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28 Feb 10 Young Texas Music Star Goes from Shoe Sales to Songwriting

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In 2001, Jackson Doyle was living in Florida and selling shoes. Who knew that in less than 10 years, he would be living in Texas and heading his own band, Jack County.

Doyle’s journey to country success has not been the typical one for Texas musicians. After graduating from high school, he began playing bass with his church choir. He then moved to Wyoming, where his passion for music really started to develop. Then came his time selling shoes in Florida.

“By a series of strange circumstances, I ended up in Lavon, Texas, playing bass for a band and living on this guy’s floor,” Doyle said. “I was a terrible bass player, but I think they saw my passion and decided to give me a shot. At 21 years old, that first year playing music, I made a whopping $5,700!”

Doyle found his early influences in music – Tom Petty, Credence Clearwater, Bad Religion, Pennywise – helped him in his newfound role as alternative rock bass player.  Then something happened that once again changed the direction of Doyle’s life: the rock band he had played for fell apart. He was suddenly an out-of-work rock bass player with thousands of dollars in debt.

For the next two years, Doyle worked seven days a week. He found solace in the late evening hours, writing songs. He felt the only direction to go was up. He took a chance, followed his heart, and created a sound that fans believe is truly exceptional.

So nine years after trying to convince women that red pumps would be a good purchase, Jackson Doyle is a country singer-songwriter, with gospel and alternative rock influences.

“I think it’s just good old American music,” he commented, “songs about love, loss, the good days, the bad days. Sure, we get classified as country music. But nowadays, I think country music is in a sort of an identity crisis. We’re like ‘70s country meets John Mellencamp.”

For Doyle, this means the creation of Jack County, and his first CD, “Lonesome Radio.”  The songs are not overly complex. They are reminiscent of classic country clichés, nice melodies and foot-tapping hooks.

“I am most proud of a new song I’ve written called ‘Eyes Closed,’” said Doyle. “It is a story about my teenage years – knowing it all, but not knowing a thing. I think it just means a lot to me. That song really makes me smile.”

This is an example of where he gets inspiration for songs: personal experiences, things he sees his friends and family going through, life in general. “I wrote a song about a barbecue grill the other day. There’s no telling where that one came from.”
One of the biggest advantages Doyle sees to living in Texas, as opposed to Florida, is he is surrounded by musical heritage and influence.

“Townes, Willie Nelson, Billy Joe Shaver, and on and on. There’s so many great artists that have called Texas their home. Growing up in Florida, it’s not like that at all. It seems like everyone moved off and then got famous.”

Jackson Doyle would not mind in the least following that pattern.

“My goal is to provide a way of life for myself, the guys in the band, and my family,” he said. “I love writing, I love performing, and I love traveling. I would love to be able to wake up every day and do those things and make a solid living. Scraping by is not the best way to live; and I hope I can look at my account some day, and not have to worry about money – as much as least.”

Doyle had several mentors who helped him get started. Today, he looks to Fort Worth singer/songwriter Kurt South for help and direction.  Doyle is still young, but not too young to give advice for those looking for their start in music.

“I think not giving up is always the best advice,” he said. “When the rubber meets the road, you’ll find out if playing music is something you want to do as a career or a hobby.”

For Doyle, that is the true beauty of music. It can be enjoyed in any facet, “in an arena, a honky tonk, or even just a back porch.”

“Lonesome Radio” is currently available on iTunes. For more information on Doyle and Jack County, visit www.jackcountymusic.com.

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