Jackson Howard
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Jackson Howard

Philadelphia, PA | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Philadelphia, PA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Folk Pop




"Jackson Howards – ‘Just for the Mystery’"

Have you ever wondered what you would get if you take a mixer and put some blues, have a bit of a rock shake and some freshness? This is what Howards new single ‘just for the mystery’ sound is like; you can bet John Mayer has nothing on this guy, trust me.
A smooth composition with some jazzy guitar chords and riffs, piano and vocals that are accompanied by the mellow lyrics which contains some deep emotions towards that young-age love you grow old with also is a nice track to play in any occasion and have a nice time, since is incredibly enjoyable.
When I hear this song one of the things that comes to my mind are the neon lights, the streets and the nights of Chicago city. I can also think about of the ending of a romantic comedy movie with this track being played at the background of that happy ending followed by the fade to black screen and the song still playing throughout the credits.
You should hear it yourself just to see how you feel about it.
What makes this song so particular is the fact that you can actually understand every word Jackson says, this is a great way to get involved into the whole story he’s telling, some other singers these days, they sacrifice good diction for the sake of pulling big high notes or really intricate melismas and runs just to impress… ugh!
Anyway, this is not Jackson Howard’s case, everything is right where it has to be, perfectly executed, balanced and at it’s right moment, lots of clever moves were done right there for us to hear and appreciate, kudos for that.
As for his vocals, they’re very consistent and technique wise, the choirs of the song are beautifully harmonized, and near the ending there’s some falsetto action going on, without being loud or unpleasant and as I said before: no word was harmed in the making of this song.
The cover art for this single is the only thing that I would maybe put into some questioning, since it does not make me think at all in the content of the track, although it looks really nice, creative, imaginative and dreamy, and the colors choice are well picked, it may not represent the track in a visual way (if you’re a graphic designer or visual artist you’ll get what I’m saying), it could work for the album cover with another title, but not for the single itself, what do you think?.
To conclude, all I can say for sure is these two things: I broke the repeat button, and… I want to hear more! Jackson Howard is definitely one to pay close attention to, after listening to this song you will only expect for the best to come from this guy.
Make sure to check his social media platforms to stay tuned with further releases, tours and news. - Skope Magazine

"Jackson Howard Releases Upbeat, Infectious New Single Just For The Mystery"

Jackson Howard has delivered an infectious, upbeat, uplifting new single titled Just For The Mystery, and I promise you will be playing this one repeatedly (and adding it to your playlist)!
A sweet blend of alternative rock and indie pop, Jackson Howard knows how to grab our attention with the first note and keep it entertained and engaged until the last sound fades.
Just For The Mystery is a jam as tasty as the finest jars stored in grandma’s cupboard and it will leave you wanting more of that rockin’ pop goodness even after you’ve scraped the last drop. Jackson writes music that will appeal to the entire family… likely to spark a spontaneous dance session or possibly an air-instrument jam of epic proportions.
Is this song spinning on radio yet?
If not, someone make that happen! Just For The Mystery is a hit (in my humble opinion). - Middle Tennessee Music

"Interview and Performance on FOX2 News"

The content is a video. - FOX2 News

"INTERVIEW: Jackson Howard"

Hi Jackson, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Thanks, it’s great to be here! I have been frantically preparing for this tour as well as my tour of Germany this September. It’s been busy and a lot of work, but so exciting at the same time!
Can you talk to us more about your song “Just For The Mystery”?
Of course! Just for the Mystery is the opening track and lead-off single for my new album of the same name. While much of my music leans acoustic/alternative, this song has a poppy, danceable groove that makes it fun to play.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
About a year and a half ago, I played a concert in my hometown of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (United States) and many friends from high-school days came out. Afterwards, a group of us went out, had some beers and reminisced about old stories, past flames, etc., the way people do who knew each other as kids. As I caught up with a girl who had dated my brother in high school, she made the observation that she would never love anyone the same way that she had loved him, which was not to say that she would never love anyone as much, but simply that it would always be different. The comment that stuck with me was when she said, “At that age, there is only one question to consider…do I love this person or not? As we get older, life becomes more complicated as careers, location, finances, and lifestyles all have to enter this equation. Because of this there will always be an allure to the teenage romances of the past for the pure simplicity they offer… but that simplicity could never exist now”. I’m probably taking creative liberty with her exact words, but that was my take away. So the next night I wrote all the melody and lyrics to the song while driving 12 hours overnight from Pennsylvania to St. Louis using a voice recorder on my phone.
Any plans to release a video for the track?
As a matter of fact, my close friend and one of my favorite people in the world, Britt Neufer is currently working on a video for Just for the Mystery. I don’t want to give too much away and lose the *ahem* “mystery” (Michael Jackson may be the king of pop, but I’m certainly the king of dad-jokes), but we shot everything on a green screen and it’s going to be a wacky one. We had a blast shooting this thing. Britt is a genius and the bits I’ve seen so far have me very excited. She has worked on major television and film content and really knows her stuff. We met completely by accident when serendipitously assigned to the same Ultimate Frisbee team last fall and become fast friends before deciding to put this video together. Can’t wait to share it with you!
Why did you name the album after this song in particular?
There were several title options floated around, but this title stuck. In many ways, I feel that “Just for the Mystery” is a decent explanation for many of my life decisions lately. In 2013, I completed a PhD in Exercise Physiology at the University of Pittsburgh and then moved to St. Louis to do research in behavioral treatments for Obesity. It wasn’t until I was living in St. Louis that I began performing, and within a year or so I was doing pretty well locally. That’s when I started to get the “What if?” itch and toyed with the idea of making a living from music in my mind. Eventually, “What if?” turned into “How?” which became hard work and an increasing revenue stream from music. I really wanted to know what it would be like to quit my job and play music full time… so I did.
After playing mostly local gigs for two years in St. Louis, I started to map my first major tour… this one. The question I’ve gotten most from musician friends has been “Why are you touring?” or “What is your goal with this tour?” And honestly, my goal is not to achieve super-stardom, not to make a fortune (though an income close to my old job would be nice), and not to get myself in-front of important A&R execs. So, with that in mind I had to dig a little to answer why I wanted to tour so badly, and the simply answer became very clear. I wanted to tour because it sounded fun! I want to tour because I’m young, unmarried with no kids and I still can. I want to tour, to see what it’s like, make a lot of new friends and have an unforgettable experience. In many ways, calling this the “Just for the Mystery Tour” is very appropriate!
How was the recording and writing process?
As I mentioned before, I wrote the song while driving 12-hours solo through the night and singing into a voice recorder app. That actually proved to be a great way to stay awake, and was the second time I had written a song this way as “A Place in this World” came from the drive a week earlier from St. Louis to Harrisburg.
Recording this song was a blast. A college friend of mine and amazing musician Andre DiMuzio drove down to Nashville from North Carolina to play piano on the album, and we also worked with Jared Kneale on drums (who plays currently with Ben Rector and formerly Kacey Musgraves), as well as Danny O’Lannerghty on bass, and Jonathan Crone on guitar. We recorded at Playground Recording Studio in Nashville, TN, tracking simultaneously in one giant room as a band. Everything gelled immediately and I think we knocked this one out in one or two takes. We all got so into the groove that when the end came, we played right through it resulting in the unusual way everything seems to fall apart at the end. That wasn’t how the song was supposed to end, but we loved it and decided to keep it!
You got to work with several producers on this album – why so many and how did they influence the album?
The album has two producers and four different engineers. The initial pre-production I did with my friend Andre DiMuzio at his place in North Carolina. I went out there about a month before we began recording and we spent three days going through 7 of the songs from the record (and one that didn’t make it on). He had some really great input on the album, adding the epic outro to “Run with Me”, the dramatic key change to “Dizzy” and tasty re-harmonization on a number of other tunes. I’ve admired Andre’s writing since we were in college, and it was a real treat to get to work with him.
Then I took the updated versions of the songs to Dark Horse recording studio with producer Billy Smiley where we spent another 3 days making additional tweaks. Billy has great pop sensibility and feel for how to perfect the flow of a song. On Just for the Mystery, he completely scrapped the bridge I had written and had me play a guitar solo instead. To be fair, it was a pretty strange bridge before, and as a guy who is almost always on an acoustic, it was definitely fun playing a little lead!
Did Paul Simon and Jason Mraz influence the writing on this record?
I sure they did in some way. I admire both artists as lyricists for completely different reasons. Simon for his vivid imagery and distinctly unusual and conversational phrasing and Mraz for his rhythmic use of language with almost percussive phrasing over brilliant internal rhyme. I’m sure I’m always striving for something that approaches their mastery when I write. Certainly the verses of Just for the Mystery are built on the same type of quick internal rhyme that is such a signature of Jason Mraz, while other songs on the album like “This Town” follow a softer more conversational approach like Simon. Any artist you really fall in love with is bound to influence your writing.
What mysteries did you get to dive on this record?
The record covers a lot of topics like home, identity, love, nostalgia, hope, friendship and bitter resent. I think I’m most proud of “If I Fall” both lyrically and harmonically. I’ll let that one speak for itself, and you can find it on Spotify searching “Jackson Howard”.
How has the road been treating you so far?
Tomorrow is the beginning of my first major tour, so in many ways that is yet to be seen. I have travelled a lot already for music this year though, and have had a blast. One of my favorite things about touring is how many old friends I get to see who I might not have had a chance to reconnect with had music not brought me to their cities.
Any highlights?
In January I played a show for a packed house at Gaukurinn in Reykjavik, Iceland with Nick Jameson of Foghat. The vibe in that room was amazing. The full to brimming room was completely engaged and supportive and Nick is such an incredible performer that I had more fun watching him than I did playing that night! Adding that the next week was spent climbing mountains, exploring glaciers and hiking waterfalls, it’s hard to beat that experience.
What else is happening next in Jackson Howard’s world?
For the next two and a half months I’ll be touring throughout the Midwest, New England, Mid Atlantic and the Carolinas, and then it’ll be off to Germany for a 23-show tour. Things are fuzzier past that horizon, but I kind of like it that way. l’m not doing any type of Kickstarter or GoFundMe, but would love all the support I can get from people either following me on Spotify, buying my album on iTunes, or simply sharing my music with friends! Thank you so much for your time! - Vents Magazine


A Place to Cross (EP) - 2015
About Life - 2016
Just For the Mystery - 2017
New Day Begun - 2020 (2/1/2020)



Jackson Howard’s neo-folk weaves poetry over intricate fingerstyle guitar. Jackson has toured the US, Canada, Iceland, Germany, Belgium and Netherlands. His last release, Just for the Mystery,has received significant radio play and has been licensed by MTV, E!, Discovery, and Netflix among other TV networks for use in their programming. Having earned a PhD and secured a position at Washington University in Saint Louis, a music career was an unlikely choice. But after a few years of juggling research and full performance schedule, Howard ultimately ditched research to give himself fully to his music. 

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