While most country singers proudly represent for their Southern roots, Jackson Michelson is an artist who demonstrates that country is a sound that resonates all across the nation.
Born and raised in the Northwest and later based in California, Michelson's music speaks of rural life and working-class values, even if he was living a long way from Nashville. Michelson originally hailed from Corvallis, Oregon, known locally as the Grass Seed Capital of the World. Corvallis is also the home of Oregon State University, and many young people saving for college or away from school for the summer become part of the agricultural community's labor force. Michelson did his fair share of farm work, but he also went on the road with his brother, a professional Christian musician, selling merchandise at his gigs and dreaming of making music his career. Michelson had already learned to play guitar and piano, and he soon started writing songs. In 2007, Michelson graduated from high school, and by 2010 he had won the Western regional finals of the Colgate Country Showdown, a talent competition whose alumni include Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, and Martina McBride. That same year, Michelson released his debut recording, a five-song EP titled Dreams. While his prize in the Country Showdown competition was an all-expenses paid trip to Nashville, Michelson found an audience for his music in California, where his blend of country traditionalism and pop music energy communicated with local fans. As his song "The Good Life" gained airplay on satellite radio outlets, Michelson's music attracted the attention of Curb Records, who signed him to a record deal. His first release for the label, a six-song EP titled Jackson Michelson, was released in June 2016. In October 2017, Michelson dropped a single for Curb, an upbeat country-rocker called "Rollin'." ~ Mark Deming