Singer Jason Swain is swinging for the fences
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 7, 2004
Country rock music fans can join Suffolk’s own rising star, Jason Swain, later this month for &uot;A Night in the Country&uot; in downtown Norfolk.
Swain, backed by his band, Dry Run, will perform some of country’s favorites and several original tunes during the multi-entertainer event Jan. 16 in the NorVa. One of his original songs, &uot;Victory Lane,&uot; is a tribute to the late NASCAR race car driver Dale Earnhardt.
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Swain will be joined by special guest bands – Slick Nickel and Honky Tonk Highway -and Miss Teen Virginia Chelsie Darling. Tickets for the event are $10, and can be purchased at the local Ticketmaster outlet in the Suffolk Farm Fresh Store, or through the NorVa’s Web site. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the performance kicks off at 8.
Anyone who wants to sample Swain’s sound can tune to 88.7 WFOS-FM from 9 to 10 p.m. today, when the station will be featuring Swain’s music. On Jan. 15, Swain and fellow band member Tim Quick will be playing live on the air.
After only seven years of performing, Swain, 20, has established himself as a talented singer/songwriter, and has made some huge strides toward his dream of becoming a nationally known recording artist.
The Suffolk native began his singing career at age 13, performing in a talent contest in John F. Kennedy Middle School’s auditorium. After winning that competition, the youth began singing anywhere he could find an open mic and an opportunity.
He’s performed throughout Hampton Roads and has been nominated for the Virginia Country Music Association’s Horizon Award and Male Vocalist of the Year 1998. He has also opened for many well known recording artists.
Most people think of country music as filled with pathos and lost loves. Swain, however, prefers a more upbeat style and adds a blend of rock to the mix.
&uot;This is an excellent opportunity for country fans to show downtown Norfolk that country can draw large crowds. I hope to see many of my fans there and to meet a lot of new ones.&uot;
Onstage, Swain gets into the music, and puts on an entertaining live show in the &uot;new country&uot; style of Keith Urban and Tim McGraw. Swain says performing before an excited audience spurs him to reach for new musical heights.
Swain, who has also performed on local television and has had his songs played on a few area radio stations, says he is ready to move his dream a step closer to success in the music industry.
Right now, Swain is performing at every opportunity, and he’s talking with some labels in Nashville.
&uot;I don’t mean to sound cocky when I say this, but this is what I’m going to do,&uot; said Swain. &uot;There’s no question to that, it’s just a matter of when, and how far I can go.
&uot;I think Keith Urban said it best: ‘I’m not chasing a dream but instead, I’m following a destiny.’&uot;
Swain’s band, Dry Run, includes drummer Jason Fanny, 18; guitarist Tim Quick, 15, both of Suffolk; guitarist Mike Creech, 16, of Zuni; and rhythm player Steve Judy.
Slick Nickel, another country group with a new rock edge, will open for Swain. Honky Tonk Highway, a classic country group, will also perform. Some members of that group are former members of the regionally famous Wooden Nickel Band.
&uot;Miss Teen Virginia,&uot; Chelsie Darling, will open the show promptly at 8 p.m. by performing her own special pop country style of music.
For directions to the NorVa, visit the website, www.thenorva.com. To learn more about Swain and the Dry Run Band, check out the Web site he designed at www.angelfire.com/va/jasonswain.com.