We're excited to welcome Jason Eskridge back to Musicians Corner. The soulful Tennessee native and occasional backup singer to the stars will play this Saturday's Spring 2015 Kick Off Celebration, along with Kris Allen, Viva Mexico, and Dave Barnes & Matt Wertz. Eskridge chatted with us about his recent pilgrimage to see Stevie Wonder, the secret to backing up big name musicians and more.
What can we expect from your set at Musicians Corner?
Some of my original songs as well as a cover or two that we enjoy playing.
You’re known for your powerful voice. Have you ever taken lessons? Do you do anything to maintain it?
I've never taken any formal lessons, but I've been singing my whole life and was very fortunate to have been surrounded by amazing music from an early age. The main things I do to maintain my voice is warm up before performances and sessions and rest it whenever I can.
You've sung backup for some impressive musicians, like Lyle Lovett, Marc Broussard and Randy Travis. What qualities do you need to be a good backup singer?
You definitely have to learn to "read" the artist that you're singing for. Learn their inflections, etc. You also have to learn to blend well with the artist and the other singers when applicable. Finally, you have to recognize that you're there to support the artist, which may mean that you don't necessarily get much time in the spotlight.
What's it like being a musician in Nashville?
I think just like anything else, being a musician has its good days and bad days. I will say that having spent time in most of the other major music markets in the US, I'm extremely proud to be a part of the Nashville music scene. The musical diversity, excellence, and camaraderie displayed among our community makes it second to none.
What's the last good concert you went to?
Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life at Bridgestone Arena. Without rambling on, it was the best and most meaningful concert I've ever attended. It was amazing to hear those songs that are almost 40 years old played back to back... not once lacking in cultural or artistic relevance. I often say that "good music never dies". That night was proof positive of this fact.
What are your thoughts on Musicians Corner?
I think Musicians Corner is great for the city of Nashville. I love that they are strategic in displaying the diverse and rich talent pool that Nashville has to offer outside of the country music that we're primarily known for. I've attended numerous shows at Musicians Corner and I believe this will be my fifth time playing in some way or another. It's been fun to watch it grow from year to year. I'll keep coming back as long as they'll let me!
WATCH JASON ESKRIDGE COVER STEVIE WONDER'S "SUPERSTITION":