Never get too busy making a living that you forget to make a life, because no one is truly wealthy until they have something that money can’t buy. Living by this narrative is Batesville Mississippi native, Jameson Rodgers.
As a kid growing up on the farm fields of his small hometown, Rodgers tended to keep his head down, and never truly believed in himself and his abilities, those of which, others couldn’t help but praise. “I was always scared to mess up,” explains Rodgers. “I’ve never admitted that before, but it was true.” Rodgers continued to wrestle with the feeling of “not being enough,” as he travelled from his hometown to Music City in 2010. With just ten songs under his belt at the time, self-doubt and doubt from those around him kicked in. Nevertheless, Rodgers persevered, knowing that songwriting just might be the outlet this shy kid from small-town Mississippi craved. “I realized I could say stuff in a song that I would never be comfortable saying to another person in a sentence.”
It was from here on forward, the Country singer/songwriter rooted in humble beginnings, found himself in pursuit of something more than what he had always known. Holding close to his heart a few of the core values he learned to appreciate through small-town living.
A project partly created in a little cabin just east of Nashville, Rodgers teamed up with some of his favourite songwriters, taking bits and pieces of their collective truths and putting together a record in which a shy guy speaks loud about life and the lessons learned. Rodgers’ new 7-track EP titled In It for the Money, proves that true wealth is found in things far greater than money itself, like time, loyalty, and love.
Opening the record is the smash hit “Cold Beer Calling My Name,” featuring genre juggernaut, Luke Combs. A toast to a night full of fun, the tune is sure to put a “little chill in your weekend.” You’ve put in your work for the day and just clocked out with nowhere to be, and a little gas in the tank. You speed down a stretch of blacktop without a care in the world, and are ready to take on the weekend full force. To top it all off, you have a cold beer calling your name. Ah, the simple joys of life.
On the following track, “Good Dogs,” Rodgers tells the tale of a man’s best friend. Few things in life can compare to the love and loyalty we receive from our pets. Rodgers explains that this love is often far greater than the love we have for the people and things around us. The chorus goes on to tell just this: “Good trucks, they’ll run forever / A good woman holds you together / Good buddies will always come running / But good dogs don’t live long enough.” A song that tugs on your heartstrings, comes with it the tough realization that dogs don’t get to spend as much time on Earth as we’d like them to.
At the midway point of the record, we are presented with the title track. Attributing to Rodgers’ honest and authentic self is a song that pursues a passion in order to fulfill a purpose. “My purpose that I know right now is that I want to leave the world a better place than I found it. And the best chance I have of doing that is writing and singing songs,” Rodgers adds
It’s more than the number of decimal points in one’s bank account. It’s knowing your dedication to your craft has led you to a dream turned reality. From paying rent a dollar at a time, to hearing the roar of a sold-out crowd singing your songs; an ultimate high. “I would do this forever, for a just-getting-by salary. It’s just something in your heart. It makes you happy, explains Rodgers. I literally look forward to waking up every day and getting to write a song or play a show. I just can’t imagine doing anything else in life.”
Fashionably closing out the EP, “Desert” takes the listener on an introspective rollercoaster ride through the ups and downs of life. Though we can’t always “predict the weather” (anticipate where life is going to lead), the cold, rain, and pain won’t last forever. These lows make any high feel that much better, cause sunshine all the time just makes a desert. If everything in our lives were always peaches and cream, we would never learn to appreciate when things don’t go our way. In the same token, just because a ship may be taking on a little water, doesn’t mean it’s sinking. So, roll with the punches, dig your heels in, and approach tomorrow with as much enthusiasm as the day before.
When it comes down to it, money doesn’t buy time, nor loyalty, and it sure as hell doesn’t buy love. Wealth extends far beyond how much money is in one’s pockets. If he were in it for the money, he’d have quit a long time ago.
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