Safely Down: The Songs of Jason Jackson

by Various Artists

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For most of you, this will be the first time you have ever heard these songs. However, for those of us who knew Jason, these tunes are old friends, reclusive hermits whose warmth and personality stayed fixed in our ears long after we'd first heard them. Often years would go by without a peep from these playful and engaging melodies, wrought over so many hard-fought years. But upon their occasional return, at gatherings and sporadic jams, it was as if we had only heard them yesterday.

And when Jason left us so abruptly three years ago, we began to fear that we might never hear them again. So we contacted friends and family, collecting what scraps of tape and paper we could, reconstructing these gems and polishing them to present to the world, in hopes that although the man himself was gone, the best parts of him would live on. It is our deepest hope that we have fulfilled that mission, and that you will pass these precious flights of musical fancy on to future generations.

Teach them to young musicians. Play them at parties. Let them sing to you in your darkest hours. Appreciate their uniqueness in a way that Jason himself often could not.

And don't be surprised if you find that one day you miss Jason Jackson every bit as much as we do.


released November 12, 2014

Produced by John Hampton and Matthew Broyles

Executive Producers - Jeff Jackson, Janet Fluitt, and Fetzer Mills, Jr.

Special thanks to Melissa Vardas, Lee Parkinson, Kay Andrews, Patti Gibbs, Mauria Dillard, Randall Clark, Mike Taylor, Jeff Gibbons, and Barb Foster for making this possible.

Mixed by:
John Hampton (tracks 1-4, 6-11, 14)
Adam Hill (tracks 5, 13)
Matt Ross-Spang (track 12)

Recorded by:
Ardent Studios with engineer Robbie Randall (tracks 1-4, 6-11, 14)
Nick Choate (track 5)
Sun Studio (track 12)
Eagle Audio and Rotary Eleven Studio (overdubs)

Mastered by Kevin Nix at L. Nix Mastering

Clay Anderson - bass
Jeffry Simms - drums, percussion, backing vocals
Ed Rogers - guitar, vocals, Wurlitzer
Matthew Broyles - guitar, vocals, bass
Beth Brown - violin, vocals
Mark Williams - cello
Paul Shapera - keyboards
Nancy Giammarco - backing vocals
Tony Drewry - banjo and vocals on track 5
Adrian "Doc" Cook - electric washboard and vocals on track 5
David "Blackie" Graham - upright bass on track 5
James Dunn - guitar and vocals on track 13

Artwork and layout by Matthew and Janell Broyles

Photos courtesy of Preston Faggart and Janet Fluitt

Big thanks to Jason Bell for helping out in a pinch. We'll get you next time.




Jason Jackson and the Ne'er Do Wells Fort Worth, Texas

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Track Name: the matthew show with Joshua Reed - Magic Mary
Cup of joe, smoking break
Claims the clock's clicking jive
Paper passage will not bother
To wipe the sleep out of my eye
I wish I had another moment for the song out in the car
I'm going down for the count to count the petals in the park

These lazy days are all that's wasted with no fear
This southern comfort's gonna get the best of me
Another day

Cement river, take me to
Magic Mary, my proving ground
Ride it well till I get off
Singing songs along the way
I wish I'd listened to the children of the sun
I wish I'd listened to the poets blessing everyone


Lord don't let me be crucified
In my backyard, in my hometown
Just three graces, give me hope
Give me sex, get me saved
At the circus, falling waif down
Upon my bended knee
Over backwards, far away
From what I want and what I need

Track Name: Talley Summerlin - Circus Freak
Time and time I listened to the hateful things they said
Wanting to resurrect in me something that should be dead
Wanting to deliver me, wanting to make me clean
I don't like the circus rings where they laugh at me

'Cause I'm the elephant man
I don't know what it's like
To see the sun
When it's high and bright
I just have to hide

I'm just a circus freak, trying to make ends meet
Won't you throw me just a penny please
I don't complain, you see
I travel a lot for free
My dried up bones would fetch a hefty fee

Track Name: Aimie Lovett - Simple Little Love Song
It's not enough that you give me kisses
It's not enough that you say you're missing me
Tell your heart I'm the one

It's not enough that your eyes are on me
If in your mind, I'm not the only one
Tell your heart I'm the one

I may be lonely, I'm no fool
It's not like I didn't breathe before I met you
Tell your heart I'm the one

In the beginning, we were just fancy friends
You had a lover, I had a band
The time we spent together seemed to get out of hand
Now we're more than friends
It's time for me to know if I'm the one

The subtlety is killing me
I need an answer, tell me honestly
Will you tell your heart I'm the one

Track Name: Nathan Hamilton - Half the Time
Did you see
The way I looked at you
The other night when I told you
How frustrated and confused
The voice inside my head
Makes me feel when I see you
And I don't have the words to use
To explain my point of view

And I tell myself
I'm getting stronger every day
And I know it's true
Half the time

Armed with pen in hand
To the paper I do fly
To construct a frantic answer
To the questions kept inside
A poorly written song
With a softly faded rhyme
And words that cannot answer
All the problems they describe

And I tell myself
She loves me more and more each day
And I know it's true
Half the time
Track Name: Shotgun Friday - Riverside
I've got a Cadillac with lots of gas in it
Let's go to the riverside
Back seat's big enough for six of us
Just you and me's taking a ride

Way down by the riverside

I've got a gun, let's go shoot something
I've got a gun, let's kill something
Dog or a squirrel, it don't matter
If it keeps moving, we'll shoot it again

Way down by the riverside

I'm going fishing like a good country boy should
With a stick of dynamite in my hand
My baby, she's gonna help me
She keeps her blasting caps in her old snuff can

Way down by the riverside

I don't know how I lived through my childhood
With things blowing up in my face
Me and my baby, we'll get us some young'uns
And we're gonna let 'em do the same damn thing

Way down by the riverside
Track Name: Ed Rogers - Excuse Me
I've taken some time
To show you my pain
Now I'll take some time
To see it doesn't stay the same

Excuse me, but lately I've seen your light
And it's shining on us now
Like a million candle president

I saw your face shine
Shine like the full moon
And I took Orion's sword
And I fought that bull for you


So let's go back home
And see what's on our TV set
It's all Monica all the time
The president's cigars are the best

Track Name: Doug Kwartler - Let Me See You in the Morning
Leave my picture out till morning
Hang my hat back on the bedpost, too
Put my bottle back on the wall, my love
Put my coat back on the door with my shoes

When the light is shining through your window
I'll pack these things up and leave you here
But for now, let's put that thought to bed
Let me see you in the morning

My mind's a mess and we're both confused
Can't we sleep on it and see one more dawn
Let me tell you in the morning I love you
Please don't make me feel like I've already gone

Track Name: Sydney Wright - Don't Be Surprised
Don't follow your eyes
Don't follow your eyes
They'll fail to protect you
Deceive and defect you

And don't compromise
With your appetite
It never will fill you
It only will kill you

And don't be surprised
If I never lose my faith
And don't be surprised
If you're stuck standing 'round
With a gleam in your eye

And don't trust your mind
Warped out of time
It threatens to test you
Fool and molest you
Don't trust anyone
Even your next of kin
They won't testify for you
They may even spy on you

And don't be surprised
If I never lose my hope
And don't be surprised
If you're stuck in a shelter
With pain in your eyes
Track Name: Kevin "Shinyribs" Russell and Stefan Prigmore - Pretty Grrlz
Everybody likes a pretty girl
A pretty girl is all you need

And if I had a nickel
For every pretty girl I've seen
I wouldn't work another day
In this giant throbbing corporate machine

I'd be on a plane by sundown
Playing steel guitar in this band
I'd find me a pretty girl to go
And let her make up all the plans


And if I had a dollar
For every pretty girl I've met
I'd load up every jukebox
With Pop-A-Top and Tennessee Jed

I'd plant 'em all down the highway
Like Johnny Appleseed
And if one of them pretty girls starts dancing
I'm gonna take her home with me

Track Name: the matthew show - The Lesbian Song (Southern Belles)
She's a lesbian
My sister and her car
Wears patchouli extract
And dances in a bar
They say her boyfriend killed someone
When he was a Marine
But I think it's just a lie
His gun looks really clean

Southern belles don't wear long black veils
In the springtime when it rains
And I have failed to make friends outside of jail
'Cause I've forgotten everybody knows my name

I got tattoos on my elbows
Where they say it hurts the most
I got rings on all my fingers
And diamonds on my toes
I got a mirrored headboard
Martini sunrise breath
I don't know why I want to live alone
I bore myself to death

Track Name: James Dunn and the Western Set - Something To Do
Don't be afraid to need someone
I'm not afraid to say I need you
I was sitting outside in the pouring rain
Getting wet and wondering what to do

I'm sick and tired of old hand-me-downs
Just like all the rest
People cry saying not much I got
I won't settle for second best

So play me a song my piano girl
Sing of sunshine and waves on the shore
And don't take me if I'm second best
Only you know if you deserve more

Lines of cars on the interstate
People look the same
Are they happy where they're going now
And is it them to blame

I never could sing love songs right
I try to sing them the best I can do
Sometimes I wonder if anyone's home
Sometimes I swear to god I want to hang up on you

Is it all superficial lies
Oh, I love you, too
Do we say what we mean, do we mean what we say
Or is it just something to do
Track Name: Beth Brown - The Sailing Song
Now I have been sailing
Up north where it's cold
I've grown and I've grown
But I'll never grow old
I've seen things I hope
No one else has to see
And maybe in spring
You'll go sailing with me

I've been 'cross the ocean
I've had lots of beer
I've had lots of good times
A long ways from here
But Amsterdam's beauty's
Not all that I need
And maybe in spring
You'll go sailing with me

Go sailing with me
Go sailing with me
And you'll see the things
That I want you to see
Go sailing with me
Go sailing with me
And maybe in spring
You'll go sailing with me

I've spoken two tongues
That you may not know
I've been through the storm
And I've been to the show
I've made my own table
But not to have tea
And maybe in spring
You'll go sailing with me

I've listened to all
That my friends have to say
I want to go back
To that place far away
We'll both have our tickets
To cross the great sea
And maybe in spring
You'll go sailing with me