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  • Jason Morton said his band’s self-titled album is the “best representation of Southern rock’s roots, yet it’s new and fresh, and very true to the genre.”
    Photo courtesy of Celeste Sperber
    Jason Morton said his band’s self-titled album is the “best representation of Southern rock’s roots, yet it’s new and fresh, and very true to the genre.”

Marylanders Rock The Music City, Release Debut Album

Judy Tacyn
Judy Tacyn's picture
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November 10, 2017

His ZIP code may have changed, but musician Jason Morton will always treasure Maryland. After two years of writing and recording, the former Pasadena resident and his band released their self-titled debut album, “Jason Morton and The Chesapeake Sons,” on November 3. On the 10-track collection, the four-piece ensemble blends rock, blues, country, gospel, and even psychedelia, with lyrics and riffs rooted in southern rock.

“I am really proud of this album because it’s hard rock, a little southern, and the harder edge of my younger days came out,” said Morton. “I think it is the best representation of Southern rock’s roots, yet it’s new and fresh, and very true to the genre.”

The Voice caught up with Morton during a recent visit with his family on Kent Island, just days before “Jason Morton and The Chesapeake Sons” was set to release.

“While the whole team is now based in Nashville, we are all from Maryland,” said Morton. “We spend a lot of time going back and forth between Nashville and Maryland, and we wanted our name to be reflective of our pride in where we came from.”

References to Morton’s roots can also be heard in his lyrics, such as “up in Baltimore with some friends of mine” in “Southern Sound,” the third track. “I am really proud to be from here,” said Morton. “It’s important for me to represent Maryland.”

Morton and his band have shared stages with ZZ Top, Kid Rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eric Church and Shooter Jennings. They were once handpicked by Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash to open for him, and Paul McCartney’s manager personally asked them to represent the U.S. at an internationally themed music festival in Lithuania.

Jason Morton and The Chesapeake Sons is managed by Rusty Harmon, who held the same role with multiplatinum-selling band Hootie & The Blowfish, and produced by Will Edwards, whose credits include Colombian pop star Shakira, country singer Craig Wayne Boyd, the movie “Shrek” and the HBO show “The Sopranos.” Edwards co-wrote some of the tracks and contributed keyboards, using the same piano that was pivotal in Derek & the Dominos’ signpost “Layla.”

“Working with these guys (Harmon and Edwards) was really great. They really made the album fun during the collaborative creative process,” said Morton. “It’s just so special when you have an idea, we sit down together with the producers, and the song just comes alive.

“After 12 years of making music, I have pretty thick skin,” added Morton. “When someone says, ‘I like that, let’s make it better,’ I have no problem with the collaboration and listening to ideas. I’ve come to trust the creative process.”

Morton co-wrote all of the songs, and said he’s learned not to write lyrics in an attempt to appeal to people. “Lyrics mean different things to different people,” he said. “I just try to write strong lyrics with conviction that tell a story.”

He said that sometimes songs can be written in 15 minutes, sometimes more than week. “Track 8, ‘Mexico,’ started to flow quite easily,” he said. “But not all songs come together like that.”

“Jason Morton and the Chesapeake Sons” is available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Apple Music, The Orchard and other digital channels, most of which are accessible from this link. CDs can be purchased at live venues.

Locally, Morton looks forward to a solo acoustic performance at the Queenstown moose lodge on November 25. For more information, tickets and other concert dates, go to www.bandsintown.com and search for “Chesapeake Sons.” Also, follow www.iamjasonmorton.com for a new and dynamic band website coming soon.

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