By: Jailene Adorno
From the moment Jamie Kent entered the WERS station and started talking to us, we could tell that he was an incredibly down-to-earth guy. He came in with an acoustic guitar, beautiful songs, and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ button pinned to his jacket. Originally from Northampton, Massachusetts, Kent is now based out of Nashville, Tennessee.
He listed musical influences such as Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty and the more you listen to him, the more you hear how these legends along with the music scene in Nashville have influenced his sound. Rolling Stone magazine described him as “country soul,” but it’s safe to say that there’s a lot more going on in there as well. Kent has this very distinct rustic, Americana tone that really sweeps you away.
Kent’s EP Embers and Ashes includes an awesome single titled, “Broke, Not Broken.”
“I recorded it in a log cabin in western Massachusetts with producer, Josh Meltzer,” said Kent. “And we started with two songs, ‘Changes’ and ‘Still a Dream,’ to experiment and see what we could do to kind of create a new acoustic root sound.”
He said that he’s also working on some new music. He’s still in the process of writing songs, but he has more than sixty potential songs written for his new album.
He later mentioned on air how honored he felt when Babson College’s a cappella group The Rocket Pitches did their own arrangement of his song “Bonfire.” They later invited him to their spring concert to sing along with them.
“I was actually in an a cappella group in high school,” Kent said. “So it holds a dear place in my heart.”
The first song that Kent performed for us at WERS was one of the singles from his EP titled, “Broke, But Not Broken.” You could hear a lot of that rustic tone in his voice as he sang,“Knock me down and I will be back again. I may be broke, but I’m not broken.” In this tune, Kent spoke about remaining optimistic in the face of adversity. As he strummed on his guitar, he sang about how even when the going gets tough, he’s going to keep moving forward. The song was so full of positivity and inspiration that it was nearly impossible not to enjoy.
Next, Kent performed a ballad called “Still a Dream,” which he also referred to as his favorite song to perform. The video for “Still a Dream” premiered on Rolling Stone’s website back in February. This song showcased the beauty and strength in Kent’s lyrics. You can hear more of a country-like rasp in the tone of his voice that really pulls the song together.
Kent then performed his song “Changes,” which was used by the Boston Red Sox a few years ago as part of their promotions for their spring training. Jamie Kent stated that before his latest EP, his music had more of an R&B and funk sound to it. Now he’s more focused on the Americana sound. He said he loves performing and touring because it gives him the opportunity to meet new people, engage with his fans, and put smiles on people’s faces.
As we spoke more about being on tour, Kent shared a really beautiful story about an encounter he had with a cancer patient, who loved his music. She came out to one of his shows and it was a sort of therapy for her. She was inspired to keep fighting despite her terminal illness.
“And that moment right there was why I do music,” he said. “You could really affect someone that deeply. That’s what inspires me to keep writing songs.”
Be sure to check out Jamie Kent’s EP Ember and Ashes and be on the lookout for new music!