Take a moment and close your eyes and imagine a musician with the writing abilities of Alan Jackson and the modern country twang of Jon Pardi. Now, open your eyes and keep reading because this type of artist exists, and he goes by the name of Jordan Rowe.
The Georgia-bred singer and songwriter is the ultimate storyteller with an ear for good music. His raw, authentic, and honest lyrics come from real-life experiences rooted from his southern upbringing. To bring his story to life, the 24-year-old rising star turned to notable hitmakers – Drew Parker, Hunter Phelps, Taylor Phillips, Jacob Davis, and more to pen his eight-track debut record, Bad Case of the Good Ole Boy.
Rubbing elbows with elite names in the honky-tonk town is not Rowe’s first rodeo, as he quickly scored a spot within Nashville’s inner circle of respected songwriters. The group includes – Ray Fulcher, Thomas Archer, and Cole Taylor while interning at River House Artists.
The label that first gave him the avenue to practice his craft quickly recognized Rowe’s remarkable talents and offered him a publishing deal. After years of work and preparation, the newcomer has released his debut record produced by Derek Wells under River House Artists.
“This album is my introduction to a lot of people, so I gave my all to every single song,” says the singer in an exclusive Country Now interview. “I feel like it covers all the bases of who I am as an artist and just a person in general, and it shows all of the kinds of songs I like to write – the fun ones, but also the deep ones that hit home.”
The record turned into a star-studded collection, as Rowe called in his heroes – Rhett Akins, Tracey Lawrence, and Eddie Montgomery to join him on his up-tempo hit “10-4.” However, it was his chilling ballad “Mama Ain’t Jesus,” with Country break-out star Lainey Wilson that tugged at music-goers’ heartstrings.
“Lainey and I have been friends for a few years, so the collaboration was really organic.,” shares Rowe. “We got the idea at her house while we were watching the ACM’s one night, and my Mama called me. I took the call, and when I came back inside, Lainey said, “Dang boy, who were you on the phone with… Jesus?” And I said, “No, it was Mama, but she’s a close second.” There were a bunch of other songwriters in the room, so we stayed quiet and knew we had to write it the next chance we got,” he says about the inspiration behind the lyrics to “Mama Ain’t Jesus.”
With that being said, Country Now caught up with Jordan to chat about the time he filmed the music video for his touching tribute in Nashville’s First Evangelical Lutheran Church with Wilson, his full-length debut record, and to hear more about his upcoming tour with Reid Haughton.
Read on to find out more about Jordan Rowe in this exclusive Q&A below…
You recently dropped your debut record Bad Case of the Good Ole Boy, how are you feeling, and what does this project mean to you?
I’m feeling great! I’m so excited to finally have it out. This album is my introduction to a lot of people, so I gave my all to every single song.
How does your recently released album represent you as a singer and songwriter?
I feel like it covers all the bases of who I am as an artist and just a person in general, and it shows all of the kinds of songs I like to write – the fun ones, but also the deep ones that hit home.
Out of all eight tracks on Bad Case of the Good Ole Boy, which one was the hardest to write and why?
“The Good Ones Do.” I knew how good it could be, and every single line had to be great in order for it to be done right.
What was it like to work with country legends Rhett Akins, Tracey Lawrence, and Eddie Montgomery on “10-4”?
It was a dream come true! I grew up on those guys, so getting to work together with them on their level was an amazing experience.
Have you received any valuable career advice from country icons Rhett Akins, Tracey Lawrence, and Eddie Montgomery?
I remember Eddie told me to have fun and smile every day, even on the tough days, because I’ll have them.
How did the collaboration with Lainey Wilson come about? Could you share with us the songwriting process behind “Mama Ain’t Jesus”? Are there any behind-the-scenes secrets for the “Mama Ain’t Jesus” music video that might surprise fans?
Lainey and I have been friends for a few years, so the collaboration was really organic. We got the idea at her house while we were watching the ACM’s one, night and my mama called me. I took the call, and when I came back inside Lainey said, “Dang boy, who were you on the phone with… Jesus?” And I said, “No, it was Mama, but she’s a close second.” There were a bunch of other songwriters in the room, so we stayed quiet and knew we had to write it the next chance we got.
Out of 200 songs, you had to pick eight to put on your debut record – could you walk us through that challenging decision-making process?
It was many hours of listening back through old work tapes and demos, bouncing songs off of buddies, and praying to pick the right ones.
What was going through your head the day you dropped your debut album?
I knew we had put the work in and did all I could do to have a successful release. So I was at peace with knowing I “left it all on the field,” so to speak, but I was still nervous about how it was going to be received. I was pumped to see that people were really loving the songs as much as I do.
How would you like your fans to feel when they listen to “Had A Ball” for the very first time?
I want them to think back on the past and smile.
You are about to hit the road with Reid Haughton to play the Southeast. What are you most excited about, and how do you think your fans will respond to your new music live?
Since the last time I went down there to play a show, I’ve put out 11 new songs, so I’m excited to see the difference that will make and see which songs the fans know. I know they’ll have a great time at the show!
What do you think your younger self would say about your music success?
I think my younger self would say, “I knew you could do it.” I don’t mean that in a cocky way. I just mean that if you don’t believe in yourself, why should anybody else? You have to believe in what you’re doing, or there’s no point in doing it.
How would you say you’ve grown as a vocalist since moving to Nashville?
I think my voice has matured a lot. I’ve learned more about where my sweet spots are, and I’m still working on that now. And I also think I’ve learned how to deliver a hook better than I used to. There’s an art to making it feel right. Eric Church is one of the best at that.
What is one fun fact about yourself that your fans don’t know or might find surprising?
I was the valedictorian of my high school class, and I have a black belt in Taekwondo.
What is next for you? What should fans look out for?
Show, shows, and more shows! And along with those, I have a feeling we’ll be recording some more music pretty soon.
Fans can keep up with Jordan Rowe on Instagram.