For Corbette Jackson music has long been a way to create connections between people and contribute to a cause greater than any one person.
And for the first time in his career the 26-year-old country musician will bring his heartfelt songs and a couple of captivating live shows to the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar.
Despite a challenging upbringing in the small town of Newnan, Georgia, the Nashville-based singer-songwriter found solace and purpose in music from an early age. That drive kindled a life-long desire to share the power of music.
Jackson spent hours as a kid playing guitar in the privacy of his bedroom, curious if he had what it took to make a career out of his passion.
“Like many people, I just found music as a response to certain experiences in my life,” Jackson said. “You cling on to it, and sometimes that’s the only sense of understanding you can feel.
“I remember waking my mom up in the middle of the night once and saying, ‘I’m going to sing for you,’” Jackson said. “I told her, ‘I just need to know if I can sing or not, because this is something I might want to do.’
“And all she said was, ‘Wow.’”
Jackson moved to Nashville after graduating high school. As luck would have it, he met Stokes Nielsen, a prominent Nashville songwriter, singer and producer who has worked with big-name entertainers like Tim McGraw.
Together the two released “Heart of A Champion,” a song that raised funds for a friend of Jackson’s who had been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. The song took off. Within a week or two it became the most requested song in the Atlanta area.
But after touring to promote “Heart of A Champion,” Jackson decided to switch gears and pursue a career in medicine. He worked in the emergency department of a Tennessee trauma center for a few years, but found himself drawn back to music.
Jackson returned to the scene with “Open Door,” a song that placed in the Top 40 on the American Country charts.
Although Jackson loves country music and the genre’s knack for storytelling, he finds inspiration from a wide variety of influences, from Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline, Fleetwood Mac and Bruce Springsteen to Brandi Carlile, the Killers, U2 and the Notorious BIG.
As a child of the ’90s, he strives to create music that both reflects the sounds he grew up with and honors the creativity of past musical greats.
“I’m trying to blend from lots of generational influences, to make something new and original,” Jackson said.
The musician also blends songwriting and activism. Jackson’s most recent release, “Heavenly,” inspired by the death of an 8-year-old Long Island boy, aims to raise awareness about child abuse.
Jackson hopes his performances — 8 p.m. Wednesday and 9 p.m. Thursday — give listeners an opportunity to step back from their hectic lives and focus on the present.
“I hope to help people get outside of themselves, to put them in a place where they’re not afraid to allow themselves to be in the music and with the people around them,” he said. “There’s something really special about being part of live music – we’re all looking for something from each other, whether we realize it or not.” ￼