Jordan Rager might be on to something.
The country newcomer has a debut single hitting radio stations in a couple of weeks, and in a sea of songs about the South, he has found a way to stand out: Bring in Jason Aldean.
Rager has been singing since he was about 15 — his mom had to call the bar owners where he was playing to talk them into letting her very underage son take the stage — but once Aldean’s father Barry Williams saw him play, he took him under his wing.
That led to a friendship with Aldean, which led to this. The duet, written by Jeremy Stover, Luke Laird and Barry Dean, is called “Southern Boy.”
“To hear it on the radio now takes me back to when I was playing clubs and bars and I’d be playing play acoustics of country covers,” Rager told me. “I’d have that feeling of, ‘I want this so bad.’ But I never, ever in my wildest dreams thought all this would happen.”
And by “this,” Rager means signing with Broken Bow, moving to Nashville, cutting a song with one of his heroes and then hearing it on the radio.
“For all that to come together, I’m still not sure if it’s a dream or if it’s real,” he said.
Rager told me that after he signed his record deal, Aldean was kind of keeping tabs on him.
“And he said, ‘Man, if you ever need anything, I’d love to help out.’ So then we found this song, and Jason really dug it, and he asked me if we could do that one together.
“And, well,” Rager laughed, “you don’t tell Jason Aldean no.”