Nashville star Jonathan Jackson will rock B.B. King’s
By Angela Barbuti
Jonathan Jackson recently landed another dream job. On ABC’s new series Nashville, he gets to combine two of his talents — acting and singing. “It’s a dream come true. I never thought a role like this would come along,” the thirty-one-year old said about playing country singer Avery Barkley. When we spoke, the fate of Nashville wasn’t yet known, but because of its compelling storyline and soundtrack, the show has been renewed for a second season. With five Daytime Emmy Awards for his role as Lucky on General Hospital, the film and TV veteran still makes time to perform with his band, Enation. This Indie Euro Folk Rock band comes to B.B. King’s in Times Square on June 13th, a show that Jackson promises will be an intimate experience.
Your band Enation is Indie Euro Folk Rock. How would you explain that genre to people who haven’t heard your music?
The folk aspect comes down to the approach to the lyrics and a certain amount of intimacy that we try to have in our music. And the rock part means that it gets kind of anthemic and big at times. I think Bruce Springsteen and U2 are artists that have a rock side, but also have a folk side to some of their music. We keep in that tradition — walking the line between intimacy and big, rock music.
What does your band name mean?
Enation is like a birthing, coming into existence. We liked the name because we thought it had a sense of movement and creativity. That is how we feel when we are making music.
You’re in the band with your brother. How long have you been playing together?
Richard and I have been playing music together since I was 11 or 12. A long time. When we formed Enation, that was probably eight years ago.
What do you expect the demographic to be at your B.B. King’s show?
It’s sort of a mixed group. Some people come out who are just fans of the music. Other people primarily know me from General Hospital or Nashville. I’ve been doing music long enough that most people who follow me also follow my music.
What can fans expect at your concert?
An awesome rock show that’s also going to have some more intimate music. We’re gonna play some of the songs that have been on Nashville. We like to spend time taking pictures with the fans and signing autographs. We love playing live and really rocking the house.
How did your role on Nashville come about?
Nashville was an audition I had in Los Angeles. They asked me to bring my guitar and play some songs, which was not the normal thing they usually do for an audition. It was such a great script that Callie Khouri wrote. I was very excited about the project and when I learned that T Bone Burnett was producing the music, I was even more excited. It’s been an amazing experience.
Besides the music aspect, what’s the difference between working on Nashville versus General Hospital?
Well General Hospital’s filming schedule is very different. You’re doing 20 to 30 pages of dialogue a day, but your hours are kind of short. You’re only there for five or six hours a day usually. On Nashville, you’re only doing 5 pages a day — so there’s a lot less memorizing. But you might be on set for 12 to 15 hours. So the hours are longer on Nashville, but the memorizing is more on General Hospital. They’re both kind of demanding in different ways.
You divide your time between living in L.A. and Nashville. Do people in Nashville come up to you about the show?
Yeah, it’s really amazing how the city has embraced the show. In a sense, they feel like the show is theirs because it’s representing their city. There’s a real fondness from the people here towards all of us on the show.
You were 11 when you started on General Hospital and went on to win five daytime Emmys. I read that you are open to the possibility of someday coming back to the show.
Well yeah, General Hospital is something I never close the door on cause it’s like a family to me.
What happened to Lucky?
I left the show originally in 1999 and was gone for 10 years doing films. When I came back, Lucky was a detective and had been through a lot. He was a drug addict, alcoholic, had some kids, was divorced. On soaps, everything’s very tumultuous and dramatic. I had 10 years of drama that Lucky had been through. And then, even when I was on the show this last time for a couple of years, he lost his son; his fiancé died. He’s such a fun character to play. Now, he’s just out of the country.
You met your wife on the set of General Hospital.
She was just coming onto the show when I was leaving, so we never really worked together. We didn’t really become friends until later, away from the show.
You have three children. Do they follow in your artistic footsteps?
Yeah, very much so. My son is nine and is always playing the piano and loves composition music. He’s being creating music like movie scores and has written a couple of books as well. My daughter — she’s seven — is a really awesome singer and has already written her own songs. I’ve written a couple of songs with her, so we’re probably going to perform around here sometime soon for fun.
You even wrote a book of poetry.
That one is called Book of Solace and Madness. It’s a series of books, that was the first part. I’ve already written the second part; I just don’t know when we’ll release it. I’ve also written an epic poem and my first novel.
Would you ever go back to doing films?
Yeah, films have always been something I’ve done over the years. Even was I was on General Hospital the first time, I did Camp Nowhere and The Deep End of the Ocean. I love film work and I’m sure they’ll be more opportunities to do some films as time goes on.
What are your future plans?
We’re waiting to see whether or not Nashville gets picked up for a second season. That will determine the near future. I’m working on some films as well; my brother and I write screenplays together. I’ll keep doing music with the band and maybe get some of the other book projects out there.
For tickets to Enation’s show at B.B. King’s, visit www.bbkingblues.com
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