Piedmont native on tour with Tim McGraw hits the stage in Pelham
by Laura Johnson
lbjohnson@annistonstar.com
Apr 28, 2013 | 6764 views |  0 comments | 280 280 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Left to right: Stephen Barker Liles, Jason Jordan and Eric Gunderson of Love and Theft perform at Royal Oak Music Theater Oct. 18, 2012, in Royal Oak, Mich. Photo: Scott Legato/WireImage
Left to right: Stephen Barker Liles, Jason Jordan and Eric Gunderson of Love and Theft perform at Royal Oak Music Theater Oct. 18, 2012, in Royal Oak, Mich. Photo: Scott Legato/WireImage
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For many aspiring musicians, taking the stage with a band opening for Tim McGraw would be a career milestone. But for Piedmont native Jason Jordan, it’s just another day at work.

Jordan, lead guitarist for the country music duo Love and Theft, said the duo will be on stage to open for McGraw’s spring and summer tour, Two Lanes of Freedom, kicking off in Pelham at the Oak Mountain Amphitheater May 2.

Jordan moved to Nashville almost two decades ago and has been playing music professionally ever since, he said. Playing and touring with popular country acts has become part of his life’s routine, but he said he is still looking forward to the spring performance.

“It’s going to be huge,” Jordan said. “I’m really excited. It’s good for the guys.”  

Jordan got his first job playing at Opryland Themepark shortly after moving to Nashville at age 19. Since then he’s played guitar with several country music acts known for a hit song or from opening for big-name acts like McGraw. Jordan said he connected with Love and Theft, the duo that recorded the No. 1 single “Angel Eyes,” about a year and a half ago.

“I was at the beginning stages of helping them figure out their sound as a duo,” Jordan said. “It was cool to be there because they were starting from scratch.”

Last year Jordan played 218 shows with the up-and-coming duo, he said. This year he plans to play 230 shows with the band, which has tour dates scheduled at locations across the country.

While on tour, Jordan said he often wakes up in one city and then the next, with no real sense of where he is. Touring is a cycle of sound checks, shows and dining, he said.

“You really get paid to travel. It’s become a job.”

Even as Jordan travels across the country on tour, he still remembers growing up in Piedmont, waiting for the day he could play music professionally.

“It’s all I’ve ever known,” Jordan said. “It was really just a natural progression. I was ready for it.”

His parents, Donna and Derrel Jordan, are both musical. Jordan’s father played bass in a hotel band during college. Through connections with the house band, Derrel played bass for Jerry Lee Lewis and Merle Haggard, Jordan said.

His parents met when his father performed at the Piedmont church where his mother played piano. Jordan said when he was a child she had a few songs on the radio and a local show on channel 40 called “Nashville Connection.”

The couple settled in Piedmont, where Jordan attended high school. During his childhood, Jordan’s father worked as a barber in Centre and taught guitar in front of the shop.

Jordan picked up the guitar at about the same time he was starting school and learned to play the music his father taught him. Except for a brief hiatus when he took up the drums, Jordan said he’s played guitar since the day he picked it up as a child.

After graduating high school in 1993, Jordan attended Gadsden State Community College and played on scholarship for the school’s show band under the direction of Billy E. “Rip” Regan, a long-time director at GSCC. His parents were happy to see him stick close to home.

“They just didn’t want me to go at 18,” Jordan said.

Jordan, in keeping with his parents’ request, stayed at the community college for about two years. He left for Nashville just before his 20th birthday where he’s lived for almost two decades now.

Today Jordan’s parents have joined him in the Nashville area, where he lives in the suburb of Mt. Juliet, Tenn., with his wife Melanie and their 4-year-old son Noah.

Catch Jordan onstage with Love and Theft at the Oak Mountain Amphitheater in Pelham Thursday at 7 p.m. Visit facebook.com/omaconcerts for more information.

Staff Writer Laura Johnson: 256-235-3544. On Twitter @LJohnson_Star.
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Piedmont native on tour with Tim McGraw hits the stage in Pelham by Laura Johnson
lbjohnson@annistonstar.com

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