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Late to the interview for his lame third-person bio, Jamison chuckles at this reporter's question. 'I'm just trying to write songs cool kids will like... so I don't have to become the free credit report dot com band and go to art hell. Meanwhile, I want access to cheeseburgers like any good cat. Preferably before the ice caps melt and ruin this fancy sweatervest. Don't let a brother die in obscurity.'
Armed with Rosie the Riveter as his wallpaper, Jamison Kirby is re-embarking upon life as a songwriter. 'At 35, I have more musical and life experience to draw from than most dead people brag about. I started playing violin at age three, formed a rock band at fourteen, and finished my three-hundreth song about a week ago. Somewhere in there, between childhood Michael Jackson impersonations, grunged-out high school talent shows, and my current habit of shunning people well into the afternoon in my best Tom Waits basso, I learned how to write a decent song.'
Fresh from college with a lucrative psychology degree, Jamison began exploring the local music scene in his hometown of Big Flats, New York. 'It really is big there... and flat', Jamison clarifies. A couple successful bands later, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee in a futile attempt to disprove the old joke about playing a country song backwards. 'I lost my job, my house, my band, my car, my girl... I waited on one of the Kings of Leon once.' Quite the downfall (and a ten percent tip... ouch!) for the small town hero. Luckily, fate intervened at the turn of a card.
'I had The Gambler on a mixed tape when I moved to Nashville'. Jamison had previously studied chess in New York, and a transition to poker proved rocky but profitable. 'I bought my guitar and all my studio gear with poker money. Defeating tables is way cooler than bringing them food.' However live poker was still illegal in Tennesse. 'My band's photographer had moved to Seattle, and she offered me a place to stay when I was feeling froggy. Thanks, Lisa!'
Jump to present-day Bainbridge Island. 'All these years, I kept singing, writing, practicing, and gigging out where I could. This is what I love, realizing the songs I hear in my head.' He recently sank most of his ailing bankroll into recording A Little Brighter with EMI alum Frank Mazzeo at Push/Pull studios in Seattle. 'I'm pretty broke now, but girls seem to like me again. I hope it's not just the Rogaine.'
Shut up for a minute, will you? We're trying to hear this song.
'And yes. It's working!'