Singer-songwriter Jackson Emmer releases country-inflected album ‘Jukebox’
IF YOU GO …
What: Jackson Emmer album release party
Where: The Temporary at Willits
When: Friday 8:30 p.m.
How much: $10 in advance; $15 on Friday
More info: Emmer and Carbondale guitarist Lester Price will perform his new album, ‘Jukebox’ in its entirety. Frank Martin will open. Emmer recorded the album live in his North Carolina home. His past work used the sudio as an instrument, with found sounds and other elements that can’t be replicated live. ‘Jukebox is more stripped-down album that feels true to where he is today.
Jackson Emmer credits Jimi Hendrix for his interest in music. But Emmer’s latest album has more in common with Hank Williams and Ernest Tubbs than the rock legend who inspired a teenaged Emmer to pick up the guitar.
Emmer will release his second full-length album, “Jukebox,” today. That evening he’ll also perform an album release show at The Temporary in Basalt. Emmer and Carbondale guitarist Lester Price will perform the album in its entirety, as well as selections from Emmer’s other records.
Emmer has been in and out of the Roaring Fork Valley for the past 15 years. He and his wife, Olivia, recently moved to El Jebel after several years in Asheville, North Carolina.
“Jukebox,” a country album, reflects that experience.
“It’s cool to trace these threads and study what you’re dropping into,” he said. “The level of musicianship you see in just a bar band down there is unbelievable. It makes ‘music for the people’ rise to another level.”
Emmer was born in Chicago and raised in California and Colorado. He described his past albums as artistically schizophrenic; he kept looking for the genre that felt right to him.
His time in the South connected him to the country tradition. The music can be upbeat and get people dancing, but “it’s also cut your heart out, watch it bleed music,” Emmer said.
He wrote more than 80 songs in the time frame leading up to recording “Jukebox,” and ultimately selected 10 songs for the album. The resulting collection examines relationships to past and present, and that’s a fitting connection to a genre steeped in nostalgia.
It’s also natural for this time in Emmer’s life, when he has returned to the place he now knows as home.
“You don’t know where you’re from until you leave,” Emmer said.
Music ties you to a place, and he respects that connection: “When I’m making music now, I want it to be worth of being the soundtrack of people’s memories.”
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