honor Stephen Corbin’s memory--a great guy with big heart who left this world too early. We took the opportunity to honor him by playing “Half a Lifetime’s Time”--as you know, I wrote that song after my friend Brian Akabane died young, and while it’s not a song we’d normally play at a bar, it seemed to fit the evening. Many of you reached out to me after that show to tell me how you connected with it, how it reminded you of another friend, or just to say you appreciated it.
That, friends, is why I write and perform country music that speaks to me…to connect with you, take you to another place from time to time, and hopefully give you something you’ll remember and appreciate. So I just want to take a second to say thanks to all of you who continue to support JC&W and the venues we play by coming out, having drinks, dancing it up, and just generally being awesome to play to. I love doing this so much, I’d probably play in your living rooms (and have for some of you!)…but playing in great Midwestern venues with a bunch of rowdies singing along is even more enjoyable. Thanks for your support…see you soon…and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
New Single Released!
September 26, 2012
Hey everybody, hope you're ready for some new music, because we're really excited to release "I Want You to Want Me" today for your listening pleasure. I hope you enjoy this ballad about reaching out to try to salvage a relationship on its last leg...it's got kind of a desperate feel to it that we intentionally captured during the recording process. It ain't the happiest song I've ever penned, but when you write country music, you just have to go negative sometimes :) Also, this is our first studio release featuring Joe Rogers on drums...you've marveled at his skills and energy during our live show, and now you can play him back over and over in the comfort of your own home! I've been really fortunate to have the Wingmen (Scott Parman, Ben Patel, and Joe the Drummer) with me throughout the summer, and we continue to get closer to the first Jason Craig & the Wingmen full album release...just a few more songs to finish writing and then we'll hit the recording hard through the cold winter months.
Anyway, you can find the new single to the left on my MP3 player, in my store for 99 cents, or you can download it directly FOR FREE on my Facebook page. Just my way of saying thanks for continuing to listen and support what we're doing here. We write and record this stuff so you can listen to it...and we don't take it for granted that you do. You have our heartfelt gratitude. Enjoy "I Want You to Want Me!"
At Summer's End...
September 4, 2012
Hey everyone, hope this note finds you well. It's been a pretty full summer for JC&W...we've introduced ourselves to some new venues, made friends with some new fans, and have even managed to put together some new material. "I Want You To Want Me" continues to do well with our live audiences, and we're getting ready to debut "Steel Toes" and "Lay Down Dancin'." "Toes" is a mid-tempo number co-written with my brother and bass player Scott, and it's about a guy trapped in a white collar lifestyle who gets jolted into realizing he wants to work with his hands and to be his own boss...so he sets about doing it. It came out pretty cool, and I'm anxious for you to hear it. "Lay Down Dancin'" is also pretty neat...it's got a Mel McDaniel or Conway Twitty vibe to it, with a catchy little riff that permeates the whole tune. And yes, since you asked, the song is about exactly what you think it's about.
So...it continues to be foot to the floor around here as we roll into fall. Look for us all over the Northland in the months to come, and when you do get a chance to come out and see us, make sure you say hi!
Spring Has Sprung
May 1, 2012
Happy May Day, everybody! Wow, it's crazy how time is flying by these days. Our new lineup with Joe Rogers on drums has really started to gel, and you folks have told us via Facebook and at our live shows that the new cover tunes we're adding to our three-hour "bar show" are keepers. My personal favorite right now is Rodney Atkins' "If You're Going Through Hell..." That song has such an uplifting message about persevering over the demons that would seek to drag you down...plus, that thumping bass drum and wailing guitar really get me going. In addition, we've gotten a really positive response from my latest original to make it out of my head and into our set list: "I Want You to Want Me." This little country power ballad has triggered quite a reaction...so much, in fact, that we're going to head into the studio and record it for you in the next month or so. Once it's done, I'm going to give it to you for free--just my way of saying thanks for your continued support. Along those lines, we all want to say a huge THANKS for those of you who keep coming to our shows--I can promise you there is nothing more motivating to a musician than looking out over a venue full of people getting rowdy to music you're making for them, seeing some of them in your T-shirt, and even listening to a couple of them sing your own words back to you. It makes my heart swell, folks. Every time I hit that stage, I get to do so because of your continued attendance and enthusiasm. It means the world to me, and I hope to be able to keep bringing you "Live Country Music, Served Hot the Way You Like It" as long as you keep wanting me to.
So, what's coming up for us in the next month or so? Lots of stuff. I'll be at the Tri-County Event Center in King City, MO on May 12 as a guest of the Rock 'n' Country Music Show. The Wingmen are taking the night off, but Rick Hontz and his house band will be tearing it up that night. We're booking additional shows in and around KC,and (as mentioned earlier) getting back in the studio. So...as news breaks out, we'll break in, but for now, take it easy and enjoy this beautiful Midwest spring weather!
New Year, New Band Member, New Brand, New Venues
January 12, 2012
Well, it's 2012...Happy New Year, everybody! We spent the last bits of 2011 rehearsing with our new lineup, and I'm pleased to announce the band is back at full strength, thanks to the addition of Joe Rogers, drummer extraordinaire. Now that we have some rehearsals together under our belts, we're hitting the 2012 booking process again. Our first show will be in Parkville, MO at the old power plant, now called River's Bend Restaurant & Bar. Hit the "Schedule" tab for all the details.
Additionally, we're booking more shows in the Kansas City area, plus we're stringing together a Worth County "mini-tour" end of Winter or early Spring...should be a lot of fun, and I can't wait to get back home to play.
Finally, you'll be seeing a new brand coming online in the near future. Since most of my shows will be with the full band, we've chosen a name for these guys. Say hello to "The Wingmen," won't you? Most of our future shows, promotional materials, etc. will use "Jason Craig & the Wingmen" from here on out. Here's what it'll look like:
Not too shabby, eh? Anyway, now you won't be surprised when you see the new flyers :)
"Worth Countin' On" and "Half a Lifetime" Reach Milestones
Turns out Monday was a pretty great day...thanks to your plays and visits, "Worth Countin' On" hit 1,000 plays on ReverbNation.com, which helped the "Half a Lifetime" album reach #9 on the RN Kansas City Country charts! I can't tell you all how much I appreciate the kind words, Facebook "likes," and general awesomeness you've shown by supporting the album and my efforts to get this music out to you. It's been inspiring to me...so inspiring, in fact, that I've been writing bits and pieces of songs at breakneck pace the last couple of weeks. I even finished my first contemporary Christian song (I have a whole book of church songs I've started, but just haven't completed yet) after a particularly inspirational sermon series about prayer from our Senior Pastor. It's entitled "Deeper," and the words just came so easily that I wrote the entire song and music on a two-hour flight to DC the other day. Maybe I'll get into the studio and record it as a free "fan exclusive" or something...but until then you're free to hit North Cross United Methodist Church in KC to hear it played live.
Well, kids, that's enough rambling for now. Just know that I feel blessed every day to have the opportunity to share this stuff with you, and I'm going to do all I can to make this music something you'll be interested in now and into the future. God bless you all!
Dude...This Site is FAST!
August 31, 2011
Well, thanks in no small part to Ed Costin at CostinMultimedia.com, we figured out the performance issues with the site, and it's now running with BLINDING speed! Go ahead...click anywhere you like...I dare you! I hope you enjoy the content as we continue to add features.
"Half a Lifetime" Hits iTunes, 34 Online Music Stores to Come
August 21, 2011
Much to my surprise, the folks at Apple processed and released "Half a Lifetime" faster than they said they would...so all you Apple junkies can find the album HERE right now. In addition, the distribution to all 34 online outlets (from Amazon to Zune) should be complete within the next couple of weeks as well.
Also, I just wanted to respond to those of you who've told me "hey, I'm trying to check out your website, but it's soooooo slooooow!" Turns out we spent a lot of time on the music in the studio, and not much time at all optimizing the website...and it is old dog slow as a result. We're going to enlist the help of somebody who knows what CSS stands for, and hopefully the site will be cruising along by the end of the week. Bear with us...all this stuff is brand new for us! Thanks and keep listening (if you can get the page to load up, that is!)
"Half a Lifetime" CD is here!
August 15, 2011
I'm pleased to announce that my debut CD "Half a Lifetime" is now available. We got the first run of physical CDs in house last week, and thanks to the generosity and general awesomeness of the Weddle clan, sold almost all we had at our weekend show! If you'd like to pull the trigger on the actual CD, just click on the "Store" button above and you can buy one from ReverbNation. If you prefer the instant gratification that comes from downloading (and who doesn't, right?) you can download the whole CD right now (at the bargain price of $7.99, by the way) from my store on this site or on my Facebook page. For all you die-hard iTunes fans, I just completed the formal release process with Apple, so you should see "Half a Lifetime" on iTunes within the next two weeks.
Well, that's enough for now, but before I go I want to thank each and every person who has already purchased this first album. I gotta tell you...it's pretty exciting and more than a little humbling to know some of you out there are listening to these 12 little labors of love. Whether you're into the funny stuff ("Wingman," "Wife for the Night") or the more serious material ("Half a Lifetime's Time," "So Help Me God") I hope you find something of value in this record. Don't forget to tell me which song you like best by voting below...it might end up being our first video! Also, don't hesitate to review and rate the album once it shows up on iTunes or leave comments on my Facebook page--because it'll be your feedback that'll help me write better songs for the next album!
Thanks again for your patronage and well-wishes. You guys are the best!
Debut CD "Half a Lifetime" is on its way August 15!
Hope everyone's been having a great summer...things have been pretty busy around here, but I'm pleaseed to report that the debut CD, entitled "Half a Lifetime," should be out next week. It's been a long time coming, but we've finally assembled 12 songs that I hope speak to you. Look for the CD here, on Facebook, ReverbNation, etc. Of course, it'll be available for download too. Anyway, I hope you like the new music as much as I enjoyed putting it together for you. Talk to you soon!
"Run Back to You," "Wife for the Night," and "Half a Lifetime's Time" are here!
Hey everybody...it's been a busy few weeks in the studio...songs are starting to come out more frequently. I hope you enjoy the latest three we just posted.
First, there's "Run Back to You". If you've ever been away from your lady longer than you wanted, you'll know where this song came from. I was missing her and feeling it, and this song made its way onto the page before I even realized it. When you want someone so bad, need to see her, feel her, even smell her, you have to let it out and let her know it.
Then there's "Wife for the Night"...this one came to me after hearing this dude in a bar using every cheesy pickup line in the book. No, he was not particularly successful. That got me thinking back to college when you saw those guys trolling through the crowd around last call, trying everything they could to score the proverbial "wife for the night." So, this one goes out to all those clowns. Way to go there, Panther.
Finally, on a more serious note, there's "Half a Lifetime's Time". I wrote this in memory of my friend and fraternity brother Brian Akabane, who died suddenly and without any readily apparent cause earlier this year. Brian's time with us was all too short, but in the precious time he was given on this earth he did more, loved more, and gave more than most of us will in our entire lifetimes. From his life and his example came "Half a Lifetime's Time". I hope you find this song to be a respectful tribute to a tremendous young man, but also a call to live your life to its very fullest. I challenge you to live a life as full as Brian's in the time you're given.
Well, that's enough for now. Enjoy the new songs...we're moving closer and closer to a debut CD release. Stay tuned.
"Wingman" is here!
Hi folks...hope you're enjoying the end of your summer. We just finished the latest track in the studio--as promised, it's "Wingman". Give it a listen--hope you enjoy it!