EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: When working as a server at Cracker Barrel years ago, Jason Michael Carroll never dreamed one day his own album would be sold in Cracker Barrel Stores all over the country. However, the restaurant played a bigger part in his career than most people realize.
“I ended up singing for the first time in public, other than church, at a Cracker Barrel,” he revealed. “I was walking by a table one night singing to the in-store radio, and this lady heard me singing and asked if I could sing to her. I asked my manager and he said I could. So I went out there and kneeled down by the table and said, ‘Ma’am, I’m gonna sing to you.’ She told me to hang on and she stood up in the middle of the restaurant and said, ‘Y’all be quiet, this young man’s gonna sing to me.’ I ended up singing the song and getting a tip from a table across the restaurant that wasn’t even mine.”
Singing isn’t the only musical talent Jason has. Of the 12 songs on his new album, “Numbers,” he wrote or co-wrote 11 of the tracks. The one song he did not write is his current single, and title track, “Numbers.” It was written by Patrick Davis and Rodney Clawson.
“It’s a great song, I really like the story it tells,” he said. “You know, how many times do numbers affect our every day life. So thinking about it that way was cool. Then hearing Patrick Davis tell the story about why he wrote it. June 29, I hope I’m right, is his wife’s birthday, it’s a happy day, they celebrate it every year. But on June 29, 2008, he lost his brother to a drunk driving accident. So after that, the same date had two totally different meanings. So out of that tragedy the song “Numbers” was born.”
His hit song, “Alyssa Lies,” is also on his new album. “It’s been a positive song, helping change people’s lives,” he said. “The fact that I wrote a song like that, that’s been such an impactful song, it blows my mind. The fact that you can sit down with a pen and paper and scratch out ideas that turn into a life-changing thing, it’s awesome.”
The father of four may love singing and writing songs, but the one aspect of his career that he doesn’t enjoy so much is being away from his family. “I try to come home every week, if not, every two weeks for sure,” he said. “But the touring can keep up really busy, we were out for two months at one point. During that time I’d actually fly the family out and they’d stay with us a few days.”
Music is one of Jason’s biggest passions in life and he knows that touring and performing is what he is supposed to be doing. His latest album, “Numbers,” is in Cracker Barrel Stores now. He is also traveling and performing around the country this summer. To see a list of tour dates, visit www.jasonmichaelcarroll.com.