It has been a whirlwind year for Jade Eagleson, and he’s just getting started. Last fall, he took second place in the 28th Aurora Magna Hoedown Showdown country music competition. During the winter he participated in the Next Country Music Star contest at the Ranch in Bethany, where the judges offered superlatives in praise of his voice as frontman for the band Highway 28, with whom he was performing old style country songs.
When Jade picked up the guitar at age 13, it was clear he was a natural. Inspired by local music stars Serena Ryder and Jimmy Bowskill, he worked diligently at his craft. Starting out playing a few local Open Mic gigs, he has recently become a regular performer at Golden Wheel on Friday evenings. He has been encouraged by friends and family around him who are convinced that a career in music was in his future, but there are also some naysayers who ask him when he’s going to get a real job.
Last week he returned from a trip to Nashville where he recorded two songs in a studio that has seen major country acts including Randy Travis perform. He had heard that country music was dead, but this experience has certainly proved otherwise.
He has begun to write songs to expand his repertoire to include some original pieces. He has co-written a song called “I Don’t Drink”, and one he wrote on his own entitled “True to You”. These are the tunes he recorded in Nashville which will be released shortly and he hopes will get picked up by some radio stations.
He enjoys working with other writers because he feels it helps to have another professional participate in the process particularly when you face a block; the result is usually better and the process is more interesting. These days he is writing with Kyle Renton of Port Hope and Darryl Scott of Peterborough. Sometimes the songs they come up with aren’t well-suited for Jade’s style, and one of their songs has been picked up by another recording artist offering Jade a different avenue to earn a living.
The music industry is a tough place to do that these days. Technology has provided access to any and all would-be performers, but the space is so full with free music it is difficult to find ways to get paid for it. For now he loves performing, and has a growing following. His next big gig is the Norwood Jamboree on the second weekend in July, where he will play during the Friday evening’s performances. As the age of 23, he has plenty of time to follow his dreams of becoming a country music recording artist. Maybe that will be his real job. KG