Jordan Rager grew up in Loganville, Georgia, a very small town that didn’t offer much to do. Yes, he played baseball but from an early age, he believed that music was an absolute dream job. His mother, one of his biggest supporters, would take him to bars and clubs when he was merely 14-15 years old. That is where Rager cut his teeth, learning to perform for all different people, his mother always sat in the front row and then escorted him out immediately after he got off the stage. “I remember walking off stage that first show and I told her ‘I want to keep doing that’,” he tells us in a recent interview.
After finishing high school Rager decided college wasn’t for him and pursued his music career. “I really wanted to dig into this music thing and give it my best shot,” he explained. “I picked up a guitar and started learning how to play and started writing songs.” He started writing with a few buddies who grew up in surrounding towns and they would carpool to Nashville a few times every month, eventually leading him to make the move permanently when he was 19 years old. Focusing mainly on songwriting when he first got to town as well as what kind of artist he wanted to be and what he wanted to say, he worked hard to write music every day.
Eventually, Rager was asked to join Justin Moore’s Off the Beaten Path Tour, which gave him his first experience being out on the road. “The coolest thing about Justin is that he is genuinely an awesome dude on and off stage, so I really feel bad looking back now, but I basically shadowed him. I followed him around like a lost puppy because I wanted to learn everything I could from him,” he laughed. Learning not only the way that Moore interacted with his fans but also with the band leader, the crew, and even the vendors at the venue, he made sure everyone felt appreciated, something Rager has taken with him and will never forget.
His latest single “One of the Good Ones” was released earlier this month with Riser House Entertainment. The nostalgia-filled jam was written by Ross Ellis, Chris Stevens, and James McNair. Ellis, who he is close friends with Rager, sent him the demo, knowing what a big Atlanta Braves fan, in particular, a Chipper Jones fan he was. “From the first listen I knew it was something I had to have. I’ve never felt that way about a song before. It’s never been a first listen, that’s mine,” he explained. He told us about how it has been a few years since he released music, but now he feels that he has a real grasp on who he is as an artist and “One of the Good Ones” is the perfect reintroduction to that new sound. “I didn’t know the difference between, ‘Oh that’s a good song’ and ‘Oh that’s a good song for me’. And I think this time around I have a much better idea of what I should and shouldn’t be doing.”
After signing a recording and publishing deal with Riser House Records, Rager talks what it’s like to work closely with his friend and fellow Riser House Records artist, Mitchell Tenpenny. “He is a good bud of mine and I get to watch all angles of his rise to stardom, which is cool and it’s been awesome to see him get going because that dude is immensely talented and one of the hardest workers I know, its great to see a good guy win.” Tenpenny joined New York Country Swag for a Live Swag Session in Times Square back in December.
Looking ahead, Rager is recording a brand new EP with songs that he has written over the past year and is excited to have his fans hear his new music. “I’m excited to get back on the road and kind of reintroducing myself to places I’ve been before and going back and playing some of my favorite parts and playing my new stuff for people. I can’t wait to see what everyone thinks about it and I am hoping for a great 2018,” he tells us.