Jackson County Line has ebbed and flowed through the Atlanta music scene for the past 6 years. The band features the lush pedal steel and cello fans have come to love, and simple gorgeous songwriting mixed with a healthy dose of Americana. After a recent hiatus, they’re back in a 5 piece format, and Andrew Chatwood talked to them about their show at Eddie’s Attic on Thursday.
What’s the first gig you ever attended?
Jackson County Line’s first real gig was at the Red Light Cafe off Amsterdam Avenue. We played for a small crowd of mostly family and friends but we made a few new friends that night and pretty soon were playing shows where we didn’t actually know everyone in the room.
What is the best gig that you ever performed?
We’ve been fortunate to play some pretty cool gigs. The Dogwood Festival in particular comes to mind when thinking of ‘rock star moments’ but our favorite gigs have always been at Eddie’s Attic. It’s just big enough to get some really good crowd energy but small enough to feel really intimate.
What is the best gig you have ever seen?
Hmmm, it’s hard to answer for the band since we have widely varied tastes but we’ve got some great friends in the Atlanta area and we always enjoy playing with them or just seeing them perform. Most of us made it to a Wilco show once and that was an awesome and humbling experience.
Gig you would most like to play?
South by Southwest has been on our radar for a while now. That would, of course, just be a prelude to playing Austin City Limits if we’re really talking pie in the sky here. Bonnaroo really needs some more Atlanta flavor too so hopefully we can get on their radar as well.
What is the strangest thing a fan has done for you or at your show?
The lead singer for another great local band “Darling Norman” showed up at one of our shows once wearing a head to toe rabbit costume. He’s already a really tall guy so adding another 2 feet of rabbit head and ears on top made him pretty hard to miss or ignore. There’s another far less print friendly (and oddly terrifying) story that comes to mind but you’ll have to ask a band member in person for that one.
What is the funniest moment you have had as an artist?
The rabbit costume is pretty hard to beat but I’m sure someone will top it eventually.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
We all tend to stick to ourselves in the half hour or so before a show and then we all try to show up on stage at the same time. Minus the synchronized watches that doesn’t always work out perfectly but we try.
If you could describe your music in one word, what would it be?
How do you connect with a crowd?
It depends on the crowd and depends on the night. There is a strong lyrical component to our music and usually the hope is to let the songs speak for themselves. Sometimes you’ve just got to yell at the giant rabbit in the back of the room though.
How did you decide on your band name?
We were looking for something that implied a rootsy/folksy/down home vibe but also made reference to our chief song writer and front man Kevin Jackson. Many folks assume we are from Jackson County but, aside from passing through it every now and then, we’re all Atlanta folks.
What is the best way to write music?
Generally Kevin brings a song in, anywhere from 40 to 90% finished, and then the rest of the band breaks it down to little bits and we put it all back together again. Whatever is left is the song. Sometimes it’s nearly identical and sometimes it’s nearly indistinguishable from the seed.
Get your tickets to see Jackson County Line, this Thursday at Eddie’s Attic!