EXIT of the DAY: Exit 99b in GA I-95s To: I-16w to Macon, Georgia
If you drove toward this EXIT and had RoadSpoke, you would hear this:
Music up... Country Music... Jason Aldean's "Fly Over States" plays...
"Alright Road crew, time for a Road Test. Is the upcoming Exit 99b the road to fame and fortune? Well for someone in the car it may well be. The winner of this quiz gets paid $20 by the driver. Driver, eyes on the road!
"Now time for the fast facts…
"You are on the trail of greatness. Up the next Exit many music superstars have driven. This unassuming EXIT to Interstate 16 and Macon Georgia was an onramp for success. Think rock stars like Little Richard, Bill Berry of R.E.M. and maybe the most iconic Macon musical act , the Allman Brothers Band.
Also think the late great soul singers, Otis Redding and James Brown.
Being in Georgia it is no surprise maybe that a contemporary great is a country star. Think Country and Western Star, Jason Aldean.
Macon, Georgia is Jason Aldean’s home town.
No surprise the Macon Sound is a mix of influences and the musicians have no problem mixing with others in the broader industry.
In July 2018, like many Country Stars, Jason Aldean returned to his home town, Macon. He had just played a benefit concert for a children's hospital to a sold out crowd in Atlanta. But Jason is a new breed of country star.
Jason’s songs liberally include rocker licks. On top of that, he rubs shoulders with hip hop stars. In fact, his pal Georgia born rapper Ludacris joined him on stage for a set.
So while Jason sells out stadiums with country and western audiences, he is not afraid to think different. And he draws in a more mixed bag of fans. It’s a mix that allows for diversity and inclusion.
Jason loves to use his celebrity to do performances that are about something bigger than himself. For the man whose hits “Any Old Barstool”, “Tonight Looks Good on You,” and “Fly Over States”, this was the third year he has done a concert benefiting sick kids cared for at Atlanta's @Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital.
Says Jason: “There are a lot of reasons I love doing what I do, but being able to give back to kids and their families is definitely really important to me.” This of course includes his own family which includes 4 kids and wife Britney.
Jason’s roots run deep in Macon. He was raised by his Mom in Macon. He first performed on stage at the Macon VFW Hall when he was 15. But before that, during summer break, he would spend time with his Dad in @Homestead,Florida.
Before his father went to work he would instruct Jason where to place his fingers to play chords. Then while his dad was at work, young Jason practiced all day. When his dad got home, they got out their guitars and played together.
Moving home to Mom was no bad thing for Jason though. Jason loves Georgia deeply. In fact, except for watching University of Georgia @Bulldogs Football every Saturday you could find Jason in the Georgia woods since he is an avid outdoorsman. He even owns a Hunting Company called Buck Commander.
But guns and concerts created a grand tragedy in Las Vegas Nevada when a mad man began shooting in October 2017. Jason had just begun performing when the shooter began firing into the crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort. 58 people were killed and 851 people were injured.
Until recently, Jason stayed out of the debate that's going on over gun control. Then in a new interview with BILLBOARD Magazine, he reveals there should at least be a more thorough vetting process. After the shooting Jason visited survivors in the hospital. He admits to serious guilt over the fans who got shot. They were present to see him.
He also feels a connection to the survivors from the high school mass murder in @Parkland,Florida. Many of those students have become gun control activists. Says Jason, "Unless anybody has witnessed anything like that, it’s really hard for people to really understand where you’re coming from on that stuff," he reflects. "It’s like the kids from the school in Florida, that shooting. I get it, man. I understand how they are feeling.”
But no doubt, Jason Aldean wishes he did not need to address the raging gun law debate. In fact, he would have been far more comfortable raising donations with rapper friends at that benefit concert to build a kids’ wing at a hospital."
Now for the Road Test: what is Jason Aldean’s first name? What? “Jason” you say. Correct!
Ok Driver, cough up. Pay the genius twenty bucks. And be quick about it.
#JasonAldean #Flyovercountry #Georgia #Macon #Parkland #HarvestFestival
#Massshootings #GeorgiaBulldogs #BuckCommander