Jameson Rodgers brings a little Mississippi Delta to the bright lights of Nashville. With almost 200 million streams of his Gold-certified debut single, Some Girls, his EP In It For The Money was recently released to critical acclaim.
The EP opens with a guitar-and-drum-heavy drinking song. A collaboration with labelmate and 2019 tourmate Luke Combs, Cold Beer Calling My Name is rousing and anthemic, lifted to whimsical heights by a banjo in the chorus. This song feels like a festival crowd-pleaser. It’s upbeat and cheerful with wailing guitars and a great beat.
Good Dogs is up next. This song offers a change of pace – both sonically and emotionally. As the title suggests, the song explores a relationship with man’s best friend. It draws parallels to things that last forever – then punches you in the gut with the reminder that dogs don’t. It’s an emotional hard-hitter, but it’s a moving and relatable twist on the heartbreak ballad we’re so accustomed to in today’s country music.
Some Girls is Rodgers’ debut single. I absolutely love this song. I love the flow of the lyrical delivery throughout the chorus. It’s a smartly constructed song with well-written lyrics and it caught my ear immediately. The guitars have grit and substance and the pounding rhythm drags you in and along for the ride. This was a fantastic choice for the debut single – an effortless blend of country roots and rock sensibilities.
Track four is the title track. In It For The Money is low and slow with a southern groove and swampy rhythm. Rodgers’ vocal performance is outstanding – lyrical flow seems to be his signature, and I love the way he treats vocals as an additional instrument with unique flourishes and rhythmic quirks. This is another introspective song. It explores the journey to date – cramped vans, small stages, and the motivation behind the grind.
Rolling Rock, Rolling Stones is another crowd-pleaser. This one is all about the fun – beer flowing, bass pounding and all the things we can’t wait to get back to. There are some Easter Eggs in the lyrics for Rolling Stones fans, and it’s heavily inspired by Jagger & co with plenty of rock n’ roll flourishes. The lyrics are simple but paint a vivid picture – crowds will be singing this in their thousands.
One more change of pace comes for tracks 6 & 7. When You Think Of Mississippi provides some more hard-hitting reflection in the form of a trip down memory lane – or, in this case, a Mississippi dirt road. It’s nostalgic and maybe the most traditionally ‘country’ song on the album. Classic sounds blend seamlessly with Rodgers’ contemporary style in this song to produce one of my favourite tracks of the collection.
Desert closes the EP, and this track is a balm for the soul after the introspective ache. This mid-tempo ballad is deceptively uplifting. The hammond organ and mandolin provide smiles, whilst the choir of chanting vocals dares you to join in and sing along. The song’s message is sung in the pre-chorus. ‘The cold and rain and the pain don’t last forever.’ It’s as simple as that.
This is cohesive and well-constructed. It’s a fantastic release from Rodgers, easily showcasing the many facets of his artistry. At seven tracks, it’s one of the longer EPs out there, but I can’t choose a song I’d cut. Each one has its place and purpose and none of them are fillers. Now, if you don’t mind, I think I might go and listen to it again!
IN IT FOR THE MONEY is available right now – stream it here on Spotify or visit our Twitter for news on how to win a physical copy for yourself! Follow Jameson on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, subscribe on YouTube or visit his website.