Highway Jackson
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Highway Jackson

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This band has not uploaded any videos



"CD Release Party Review"

Highway Jackson
The Station – St. Johns Street, Portland, Maine

The crowd stood quietly waiting for the band to take the stage, anticipation hung thick on the air. With the first few notes of the song played, singer Kris Rodgers charged the stage and the audience went crazy. Kris carries a stage presence that commands attention; add to that his outstanding vocals and he is the epitome of a hard rock front man.
Theirs is an extremely high-energy show. Lead guitarist, Tyler Johnson with fellow guitarist Brandon Reynolds and bassist Corey Pacillo literally take over the stage. Playing side by side, facing each other, behind each other or right in the face of the crowd their passion for the music they play can not only be heard, but also seen. Throughout the constant ‘dance’ they do throughout the set, one thing rings out loud and clear, their talent!

The mark of any good band is how they deal with their technical difficulties. After finishing a song, Tyler exited the stage to repair a broken string. Kris did a great job talking with the crowd. When it was evident that Tyler wasn’t returning very soon, the band broke into an awesome cover of “Wild Nights” by John Cougar Mellencamp (or Van Morrison for the older set). Tyler returned to the stage and the show went off without a hitch. Kudos boys!

This was a special night for Highway Jackson as it was their CD release show. “Leave Your Girl Pants At Home” is a six-song disc that would definitely be a great addition to any music library.

One of the last songs they played, “Smothered”, grabbed my attention and touched my very soul. The song had very poignant lyrics, soulful vocals, ‘twinkling’ harmonizing guitars and thunderous drum beats. The perfectly timed soft/hard beats provided by drummer Mike Bean brought this song to life.

They definitely went out with a bang. The set ended with the very hard-hitting “Train”. Mike and Corey worked together to bring a booming low end, which was complimented very nicely by Tyler and Brandon. The leads in this song are phenomenal! Kris’ controlled vibrato and resonance added the ‘dynamite’ to this already explosive song.

Check out the music and the tour dates on their myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/highwayjackson

Videos of this performance can be seen on our myspace site: http://www.myspace.com/mainemusicassociation

- Maine Music Association

"Asylum Review 12/29/06"

Highway Jackson
Submitted by Wendy Deschenes
Monday, 01 January 2007

As part of a killer show I saw at the Asylum on December 29, I was pleased to be introduced to a very good band based out of Portland, Highway Jackson. As top ticket sellers, Highway played to a super large, pumped up crowd.
Their original music has the sound of adrenaline pumped, slightly modernized hair metal of the 80's, with killer guitar riffs and excellent vocals.
Baby faced lead singer Kris Rodgers set the tone for the remainder of the set, when he took to the stage with a smile that melted all the ladies hearts. He's definitely into his roll as frontman, and does an excellent job of pumping up the crowd.
Lead guitarist for the group, Tyler Johnson, puts on quite a show himself. His high energy riffs and killer solo's, not to mention his good looks, take you back to the days when hair metal ruled the airwaves.
Accompanying Tyler on guitar is Brandon Reynolds. Brandon does an excellent job of playing up Tylers leads and adds his own guitar prowess and energy to the show as well.
Equally talented, and not to be out done is bass player Corey Pacillo. He adds his own high-energy stage performance and gives the music a nice tight sound.
Drummer Mike Bean added great rhythm to the music, while his playful nature really added to the performance.
Individually they are all very talented musicians. There is an obvious comradery that makes their show that much more enjoyable. They have a large fan base from the barely legal to those who are a little more 'mature', and they definitely keep the crowd moving. When the set was over and they were trying to tear down the crowd was still calling for an encore.
You can learn more about Highway Jackson, and hear some great samples of their music by visiting their myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/highwayjackson. - Maine Musician's Exchange

"Highway Jackson puts it all together with Debut EP"

Highway Jackson puts it all together with its debut EP


August 6, 2007

Set your time machine for 1976. Actually, more like 1985. Or
wait, 1993 might also work.

The Portland-based group Highway Jackson actually sounds
great right here in 2007, which is a good thing because they've
just released their debut EP "Leave Your Girl Pants at Home."

I'm not quite sure what girl pants are and why they should be
left at home, but what I can tell you is that the music is fantastic.
Listening to it I became a master of both the air guitar and
drums; I just couldn't help myself.

Highway Jackson has harnessed the power of '70s hard rockers
like Bad Company and Aerosmith. They've also tapped into the
'80s under the influence of, say, Def Leppard or Foreigner (think
"Double Vision" as opposed to "I Want to Know What Love Is."

The '90s are felt with traces of Pearl Jam and Sound Garden.

Put this all together with the seriously impressive skills of the
five members of Highway Jackson and you've got a band that I
can't believe has only been around for a couple of years. I'm
convinced they all drink jet fuel instead of coffee.

Let's start with singer Kris Rodgers. His voice is both durable
and full of emotions ranging from passion to vehemence and
beyond. He's able to go from a low, slow song intro into
bloodthirsty snarling, throaty vocals.

Guitar player Tyler Johnson has the ability to go effortlessly from
eloquent to arresting.

Second guitarist Brandon Reynolds also holds his own,
furthering the expanse of the EPs six tracks.

Corey Pacillo's bass permeates the songs like a storm that goes
from a simple shower to one of raging hail and wind.

Drummer Mike Bean beats the skins to within an inch of their

I don't want to give these guys big egos, but I'm really enthused
about their band, and this is coming from a gal who usually
doesn't rock out too much in the way of harder music, let alone
play a mean air guitar.

Here's a six-stop ride through their EP.

The drums and guitar on "Soul Sold" are prominent right out of
the gate. The guitar rips right into it and there's a lengthy
instrumental part of the song toward the end that really shines
before Rodgers kicks back in and takes the song home.

Listening to "Smothered" revealed the emotional lyricism of the
band and at just under six minutes long is my personal favorite.
Rodgers' voice soars. "Why do I feed the hunger, tempted by the
fruit so long ago? What's the spell I'm under, lord, I've got to
know. Smothered I gasp for breath today. Cool, damp, wet and
soaked in the rain. Somehow this can't be the way." Two minutes
in, the song picks up the pace and you can hear something of a
growl in Rodgers' voice one moment then it comes back down.

"Love" has the vocals of a classic rock song along with dazzling
guitar. "I let her take the wheel so she took me for a ride but I'm
still confident because I always get mine. You know its love and
you can't escape it," proclaims Rodgers, while Johnson's scalding
guitar takes on a life of its own and Pacillo punches a hole in the
song with the bass.

"Train Comin' After You," has even sharper guitar teeth from
Johnson and Reynolds while Pacillo punishes the bass and Bean
keeps a fever-pitch beat. Rodgers belts the song out with the
force of a runaway train. "You took a trip to hell and back and
now you've got nothing left to give."

This is a song that will likely age well because it's got '70s hard-
rock sensibility with an '80s metal energy and a '90s alternative
flavor in there as well. Johnson's guitar at the end of the song is
nothing less than dizzying and the band sounds so well-
rehearsed and polished without losing their raw edge.

"Don't Cry" starts with a slow, dare I say sweet, guitar and just a
few hints of percussion. A minute later, Rodgers comes in and
the song gains momentum. It's a love song, I think, though
clearly it's not all roses and sunshine. "When you call my name,
it won't be the same. We won't try again."

"The Hand You're Dealt" closes out the EP with Bean's terrific
drum intro, then both guitars tear into the song with the bass
right in there with them. "Feel the cool wind blowing, no time for
looking back to hear the bells ring, to feel your heart scream,
pumping fast and skipping beats "

And there you have it. I didn't know how I'd feel about this band,
and I'm a total believer. The independently released "Leave Your
Girl Pants at Home" EP can be found at Bull Moose stores in
Portland, Scarborough and Windham. Check in with the band at

Aimsel Ponti is a Portland freelance writer. She can be reached


Copyright © 2007 Blethen Maine Newspapers

- Portland Press Herald


"Leave Your Girl Pants at Home" 2007



"I'm convinced they all drink jet fuel instead of coffee" -Portland Press Herald

"If you’re into beautiful, melodic ballads and banging, thrashing, hard-hitting music to bang your head to and possibly hurt your neck due to lack of self control, grab this disc, give it a listen..." -Maine Music Association

"Seeing them live will send you reeling." -Maine Music Associaion

- Over a month on the Portland Phoenix Top Ten Selling local music acts!
- Debut CD distribution through Bull Moose Music, Newbury Comics, and iTunes.
- Opened multiple shows for national touring act Days of the New and Jeremiah Freed
- On-Air studio guests for WCYY "Spinout"
- Reoccuring featured band on WHEB's "Local Licks"
- Daddy's Junky Music/Digitech Truck Tour Battle of the Bands Winner 2007
- Highway Jackson has played Maine, Boston, NH, NYC, and Philadephia
- Awarded Best New Act by WCYY Spinout's "Class of 2007"
- Top local spin of 2007 on WCYY's Spinout

Notable Local/Regional/National Acts played with:
Multiple shows with "Days of the New"(Interscope Records)
IGUANADONHO(former Guitar-tech/Rhythm Guitar player for Nine Inch Nails)
Twisted Roots
Lost on Liftoff (Labor Day Records)
Twin Engines
Jeremiah Freed

Highway Jackson hails from Portland, Maine with a sound that can’t be described as anything other than “incredible”. Forming in High School, they’ve stuck together through the “thick and thins” of a young bands development, and with a new sound, have won over their hometown in less than 6 months. Traveling to Philadelphia and back the group gained momentum to release their first EP funded by countless shows and house parties. When asked what HJ sounds like, lead singer Kris Rodgers says it’s tough to describe, “It’s a cross between intellectual reading and hard-core porn, if that sounds like anything”.
Recent concert reviewer Wendy Deschenes of the Maine Musicians Exchange describes the band as “the sound of adrenaline pumped, slightly modernized hair metal of the 80's, with killer guitar riffs and excellent vocals… Individually they are all very talented musicians. There is an obvious comradery that makes their show that much more enjoyable. They have a large fan base from the barely legal to those who are a little more 'mature', and they definitely keep the crowd moving. When the set was over and they were trying to tear down the crowd was still calling for an encore.”
Mixed and produced by John Wyman at The Halo in Portland, ME and mastered by John Roberts at Omnisound Studios in Nashville, TN, Highway Jackson will be releasing its debut EP in the summer of 2007. They will tour the northeast in support of their EP, with plans for a follow up, full-length album, in the spring of 2008. For more information please contact Bernie Gaye via email at bernie.gaye@gmail.com or visit www.myspace.com/highwayjackson.

The members Highway Jackson are professional musicians. Each show is promoted, and you will be mailed promotion packages to distrubute in your venue. In turn the band will do its part to put heads through the door as well. Highway Jackson's debut CD release party had over 250 people! The goal is to build a long lasting relationship that is beneficial to both the venue and the band.