quote "You pretend you have this moral superiority," said Jackson, who does behavior consulting for the Ridge Meadows Association for Community Living. "Then you look at your own life and realize there's a lot of shit going on, lots of material." quote

Scott Jackson - Interview with Maple Ridge Times

Tragedy turned into poignant Dreams

(Maple Ridge Times)

Dream, a eulogy for his brother-in-law Kevin Manuel, is a song that Scott Jackson has only played live on two occasions; it brings back too many painful memories.

Jackson, a Maple Ridge singer/songwriter, wrote the song in only a few minutes, as the emotion of losing Manuel in a drowning accident put him in a creative mind where the words and music just flowed. It was an epiphany of sorts, which he says came after the family mourned the death of Manuel for about a week, using a healthy dose of alcohol to drown their sorrows.

For Jackson, the song was written mainly for his sister, although he was good friends with Manuel before the two were married.

Dream is one of 11 songs (nine new tracks, two remastered songs) on Jackson's new album Distractions, which will be released on June 22 and will be followed by a tour of Western Canada. Distractions is Jackson's fourth album and was produced by Jerry Wong (Damn the Diva, Bif Naked, Loverboy).

Jackson started playing acoustic guitar when he was 21, after his dreams of a professional hockey career fizzled out.

"It was a huge disadvantage," said the 37-year-old Jackson, of his late start in the music industry. "I was too busy trying to be an NHL hockey player and I should have looked around at the genetics in my family."

At five foot four and 155 pounds (during his playing days) Jackson is probably right, although he did have a successful college career with the Camrose College Vikings, where he played for four years.

Although he earned an English degree from Camrose, Jackson says the most challenging part of becoming a musician has been coming up with lyrics. Part of the problem for the roots-rocker is that he has a habit of comparing his lyrics with those written by some of his idols, say Leonard Cohen for example.

Jackson says he has been heavily influenced by his uncle Peter Weckworth, who wrote the lyrics for Tears of Bourbon, which appears on Distractions.

Weckworth created the web site www.bourbonhours.com, essentially a celebration of all things related to the Kentucky Derby - Bourbon, wild parties, blue grass country music, traditional Kentucky food, and of course horse racing.

Jackson always co-writes a song with Weckworth to put on the site leading up to Triple Crown season and says he's envious of Weckworth's lyrical skills.

Via Satellite, released in 1995, was Jackson's first album and he followed that up by forming a band called MK Ultra and releasing the album Apple that spent five weeks at the top of the HMV independent charts. The band headlined New Music West and opened for Nickleback, before Jackson went solo.

"I'm kind of selfish with my song writing," said Jackson. "I tried to work collaboratively...but it didn't work out."

Wong and Jackson met about seven years ago in a musician's hockey league, playing out in Burnaby. Eventually Jackson sent a demo of his single What are We Waiting For to Wong, who loved it and became his music collaborator.

"He's really versatile and he's got a lot to bring to the table," said Jackson, describing the influence Wong has had on his career.

Whether it's hooking Jackson up with the right studio or playing guitar on Distractions, Wong has been vital in educating Jackson on the music industry.

My World, the first solo album for Jackson, was an EP which received great reviews, even though it only had six songs.

Looking back at his first few albums, Jackson says his writing has matured to the point where the lyrics are more personal as opposed to preaching about the mistakes of others.

"You pretend you have this moral superiority," said Jackson, who does behavior consulting for the Ridge Meadows Association for Community Living. "Then you look at your own life and realize there's a lot of shit going, lots of material."

w Jackson's CD release party for Distractions is scheduled for June 22 at the Railway Club in Vancouver. For information check out www.scottjacksonmusic.com.