Jason Michael Carroll does not look like he sounds and that intrigue only heightens both realities of the tangy vocalist from North Carolina. After all, to hear him is to hear a straight up, full-tilt, no frills country singer who works a groove like a mule team, a melody like a barrel racer going for time, and a tear jerker with the dignity of Sunday grace. He is a roosty artist with a rocker's edge.
Born to a preacher, Jason Michael spent years not being allowed to listen to "secular music." No rock, no pop, no country, other than the occasional moment stolen in a friend's parents' car on the way somewhere. His musicality came in a rush when he began working in a motor shop. Suddenly, it was full immersion - the baptism by popular music was with fire. Though country spoke the loudest to him, the young man's break came from a pop radio station's karaoke contest, which he entered and won, and in doing so, was asked to join a local country band that was losing its singer.
Jason Michael was willing to sing any time, any place, anywhere. Just let the emerging-from-his-gospel-music cocoon self at it and watch him open up that cavernous baritone with abandon, evening singing on Gimme The Mic, an American Idol-type knock-off for local FOX affiliates that culminated in a national competition in New York City.
Jason Michael's participation in Gimme The Mic proved to be fortuitous. Not only did he win the Raleigh/Durham market, earning that trip to New York, but he caught the ear Rusty Harmon, the man who'd managed Hootie & the Blowfish to a multi- multi platinum success.
In a short period of time, Jason Michael signed a record deal with Arista Nashville, and in 2006 he released his first single, Alyssa Lies, a song about child abuse, told from the perspective of a classmate that has an impossibly sobering ending. The power of the lyric, and Jason Michael's performance touched a nerve with listeners across the country. Already a Top 10 country airplay single weeks before the album's February 2007 release, Alyssa Lies became the fastest-rising debut single by a male country artist in 2006. The song also set a record in its first week of availability, earning the highest country new artist debut in the history of SoundScan's Digital Songs chart.
Jason Michael is not afraid to dream jumbo dreams. Whether it's the blow-up-the-weekend Honky Tonk Friends revelry or the sweeping desire of Lookin' at You, the chicken-picking iconography of Sad Old Country Song or the smolder of want in Love Won't Let Me, Jason Michael is home in any kind of song, just so long as it's country.
Jason Michael's debut album, Waitin' in the Country debuted at #1 on the Billboard top Country Albums Charts. He had once achieved both the best unit sales and the highest pop chart debut by a new country male artist since Billy Ray Cyrus in 1992.
Waitin' in the Country featured not only Alyssa Lies, but Livin Our Love Song, which peaked at #6. The albums third single, I Can Sleep When I'm Dead was released in early 2008 and peaked at #21. Where I'm From is the title of his fourth single released at the end of 2008.