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BIOGRAPHY - Jason Michael Carroll

To hear Jason Michael Carroll's CD  
"Waitin' In The Country" is to hear a straight-up, full-tilt, no-frills country singer.


To look at the rangy 28-year-old is to see a twinkle in the eye of a kid who could be just as at home on a surf or skateboard, a bit of mischief and kicked-back cool that says suburban sprawl and good times found where they fall.

Carroll not only isn’t afraid of the contradictions, he leans into them with a freewheeling abandon. To listen to the thump’n’bump of “Waitin’ in the Country,” with its great big, descending bass-line and big-flanged electric guitars; the chuggingly insistent “I Can Sleep When I’m Dead,” with its turbo-diesel chording; or the romping, universal whirl of “Anywhere USA,” with its sawing fiddles and wailing steel guitar, is to understand this is a young man who likes to have economy-sized fun. Yet just as quickly, he can sink his teeth into the fight-for-the-one-you’re-meant-to-be-with intensity of “Love Won’t Let Me,” the celebration of life and enduring love in “Livin’ Our Love Song,” or the resolved acceptance of life on its terms with “Let It Rain,” which speaks to a seriousness that exists below the obvious inside the emerging singer/songwriter.

Nowhere is that seriousness more powerfully reflected than in Carroll’s debut single, “Alyssa Lies,” a song about child abuse – told from the perspective of a classmate – that has an impossibly sobering end. Though not the feel-good “rocking country” that Carroll a devotee of Steve Wariner, Randy Travis, Radney Foster and especially Garth Brooks naturally is drawn to, it was a realization that the dedicated father of four couldn’t sidestep.

Jason feels “Alyssa Lies” may be the song I’m the proudest of on this record. Not because I wrote it or sang it, but because I really mean it – and believe it may get people to talk about the unspeakable, to maybe not wait until it’s too late somewhere else. If a song I touched could do that, well, then …”

Whether it’s the poignancy of “Alyssa Lies,” the blow-up-the-weekend revelry of “Honky Tonk Friends,” or the sweeping desire of “Lookin’ at You,” Carroll finds his voice in any kind of song – just so long as it’s country.

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