One often finds out, that those who can act very well, can also sing. The attendees of last Thursday’s performance were rewarded with a moving and energetic live set @ Madison Live from Jonathan Jackson + Enation.
Jackson performed his biggest hit to date “feel this” and you could immediately tell that the crowd was definitely getting the message in a very direct way. The venue itself, was the perfect place to showcase the talents of Jackson (play guitar/piano & sings) and his bassist and drummer. The room captures sound in a unique and very positive way, and you can truly hear just about every note. It would be especially a challenging room for a vocalist (as one can pick out even the slightest mistake) but not for Jonathan Jackson. I was pleasantly surprised by his sheer vocal ability.
I knew his past as a popular actor on both General Hospital (1993-1999) and Nashville (started in 2012), but had no idea what kind of notes he could hit with his voice. As far as pure vocal talent, he certainly has a great deal of ability and the blend of soft & loud song choices allowed his soaring voice to shine.
I was also struck by Jackson’s sense of world events, as he (almost shockingly so) decided to talk about Syria and all the displaced refugees before changing to piano for a song about this harrowing topic. The songs, the lyrics, and the energy of the band; all seem to point to a keen awareness of today’s complex relationships of religion, war, sex, and the stage. There was quite a bit more to this show, than merely a chance to see an actor perform music. Jonathan Jackson is a singer/songwriter of separate merit from his acting.
His drummer and bassist had roots & abilities ranging from progressive stylings to 4 on the floor country rock. The sounds all combined for a fresh range of songs that the audience enjoyed with a rich intensity. Ultimately music that is relished in such a favorable way certainly deserves further exploration. It was a true pleasure to witness some of their talents in person It was also impressive to learn of their work with legendary producer T-Bone Burnett. The band had obviously from their body language on stage, truly enjoyed spending time in the studio with this legend of recording. The band’s latest album “Cinematic” is something to check out as well. The band was able to perform the title track from this one to near perfection.
After it was all done, you could certainly tell that the crowd wanted to hear more songs from this enticing trio. Great sound/ Great crowd/ and Great venue.