Fishman Artist // Jason SpoonerThis multi-award winning New England-based songwriter discovered his father's collection of eight-track tapes as a child and never looked back. After early exposure to songwriter legends like Neil Young, Paul Simon, Jim Croce and Van Morrison along with Motown heavies like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight, Jason was inspired to start making the rounds on coffee house stages in his teens. Shortly thereafter, he spent time in Europe performing in folk & blues clubs and on the streets of London and around Spain. Once back in the states, he landed a job at a roots & blues record label where he witnessed numerous Blues legends (including members of the original Muddy Waters band ) making magic in recording sessions. Before long, Jason jumped head-first into the Northeast's burgeoning songwriter scene.
The maturity and strength of his impressive debut album "Lost Houses" quickly began to turn the heads of fans and critics alike. Within a few months of the release, he added a blistering rhythm section (Adam Frederick and Reed Chambers) to the supporting cast, establishing The Jason Spooner Trio as one of the most interesting and noteworthy up-and-coming acts since Kathleen Edwards or Martin Sexton.
If Jason's debut hinted at the potential of a unique new artist, his stunning sophomore release "The Flame You Follow" expelled any doubt and cemented Jason and the band as one of the "bright light" acts on the scene today.
The band is staying busy promoting their latest and first live release entitled "Live on The Loft", recorded on the air at XM Studios in Washington, DC. Originally slated for a limited release on satellite radio, the band was so happy with the results that they decided to share it with the world... with an enthusiastic blessing from XM Sirius!
In recent news, Jason and the trio have just returned from a very successful showing at the 2009 South By Southwest festival is Austin, TX. Jason won "Best Singer/Songwriter" in the Portland Phoenix's annual "Best Music Poll 2008." Jason also won the International finals of the Mountain Stage NewSong contest held in New York City. He was honored as a national finalist in the Starbucks Music Makers competition in Boston. Jason took part in a tour of the East Coast as a selected member of the Falcon Ridge "Most Wanted" Preview Tour. He was also recently named as a New Folk Finalist in the renowned Kerrville Folk Festival in Kerrville, TX. Jason and his band returned to both festivals as a main stage act in 2007. Previously, he won the Ossipee Valley Bluegrass Festival songwriting contest in NH and was a finalist in the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Competition. Other highlights include Jason's song "Pickup Truck" airing on NPR's "Car Talk" Program and a national appearance on The Food Network's "FoodNation with Bobby Flay."
Jason's writing style continues to emerge as a crucial strength that sets this Portland, Maine-based artist apart from the fray of young songwriters populating the New England music scene. Admittedly far from content with the majority of songs dominating today's radio charts, Jason hovers in a unique space between the literal and the psychological. As a writer, he often provides enough detail to ignite the listener's imagination while enabling them to deliver some personal experience to the equation. In a recent interview, Jason described the songwriting process saying,
"I've written a handful of 'story' songs which can be interesting way to communicate but I definitely think the vast majority of the tunes I end up with tend to be broad-strokes vs. very literal accounts or thematic "songwritery" songs. I try and keep the concept of poetry in mind regardless...some poems are powerful in their starkness and others are powerful in the breathing room that reader has to process a series of words."
He later goes on to add...
"With songwriting, I view it as a spectrum between the stark and the broad-stroke as well. A writer like Johnny Cash for instance; there's really no time or need for songwriting devices, cleverness or trickery there. It is what is it. The poetry and the power is in the honesty and the starkness of it. On the other end of the spectrum, I think of bands like R.E.M. and Radiohead or songwriters like Tom Waits or Leonard Cohen. The lyrical approach is such a contrast to the literal stuff. Things are far more shrouded and murky but tastefully so. In these cases, I enjoy the mystery of the listening experience because I can inject some personal experience into the process. So when I write, I think I present a framework but I try not to hit listeners over the head. I generally don't enjoy songwriting where the metaphor is overwhelming or where the you can see the puppet-master's strings everywhere. It's almost like watching Soap Opera acting."