Mississippi-born Country music singer-songwriter Jameson Rodgers moved to Nashville in 2010 with his eye on pursuing a career as an artist. In 2019 he signed a record deal with River House Artists/Columbia Nashville and his debut single ‘Some Girls’ reached number one on the US Country Airplay chart. Rodgers teamed up with Luke Combs for second single ‘Cold Beer Calling My Name’ in 2020 and that song has been steadily working its way up the charts too. Today Rodgers releases his EP ‘In It For The Money’, which features both songs along with five other tracks.
With a gritty twang to his voice, Rodgers hits the current Country music trend of harking back to more traditional influences rather than embracing the fading bro-Country era that has long-dominated the genre. EP opener ‘Cold Beer Calling My Name’ is the perfect opener, pairing Rodgers with the juggernaut that is Luke Combs, whom he more than holds his own against. Lyrically it may not be anything ground-breaking but it’s a fun song with a summer groove that’s perfect for Country radio.
‘Some Girls’, Rodgers’ first number one, is more indicative of his talents as he drawls over distant electric guitars singing about how women handle breakups differently before opening up the chorus into something altogether more urgent and powerful. That gritty rock influence in his voice marks him out from his contemporaries and for me, it’s his most powerful weapon.
Across the 7-tracks on the EP, Rodgers manages to showcase all sides of his artistry. The twangy and moody title track, ‘In It For The Money’ allows Rodgers to really showcase his vocals as he sings about pursuing his career for the love of it rather than the money he might make. ‘Rolling Rock, Rolling Stones’ has a looser funkier groove than the other tracks here, and I can imagine it translating well to a live show. Rodgers’ drawl keeps it strictly in Country but the instrumentation draws on Southern Rock with influences from funk.
The two highlights on the EP are the wistful ‘When You Think Of Mississippi’ and the very emotional ‘Good Dogs’. ‘When You Think Of Mississippi’ finds Rodgers reflecting on his home state and a past heartbreak, and it shows that he’s capable of pulling off a ballad convincingly. On ‘Good Dogs’, Rodgers appeals to the animal lover in us all as he tugs at the heart strings and laments the cruelly short life span of man’s best friend. This song hit my right in the heart and truth be told, I struggle to make it all the way through.
The EP draws to a close with ‘Desert’, a song that pushes Rodgers’ vocals forward in the mix so you can hear that grit over a lazy groove. It’s one of the more downtempo moments on the EP and a fitting end to a solid introduction to an artist with plenty of promise.
Based on the evidence of ‘In It For The Money’, Jameson Rodgers is a Country artist who could very well explode and become the next big thing. All the early signs have been good and the seven songs on this EP are varied and interesting. I can’t wait until he can come over to the UK to play live and we can get a real chance to see what he’s capable of, but until then I’m content listening to this release over and over.
Track listing: 1. Cold Beer Calling My Name (feat. Luke Combs) 2. Good Dogs 3. Some Girls 4. In It For The Money 5. Rolling Rock, Rolling Stones 6. When You Think Of Mississippi 7. Desert Record label: Columbia Nashville Release date: 23rd April 2021 Buy ‘In It For The Money’ EP now