Jackson Nickels "A Ghost in the Wind"
Jackson Nickels grew up in rural sountern Indiana where music was as much a part of life as eating and sleeping. Although television had made it's way into most homes, rdio was still king when it came to music. With a Regal acoustic guitar he'd picked up in a pawn shop, Jackson learned to play and sing while listening to every station he could find on the dial. He was exposed to all the hits from the 50's and 60's. From traditional folk, blies and country, to rock-a-billy and early rock-and-roll. In his words, "I loved all kinds of music, it did'nt matter what the genre was called. I knew what I liked and didn't like. The muisc had to make me want to move or tell a story tht would make me stop to think about what the artist was saying. The lyrics were always as important to me as the music."
As he listened to those great hit songs and the stories they told, he realized that he already had stories of his own. Some were deep and serious about his family during the Civil War and some had a humorous twist. He also realized that before he could share his stories, he would have to spend considerable time learning the art of song writing and performing. He went to college, fronted some local cover groups, kept working on his music and song writing skills, got a degree in engineering and would up in Huntsville, Alabama working on the Apollo Space Program. Strangely enough, this all led to the start of his 50-year career as a singer song writer.
No matter what else he was doing, Jackson was always involved with music. Huntsville was a melting pot of college graduates from all over the country, many with musical backgrounds similar to his own and it didn't take ling for him to become a founding member of a group called "The Precious Few". (one of the other founding members was Larry Byrom, who would go on to become the lead guitarist for Steppen Wolf.). Their manager had contacts in the Dick Clark organization and they would up on "The Dick Clark Summer Shower of Stars Tour." This gave Jackson a unique opportunity to spend time with successful singer/song writers and performers such as Neil Diamond and Neil Youg. It became obvious to the group that they needed a song on the charts if they wanted a chance "to makeit". Jackson co-wrote and sang Cashbox Top 40 hit "World of Your Dreams".
After leaving "The Precious Few" in 1968, Jackson moved to Jacksonville, Florida, got another engineering job, "to pay the bills", and immediately immersed himself in Jacksonville's exploding "Southern Rock" scene. He built the first studio in Jacksonville dedicated solely to band rehearsal and put together several very successful regional "Southern Rock" groups that he fronted throughout the 70's. The studio became a hangout for many musicians who would later do stints with The Allman Brothers Band, Lynrd Skynard, 38 Special, Molly Hatchet and Blackfoot. Over the years these friendships and associations lent encouragement to Jackson's musical endeavors.
In 1976 Jackson decided it was time to test the waters for his music as a solo singer/songwriter. With a play list of his original material interspersed with "Cover" story songs that complimented his own. he spent several successful years playing the "Concert Listening Room" cirvuit across the entire Eastern half of the country from New Orleans to upstate New York. The years on the road and observations of people and situations they managed to get themselves into, reinforced the story-telling influence in his writing and the result is a true reflection of all the music genres he has loved throughout the years. His music falls under the broad genre of "Roots Music". It is the music he grew uop with and understands as a representative of the cultural diversity that shaped America. No matter a person's accent, where they live, their race, or their religion; their music is "Roots Music" and thet makes it America's own, "Americana Music."
The songs presented here represent the full range of Jackson's musical interests, from airy acoustic ballads and story songs to full energy sountern rock and blues.