Jemison musician gears up for album release party Sept. 14By Emily Reed Published 1:31pm Thursday, September 12, 2013
After working on his debut album for several months, Jemison’s Jason Henley is gearing up for a CD release party this Saturday at Champy’s in Alabaster at 7 p.m.
“This is my first album to put out but I have been playing music my whole life,” Henley said. “I just recently started trying to pursue playing music semi-professionally so I went to St. Augustine, Fla. and recorded the album through a family friend and just finished it up a couple of weeks ago.”
Henley said he grew up in a musical family with influences from both his uncle and grandfather who played music.
“I guess you could say it has been in my blood,” Henley said. “I grew up listening to country, bluegrass and even the Jackson 5, but of course when I heard Guns N’ Roses for the first time I fell in love with rock ‘n’ roll.”
Henley said from a musician standpoint, he first got hooked when his uncle purchased him his first electric guitar when he was 11 years old.
“I took guitar lessons and then started teaching myself and I have been playing ever since,” Henley said.
Although it is difficult to classify his music into a particular genre, Henley said his current style could fall between country rock and gospel.
“When I play, I play a lot of covers and a lot of old country covers,” Henley said. “I love a lot of Southern rock covers so I guess you could say I am Americana, the new old country.”
Henley’s album, “Pernicious” was a collaborative effort with songwriting partner, Roberta Jennings, who lives in St. Augustine, Fla.
With a schedule from working in the Herbicide business that left him with free time during three or four months out of the year, Henley decided to pursue his music career.
“I started playing open mic nights to build connections,” Henley said. “I met Roberta about three years ago when I met my wife, Nikki and we started playing music and doing some songwriting which is how everything got started for this album.”
Jennings met the owner of Eclipse Recording in St. Augustine who produced the album for Henley.
The two purchased 18 hours of recording at the studio, met in St. Augustine and recorded the album two months ago.
Henley’s album was officially released on Tuesday and Henley said the initial feedback has been positive.
“We have a lot of people in our corner so it has been great,” Henley said.
Henley provides vocals for all of the tracks on the album along with a percussionist and Jennings who provided a cameo appearance on the last cover track, “I’ll Fly Away.”
Jennings also wrote four of the songs on the album.
The album is available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon and copies will be available on Saturday at the release party for $10.
Henley plays at various venues in Birmingham and Shelby County and would like to start playing more in Chilton County.
He also encourages local musicians to attend an open jam session at the Courtyard Alabaster.
“I have guys who come and play from Chilton and Shelby counties and we have a lot of fun,” Henley said. “The only rule is this isn’t an open mic, it is an open jam so you have to have someone play with you.”
For more information about Henley’s music, visit www.jasonhenleymusic.com.