The road to country music stardom is long and winding, and success is often determined by how well you can avoid the potholes. For Jason Terry, however, there’s a literal road to go along with the figurative one.
“I recently just moved back to my hometown, and I commute here every other week,” Terry says.
Two years ago, he moved from his hometown of Onida, Tenn. to Nashville to pursue his dreams of becoming a country musician. But not long ago he felt he needed to move back in order to help take care of ailing family members—his mother has rheumatoid arthritis and his grandmothers were in bad health.
He seems to be someone who is always moving two steps forward and one step back.
As a kid, Terry was always a fan of music, and his parents always encouraged him. “My mom’s always wanted me to move to Nashville, since I was five years old,” he says. “She kept saying, ‘When you turn 18 you’re going to move to Nashville, and I’m going to be your manager.’”
As a teen he was in garage bands that played rock music, but always felt that his roots were in country. He was later in an unfortunate ATV accident that broke six of his ribs and bruised his kidney. The realization that life is frail led him to record a four-song Christian inspirational album in 2008 once he’d healed, and that EP was accompanied by a small tour that benefited kids who were addicted to drugs and alcohol.
It was after releasing that album and touring that Terry decided he wanted to fully dedicate his time becoming a musician, albeit playing country music rather than Christian and inspirational songs.
“Looking back on it,” he says, “a lot of the songs that I would write—as far as the Christian stuff—you could hear the country influence on it.”
He spent two years in Nashville, meeting people and shaking hands, writing songs and playing shows. He was starting to make a little headway when he was called back home to Onida.
But he certainly hasn’t given up on being a musician. Right now he’s a full time paramedic, working seven days straight, followed by a week in Nashville or on the road. He spends his time in Music City co-writing—this week he wrote with Doug Littlejohn and Amanda Lynn—playing shows and recording.
He’s put out two singles and is currently working on a full-length debut album that he expects to be released at the end of the year. He cites varied influences from Travis Tritt to Lynyrd Skynyrd and is always working to push his own musical boundaries: “I just got out of the studio yesterday with a new duet with Amanda Allen from the group Savannah. That was something new that I’ve not done, a duet.”
On October 8th, he’ll be playing in Mershon, Georgia, opening for the likes of Kason Layne and Brantley Gilbert.
For more information and to hear music from Jason Terry, check out www.jasonterrymusic.com.
Just wanted to clear something up. It’s spelled “Oneida”. I’m from there too and Jason is a great guy. Went to church with him for years! btw. Country artist, Anthony Smith is also from our town. (great tunes)