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Jesse Hackett is not sure how or why it happened, but he’s embracing his gravitation to country music with open arms.
The 18-year-old from Meadows has been playing music since he was six or seven years old.
His dad, Colin Hackett, showed him his first guitar chords and songs, and the younger Hackett has been hooked on music ever since. He played his first gig at around age 12, busking at the East Meets West summertime festival that used to be held in downtown Corner Brook.
His dad plays in a band, but isn’t much of a fan of country music.
Jesse had a punk rock band a few years ago, but had mostly been learning and writing songs in the pop and rock vein.
Around two years ago, he got turned on to country.
“I can’t really explain how it happened,” he said. “I just started listening to it, then started playing it and now I just love it.”
That love for country music, which has started to manifest itself in Hackett’s 20 or so original songs, is starting to pay off. Last fall, he was invited to play two gigs in the Bay of Islands area as part of the In the Breezeway tour of Newfoundland.
In the Breezeway is a showcase of local talent based out of the Lions Club in Port Hope, Ont. After hosting a series of shows in Newfoundland, they chose one act to invite to the Napanee Country Jamboree in Ontario this July.
Hackett was their choice, according to an announcement on the event’s Facebook page last week.
“I’m so excited,” he said. “I can’t wait. I keep hearing it’s supposed to be a good festival and I can’t wait to find out more about it and see what it will be like.”
Hackett will be booked for at least one 45-minute set with a band he has yet to meet. He will send the house band a list of music he wants to play and they will rehearse when he gets there in advance of the festival performance.
Hackett actually had a choice to go to another festival in August, but figured the timing of the Napanee Country Jamboree was better, since he will be getting ready for school in the fall.
While he’s off to school in the fall, he is still dead-set on making a career in music. Hackett will do the music performance and technology program at the College of the North Atlantic in St. John’s.
More about Jesse Hackett
- Opened for country music star Lorrie Morgan at the BayFest 2017 in Humber Arm South.
- Was the winner of a Mr. H. Presents songwriters’ showcase competition in 2016, which earned him a free professional recording.
- Instagram: jessehackett_music
- Facebook: Jesse Hackett Music
- Check out a live performance of Jesse Hackett’s song “Mixed Emotion” at https://bit.ly/2FVtahe
- “Mixed Emotion” on iTunes: https://apple.co/2ScCiUp