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Jackson Dean Promises "One Helluva Time" On Headlining Tour, Reveals He's Sequencing New Album

Jackson Dean: "I had a hard time fathoming at 14 years old that I could go and make music on another continent, and people would show up and sing."

Jackson Dean has eight dates remaining on his Head Full of Noise headlining tour -- including tonight's stop in Nashville with Mae Estes. Dean will play Music City's Brooklyn Bowl for Valentine's Day and promises a few of his famous friends will drop by to make appearances. He doesn't want to call it a Jackson Dean and Friends show -- he just says friends will "hopefully" come by and hop on stage. 

"It's going to be one helluva time," Dean said, explaining that he had just got home from the tour the day before and was "taking a minute to breathe." "It's not going to be very much different from what we're doing on the road. We're going to get down, we're going to have some moments and we're going to have a little brainchild at the end come to life."

Dean spent much of 2023 on tour with some of the biggest names in country music, including Eric Church, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, and Jon Pardi, before striking out on his own. He also released his "Live At The Ryman" album to give fans a taste of what's to come. Two months into 2024, Dean's second single, "Fearless (The Echo)," is a Top 15 hit and still climbing on country radio.

His new cover of Percy Sledge's "When a Man Loves a Woman" came out Friday just in time for Valentine's Day and is available on all digital streaming platforms. Dean is set to tour with Lainey Wilson in the coming months, has international tour dates in the near future and is about to finish his new album. 2024 may be the year of Jackson Dean - at least, he hopes it is. The year started cold and lonely. He spent three weeks alone on his bus with just his dog playing in negative-20-to-negative-40 degree weather.

"Deadwood, Colorado, was negative 40 the night we played, but was still a really, really awesome show," he said. "It's been a really fun time just being like, 'Okay, these are our shows, and everybody is laid back, and everybody's taken care of, and everybody's happy, and everything's good. I'm extremely proud of everybody involved with this tour, and we're having a great time."

Estes counts herself among the "everybody" to whom Dean refers. While the Hope, Arkansas, native has been striving for a country music career in Nashville for almost nine years, she just recently signed her record deal with Big Machine Records. The dates with Dean count as the first tour she's been a part of.

"I'm really just excited and bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and out there trying to learn as much as I can," said Estes, one of CMT's Next Women of Country class of 2024.

"I want to study how I want my own headlining tours to go one day and how I want the audience experience to be, how I want people to feel when they come see me perform and things like that," Estes continued. "I can say Jackson gives it 150 percent every night on stage, and it's been really inspiring to watch. He gives it Hell, and it has been so cool and beneficial to watch as a performer to just learn as much as I can." 

At 23 years old, Dean is known for his lyric-driven, old-school grit that may skew more outlaw than contemporary. However, he's successfully marrying the two. His debut song, "Don't Come Lookin'," went to No. 1 on the country radio airplay charts, and his "Fearless (The Echo)" is on pace for the same. Dean's success won him a spot on CMT's Listen Up class of 2023, Pandora's Ten for 2023 (all genre), Spotify's Hot Country Artists to Watch 2023, Apple Music's Country Risers and more.

It's a far reality from the cinderblock one-room shack with no heat or plumbing where he lived five years ago. The rugged structure was situated at the back of his grandfather's property in Maryland. An old soul to the core, Dean is a multi-instrumentalist who also enjoys crafting leather goods, making wood-burned art and sleeping in the woods under the stars. His propensity for life's rustic pleasures is one of the reasons his parents get so amused when his career carries him to high-profile events. 

"They always laugh at me, and they're just like, 'You're just rubbing elbows with celebrities out there,'" he said. "It's funny, but it's awesome. Being that close to it is still intoxicating sometimes, but live performance is what it's really about."

As Dean prepares to head back to Europe, Australia, and beyond, he said playing Royal Albert Hall in London remains a career highlight. Traveling the world to play shows has been "such a success," he said, adding that everyone got back safely and had a "great time."

"We conquered what we set out to do, and that's what it's about for us," he said. "I had a hard time fathoming at 14 years old that I could go and make music on another continent and people would show up and sing. That part of it is still sinking into me."

Dean launched his headlining tour when he returned from his international shows last year.

"The rooms look awesome," he said. "There hasn't been a flat night. I just couldn't be more happy with where things are. There's a helluva lot going on."

In the midst of touring last year, Dean started compiling a new album. He said, "Long story short, I have a hold of some recordings that are about 16 strong that I'm getting ready to sequence for a new record."

He described himself as "very, very excited" and said people had heard of some of the songs by word-of-mouth and that he was playing a few of them in his shows.

"It is going to be a big project," he said. "There are some songs on here that are pretty wildly different from each other, but they all have the spirit of me in them."

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