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Jarrod Birmingham releases fifth album with party in Victoria

APRILL BRANDON

By APRILL BRANDON
June 20, 2010 at 1:20 a.m.

Victoria musician Jarrod Birmingham will release his fifth album  with a CD release party Tuesday at Hastings.

Victoria musician Jarrod Birmingham will release his fifth album with a CD release party Tuesday at Hastings.

It's been four years since Jarrod Birmingham's last album was released, but in some ways it feels like a lifetime ago to the Victoria musician.

Birmingham has had his fair share of ups and downs since his 2006 album, "No Apologies," was released.

The result of that bumpy road, however, is his best album to date, he said. Birmingham's fifth album, "Jesus and Johnny Cash," hits local stores on Tuesday.

"It's by far the best I've ever done. It's more mature. There's no mad songs, I'm not flipping anyone off. It's a regular life CD," he added. "With this one, I spoke more with my heart than my mind."

There's also humor sprinkled throughout the album.

"So often with emotions, we only think of the dark, deep side. But there's a lighter side to emotions and I laugh a bit at myself on this one," he said.

After finding national success and critical acclaim from hits such as "Like My Daddy Did" and "If You Don't Like Me" and being compared to country legends such as Waylon Jennings, Birmingham traveled the world touring, including entertaining U.S. troops in Middle Eastern war zones.

Eventually, the lifestyle took its toll and Birmingham decided to step back and take some time off to re-evaluate the direction his life was going, he said.

Now he is back and better than ever.

"I'm in a real good place right now. I've lost a lot, but I've gained a lot," he said. "My mind is clear."

He's also in a really good place creatively right now, he added. One of the songs on the new album, "December Gone," sums up the last four years of Birmingham's life and is his favorite song he's ever written.

"It's hard to pick a favorite because each song is like a kid, but that one is probably my favorite song I've ever done. And that's hard to say," he said. "I think with that song I said what I wanted to say in the most complete way. I wouldn't change anything about it."

Birmingham also pulled in some other heavy hitter musicians to feature on the album, including a duet with Kevin Fowler and another with Chris Wall.

While the album will be released on a national scale this week, Victorians will get first shot at picking up the CD on Tuesday. Birmingham is throwing a CD release party that evening at Hastings for the public.

And just who will be first in line Tuesday to buy the "Jesus and Johnny Cash" album? Well, that would be Birmingham himself.

"It's a superstition I have. I always like to buy the first copy of a new album at a record store. I feel it gets the ball rolling," he said. "And if I can't say I'd buy it, then what's the point?"


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