Jameson Elder heard Tom Petty's Greatest Hits in high school, and it instantly changed his life. Since leaving Atlanta for Nashville in 2007, this incisive singer-songwriter has forged an impressive reputation for himself. Take a listen to "In My Mother's Arms," the moving conclusion to his latest album Prodigals & Thieves. Preorder it on iTunes here, and catch the album release show at The Basement on Sunday, February 28.
Prodigals & Thieves sounds great. How are you feeling about it?
It's sort of an arrival for me. Lyrically, I feel like I’m finally saying all the things I’ve tried to say since I started writing songs, and musically, it’s the sound I’ve been reaching for since the first time I heard a copy of Tom Petty’s Greatest Hits that my guitar teacher lent me. Prodigals & Thieves is an album about the lost finding their way home, a topic that I tend to drift to quite often. Whether it’s mistakes, relationships, or just growing up, I think we’ve all been at a point where we look back and wonder how we got where we are, and then we have a choice, to make a course correction or keep going the wrong direction.
This album reflects a period of my own life where I was taking a hard look at where I was headed and decided to turn back around, to find my way home.
Musically, it’s the album I’ve always wanted to make. I co-produced it with Dewey Boyd who owns Forty-One Fifteen in East Nashville. It’s influenced pretty heavily by the heartland rock of Petty and Springsteen, with a little Ryan Adams sprinkled in there. Lots of guitars, and lots of layers (which were a whole lot of fun to record!). It’s definitely a band record. We were all in the room together for the first couple days of recording, so it has that energy to it, an energy that I’ve always wanted to capture in the studio.
Tell us about "In My Mothers' Arms."
It's the final song on the album. I wrote it with Holley Maher a couple years ago. It’s really about that point in your life when you realize the place you came from really isn’t all bad, that it helped to shape you into who you are. For me personally, it’s a lot about when I started to realize the value in the things my parents taught me. I think in my early 20s, I tended to run as far away from those things as possible, to get some distance and try some things out for myself. This is the moment when I came back around and held on to the things that were worth holding on to.
What are your thoughts on Musicians Corner?
I love Musicians Corner! I’ve been in Nashville long enough to remember when it first started. We were there almost every week! As a performer, it’s great. There aren’t many times that I get to be in front of a crowd that big, especially in Nashville. So it’s always a special experience.