Local musician Aaron Jaxon talks musical inspiration and social media use

Hannah Swayze • Jan 7, 2019 at 11:18 AM


Since moving to Johnson City to play in East Tennessee State University’s Bluegrass Band over a decade ago, Aaron Jaxon has been in and out and all around the music scene in the Tri-Cities. 

The Aaron Jaxon Band plays what Jaxon refers to as “roots-rock.” His music is rock but you can catch tints of blues, folk and country. 

Catch him next in concert at the Willow Tree Coffeehouse and Music Room Feb. 1 with Brian Bowman. 

1. How did your introduction to music start?

My grandparents on my mom and dad's side both had acoustic guitars but didn't really play. I was fascinated by them. I'd drag them out from the closets and under the beds and just beat and bang on em. I'd do that more than playing with my cousins! Then I'd hear music in church and was fascinated by it. [I] got my own guitar when I was 8 and started taking lessons at 10. Got serious about it around 14 and have been at it ever since.

2. How long have you been playing music in the Johnson City area?

Since 2002. I moved up here from East Texas right out of High School to play in the ETSU Bluegrass Band.

3. Where do you get inspiration for your original songs?

Lots of places. It sounds kinda pretentious but I love words and I love poetry so I always get inspired by great poets like Dylan Thomas, T.S. Eliot and Allen Ginsberg. Listening to my favorite songwriters Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt, also makes me wanna write. Of course life experiences as well but these days I try not to sit around and wait for inspiration to strike. I try to be more disciplined with it. I forget who said it but I read a quote once that said, "inspiration is for amateurs."

4. You share a lot of your work on social media. Has that affected your music at all?

I think social media is a really great thing for musicians. It's crazy because now anyone can share their talent on the current platforms and literally be seen by millions across the world. I didn't grow up with it so I appreciate the scope and the reach that it offers especially to those of us who want to share our music with the world. As far as artistic process, it's good because it forces you to turn out new content on the reg[ular] which make me more disciplined and accountable. That being said, it’s also a kind of constant unhealthy dopamine drip that I don't think is necessarily good for people and I can get way too lost in it if I let myself. I try to find a healthy balance.

5. Do you have any resolutions for the new year?

Work more. Write more. Put out more content on social media. Break into other regional markets. Be happier. Kinder. Wiser. All that good stuff.

You can get Jaxon’s music on his website www.aaronjaxon.com and on the major streaming services. 

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