Jordan Rowe is not here to chase trade trends from countries. His first LP, Bad case of the good boy is the work of a determined artist with a story to tell. Hailing from Abel’s South Georgia map point, Rowe didn’t begin conceptualizing a career in music until he arrived in Athens to attend UGA. After hitting his stride playing acoustic sets in the coveted college town, he earned a double major in Agribusiness and Music Business. Rowe fulfilled her internship credit with the artists at River House where co-writing quickly took over her office administrative duties.
The rest of his college experience was divided by traveling back and forth to Nashville. After graduation, the aspiring act headed straight for Music City to continue on its clear course. Since his internship days, Rowe estimates that he has written nearly 200 songs. When it came time to narrow that catalog down to just eight tracks to showcase itself across the album, Rowe carefully considered the songs that captured the spirit of his envisioned art.
âI try my best to make good country music as I grew up,â Rowe told American Songwriter. âI feel like we’ve moved away from that to some extent. And I just want to write songs that make people feel something; deeper songs that you can connect with that really stir your soul.
He quotes songs like “The Good Ones Do”, co-written with Brad and Brett Warren and Lance Miller. The traditionally structured track evokes the familiar sense of its southern roots. The scorching pedal steel evokes the nostalgia needed to emotionally transcend time and space.
Another touching element is her most recent single, “Mama Ain’t Jesus”. With the help of Lainey Wilson, one of her oldest friends in town who has lent her vocal talent to melody, Rowe takes her listeners to church with a moving gospel-tinged tribute to her biggest supporter.
He wrote “Who Needs You” with fellow contemporary Ashland Craft, who also appears vocally on the record. Working with Craft and Wilson, he says, was “just friends having fun in the studio.”
At 24, the country artist is unmistakably wise beyond his years. But many tracks on the album bear witness to its wilder side. With the help of writers like Hunter Phelps, Drew Parker and Taylor Phillips, songs like the title track and “Can’t In A Car” describe the carefree country boy who is making his way into the industry.
Referring to the album’s title, it’s obvious the recent college graduate knows how to have fun, and he’s brought in a team of experts who have exhibited similar behaviors in the past.
“10-4” sees Rowe in the studio with some of his biggest influences: Eddie Montgomery, Rhett Akins and Tracy Lawrence. In a sort of torch-passing event, the country stars shared wisdom with the rapidly emerging act, ensuring the sanctity of previous generations of country musicians.
âBeing in the studio with these three was super cool,â he describes. âWatching them be in their element and think of ‘Paint Me A Birmingham’ or ‘Something To Be Proud Of’, some of my favorite songs of all time. I kind of feel like I watched how these songs were made.
He was admittedly nervous at first to join his heroes in the studio environment. But seeing their “cold” behavior helped him relax. Another point to remember, he said, was to learn to “enjoy the ride and not worry too much about the destination.”
He adds, âI’m having a hard time enjoying the moment because I’m always worried about the next thing. But we’ll never be really happy with where we’re at, we’ll always want the next thing. And when you do that, it’s hard to stop and realize that where you are now, that’s what you prayed for.
Despite a few pandemic-induced roadblocks, Rowe is ready to bring these songs on the road and deliver them to the fans who fuel his desire to make music. As a start, Bad case of the good boy is just the first chapter in what the songs suggest is a memorable career in country music. “
âTechnically it’s a year overdue,â Rowe says. “But it’s God’s plan, so it’s right on time.”
Listen to Jordan Rowe’s debut LP Bad case of the good boy, here.