Zero Mile Presents
Jordan Rager, Megan Moroney
215 N. Lumpkin St
Athens, GA, 30601
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM (event ends at 12:00 AM)
This event is 18 and over
Georgia native, Jon Langston, has always had a love for music of all kinds, but has not always pursued a career in the music industry. Even though he had a band in 8TH grade with a few hometown buddies, it was nothing more than just a fun hobby for Langston at the time. Instead, Langston set his sights on playing football in high school and earned a Division I scholarship to play at Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina in 2009. It was his junior year of college when he picked the guitar up again. “I suffered multiple concussions, and so the coaches, doctors and myself decided the best for my health was to hang up the pads,” Langston says. “It was hard but I knew it was the right thing to do. I didn’t know what God had planned for my life at the time.” Langston began to learn how to play the guitar again and began to write his own songs and posting them on YouTube. “It is crazy how God closes one door and opens another. I had no idea what was ahead of me with the whole music world.”
Since then Langston has shown a passion and love for country music, while his unique voice and songwriting have sparked a wildfire fan base across the country. Selling out shows across the Southeast, including the Georgia Theatre three times, dreams are starting to come true for Langston. “To be given the opportunity to not only play on that stage, but to headline the theatre, where I’ve seen many acts perform such as: Luke Bryan, Brantley Gilbert, and Corey Smith, who are guys I look up to, it was an honor and a night I will never forget.”
Langston, now a Music City resident in Nashville, TN, has created his own style and sound from a variety of influences. Growing up listening to everything from Alan Jackson to the Eagles, Langston has crafted a fresh, new country music sound that is ready for take off. Langston, now 26 years old, has a publishing deal with Sony ATV, and is managed by KP Entertainment. His current single “Prob’ly At A Bar” is out now.
Jordan’s competitive nature began at a young age. Sports and music ran on parallel tracks for the Loganville, Georgia native. “My dad’s from Chicago, a big Cubs fan and baseball is lifeblood up there,” Jordan says. “So me and my brothers were raised with that and I was infatuated with it from a young age. I played from the time I could hold a ball up until I was about 16. My dad’s also a pastor and sang a little bit – he’d lead a special song one Sunday a month. He tells a story about me being three or four singing along with the radio and he turned to my mom and said, ‘He’s on key!’”
Speaking of keys, it’s his dad that Jordan credits as being key to shaping his musical influences. “My dad was a huge Country music fan – Kenny Rogers, Alan Jackson, Travis Tritt, John Michael Montgomery, Tracy Lawrence. All the guys from that ‘90s era have always been big influences for me as well.”
But don’t let that decade fool you: Jordan’s music speaks to his peers – the millennials, the social media generation, the dreamers, the do-ers. The 21-year-old’s music chronicles his everyday life – from the parties to the tender moments to the lofty dreams attainable just over the horizon. It is, in a term, the voice of “Young Country” as evidenced in Jordan’s lead single “Feels Like One Of Them.”
“I love how wide open it is, musically and lyrically,” Jordan says of the song. “It’s about being open to possibility, being right there on the front edge of something and having this tremendous anticipation. All of us have those nights where we can just feel the great memories coming on, but this song also gets me thinking about being on the verge of a brand new adventure with my career.”
Jordan picked up the guitar at 15, aided by a deal with his father. “If he saw me with the guitar in my hands every day when he came home from work, I didn’t have to do any chores that summer. I was like, ‘Deal!’ Of course, I had no idea how hard it would be to learn. I’m completely self-taught. Watched a few YouTube videos and from there it was simply trial and error. I started writing songs about the same time and they were god-awful.” Jordan’s first gig was a county fair where he played four of his favorite covers for a crowd of 50. “When I got offstage I walked up to my mom and said, ‘That was fun. I want to do that forever.'”
Easier said than done as a high school student, but Jordan’s competitive drive found a way – with a little help from his family. “Most places you had to be 18 to even get in,” Jordan says. “My mom would call to talk the manager into it. She’d walk me in, sit in the front row and walk me out. It was, ‘Don’t touch anything. Don’t talk to anyone. Don’t take anything from anyone. Just play and slip out.'”
Barry Williams, Jason Aldean’s father, came on board at this time. “We met through a mutual friend from playing county fairs,” Jordan says. “He booked shows, set up meetings and got songwriting appointments when I was about 17 or 18. That was my first connection to Nashville.”
In 2013, after years of playing the club scene, frat parties and college bars – while also traveling to Nashville for a week each month to write – Jordan received a call from Jeremy Stover, producer for Justin Moore and Craig Campbell, among others. The #1 charting producer was looking for an acoustic opener for Justin Moore’s Off the Beaten Path Tour and thought Jordan was the perfect fit.
Jumping onto a fast-moving national tour was a prodigious leap. The young artist held his own, playing acoustically between seasoned veterans and #1 hit makers Randy Houser and Moore. It also proved to be an invaluable education. “The biggest thing I learned offstage was how to treat people. Justin and his crew were always patient when stuff didn’t go right. Onstage, I learned how to interact with a crowd. For the first month of that tour, I’d play my set, run all my stuff back to the bus, then sit front-of-house for Justin’s whole show. I would just watch and learn everything I could. What does he do during different songs? How does he talk to the crowd? What does he do if something goes wrong? It was really great to see that at a young age. I learned so much about how to carry yourself on and off stage.”
Rager spent fall of 2013 through the first half of 2014 on the tour. He signed a joint management deal with Barry Williams and Peter Hartung (Justin Moore/ Dustin Lynch) and signed with Broken Bow Records the following September. Shortly after landing his record deal, he went back on tour with Justin Moore – this time with a full band.
On stage, Jordan’s competitive drive, instilled in him at such a young age, immediately shines through. There are moments at the plate where one must stand and deliver – and Jordan, unflinchingly, does. “When I go to a show, I want to be entertained just like everybody else. So when it’s me onstage, I try to give the crowd what I would want to see. When the groove is going, the band is rocking and I’m rocking, then the crowd starts giving it back ¬– that’s as good as it gets.”
$20.00 - $25.00