Interview – Jason Blaine

By: Jordyn Meade-Baxter

Originally from Pembroke, Ontario and now living in Nashville, Jason Blaine is a veteran when it comes to the Canadian country music scene. He already has 5 albums under his belt and has just released his sixth, “Country Side” on October 23. Jason is currently on the Three’s a Party Tour with Tebey. We had the chance to check in with him while he’s touring. Read this interview for more!

First off, are you excited to be a part of the Three’s A Party Tour?

For sure! The last time I did a cross-Canada tour like this was in 2013 so I was ready to hit the road again with some new music for the fans.

Is there a certain stop on the tour that you are most excited about?

That’s a tough question but I would say that I’m looking forward to seeing some friends and family in my home town area of Ottawa on Nov 9th.

For those looking forward to attending a show on this tour, can you give us any hints on what to expect?

Sure, we chose two cover songs that the three of us could all play together. One is very current and one is a Canadian classic-rock favorite with a connection to country music:)

Will you be performing a lot of songs off of ‘Country Side’?

For sure! I will definitely be playing the title track Country Side & the new single Spotlight and also one more to test out on the fans.

What was the recording process of the album like?

One of my favorite things is watching the songs go from rough work-tape demos to what you hear on the record. We recorded the full band, live off the floor. It’s probably my favorite way to do it.

How does it differ from your previous albums?

Not much. We still used a live band in the studio but we also mixed in some modern loops and different sounds as well.

Were there any surprises on it, even for long time fans?

If Spotlight wasn’t a surprise, I think Heaven Comin’ Down will be a bit of a surprise. It’s pretty different for me. I wrote it with Deric Ruttan & Jim Beavers. We wrote Rock It Country Girl together and at the time, that song was different for me and pushed me out of my country box but it also went on to be one of my biggest hits. It’s a risk, for sure.

What song would you say was your favourite taking from the recording studio to playing live?

Right now it’s Spotlight. It really has a great energy about it and seems to connect with the fans instantly. Plus, I get to play a lot of electric guitar on it 🙂

You released two singles, “Country Side” and “Spotlight” before the release of the album. Were they a good indication of what was in store?

Perhaps, but not entirely. There are still 11 other songs on the record about different subjects and with different feels. Spotlight is certainly progressive but overall I think this album has more of a “country side” to it.

Since moving to the US, do you find you fit in better musically there than Canada?

Good question. I grew up listening to the country music that came out of the Southern US and at the time I moved to Nashville I felt like it was where I needed to be to be in the centre of it all. I love living & working in Nashville but I can’t pretend I’m from the South. Even though I’ve lived there for nine years, I think I naturally still feel like a bit of an outsider and feel more at home in front of Canadian fans.

What’s your favourite thing about returning home?

I’ve made a lot of wonderful friends and fans over the years and along my travels across Canada, almost to where it feels like home everywhere I go. Plus I’m a sucker for a good plate of poutine! 🙂

What is next in store for you after this tour?

We’ll be promoting this new record all through 2016 but I’ll still be writing and recording in between. I’d actually like to record a traditional county EP and maybe even a county-blues EP as well. I also have a Charity Golf/Concert event in my Hometown in June of 2016, so I’ll also keep busy planning and working on our 3rd annual!

Canadian Beats has a tradition where we add some fun questions at the end of our interviews. It’s a chance for the readers to get to know you better.

When you go to the US, do you tend to carry the Canadian stereotypes with you? Which ones?

Yes, I get called out on my Canadian accent all the time and I guess I do say “eh” a lot. But it’s a great expression! I wish my Canadian friends and family would let me get away with saying y’all, but they don’t.

A classic: If you were stuck on a deserted island and could only have 3 items with you, what would they be?

A lighter, a bar of soap, and a bible.

If you had to listen to one album for the rest of your life, which would it be and why?

Wow, Very tough question. I mean, who wants to listen to the same thing forever? It’s amazing all of the albums that come to mind to choose from but if I had to pick just one, I think it would be John Mayer – Continuum.

It’s about as close to perfection as it gets and I never seem to get tired of it. It’s got hints of every style of music I love: country, blues, pop, folk, rock, funk, and soul. It’s all there with incredible musicianship all around.

I’m an aspiring entertainment journalist from Fredericton, New Brunswick, and a recent graduate from St. Thomas University with majors in Journalism and Psychology.

Currently a retail worker but always dipping my feet, someway, in the world music journalism. I have a volunteer spot on a local blues radio station and have been a part of Canadian Beats for years. It’s where my passion for storytelling and my love of music come together and I can’t wait to see what’s in store.

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