Last year when I left Linspire, I decided it was time to get involved with independent music again. One of the most talented recording artists I ever had the pleasure of managing and working with was the singer/songwriter Jayson Haws, lead singer for the popular Salt Lake City band The Given.
Jayson was only about 20 years old at the time, and anyone who worked with him knew he was a musical prodigy and the classic "triple threat," being a solid song writer, with an amazing voice, and a powerful on-stage presence. I watched, time and time again, Jayson blow people away as they watched him perform, be it in the living room of my house with just his acoustic guitar, or on stage in front of hundreds at popular clubs in LA.
Of all the thousands of musicians I was exposed to during the MP3.com days, Jayson was the one I always knew just HAD to break out.
So, what happened?
Like me, Jayson, also took a detour away from music for a few years. Fortunately, these were very good years for Jayson. He made a tremendous amount of progress in his life, got married, had a son, and successfully snubbed out most of the demons of his youth, emerging out the other side better than ever.
Jayson and I had stayed in touch over these past years, and when I left Linspire, I knew I had to get together with him and catch up. I was pleased to discover how Jayson had been spending his time, not only becoming a better man and father, but musically, he was better than ever! I knew this was the time for us both to finish what we had started all those years ago.
Jayson and I started planning his return to the studio, only this time on his own, without The Given. We both instantly agreed who the perfect producer would be for Jayson's first solo CD, our friend and Grammy-winning producer John Jones (Duran-Duran, Fleetwood Mac, Celine Deon, Alan Frew).
I remember that first time John and Jayson met. I'll never forget the look on John's face all those years ago, when Jayson and I drove over to John's house in the Hollywood hills, and Jayson sat on John's couch with just his guitar and sang. John, as I expected, was blown away. (A bit of trivia for any "Lindows" fans, John was my musical cohort for all those silly Linspire parody videos.)
It didn't take any convincing at all. John too knows what a phenomenal talent Jayson is. With just one phone call, John was in his car driving from LA to San Diego for a weekend meeting with Jayson and I. And, so it began. A new year, new songs, and new attitudes.
These past months, we've been working together on the new record. The CD is about 80% done, and we're all giddy with excitement to soon be sharing it with everyone. We're all very happy with how the songs are turning out.
Because we were getting close to finishing, it was time to start thinking about a website for Jayson and his first solo CD project. So, yesterday, for the 4th of July, I decided to get creative and play around with Flash and put together some rough ideas for a website for Jayson. In less than a day, and with the help of a cool new Flash tool (wix.com), here's what I came up with...
There's not a lot of content there yet, but it was a lot of fun just being creative and playing around with ideas for the site. I'll be getting with Jayson in the days ahead and filling in the content and adjusting things to his liking, or scrapping this one all together and doing something different.
I hope you'll all take a look at the new site, and let me know what you think, and PLEASE sign up for Jayson's mailing list, so we can notify you when the CD is finished. You won't regret it!
PS: Emily, the "star bursts" are for you. =)