Jackson Emmer may be from Colorado, but his brand of Americana speaks like something born from out of Red Dirt. The singer-songwriter’s throwback roots constantly hearken back to the songwriter structure of country’s golden age and Greenwich folk. A bit of Dave Van Ronk or John Prine-style storyteller sprinkled into his swaying western swing, Emmer brings a particular brand of irreverence and consciousness that some might have thought was lost to the past. He swings just as well as the rest of them, bringing a contemporary jolt to old-school, heartfelt country music.
As Emmer himself explains, “In mainstream country today, you stretch a sad feeling out for a whole song in a Disneyland kind of way. Classic country had these stories that pivot on small moments and little details. It comes out of nowhere. You think something’s going to go down smooth, but then there’s a sudden right hook.”
His new song, “Dreamers & Fools”, certainly brings the sort of songwriting that he references to the forefront. Without giving much away, those who listen intently will be brought on an uncannily interconnected trip verse-by-verse between subjects that most would never think to relate. There’s a beauty and an ingenuity to his lyricism and the soft-spoken way he delivers deadpan expressions both with his voice and through his subtly plaintive guitar that is instantly captivating.
Emmer’s new album, Jukebox, is out on 27 April. It is currently available for pre-order.