The 2020 roots-rock festival circuit has already found its spring and summer anthem, as Jason Lee McKinney released “Normal is Just an Exit” — the first track of his forthcoming album, ‘Pieces’.
Jumping in with twin guitars and a beat that sets the stage for a non-stop thumper, Normal is Just an Exit is certain to be a fan favorite. It is not too bold to say it may be a Top 5 track in the career of the band.
McKinney said that the song came to him almost as divine intervention.
“The chorus melody of this song came to me in an almost metaphysical way, like a whisper from God… or a distorted memory of a blues melody from childhood. Either way, It was one of those driving down the road and it just happened melodies – no effort and no revisions,” he told American Songwriter. “Beyond that, I had the idea of the juxtaposition of the chorus being half time with the syncopation of the melody against the verse having a straighter jump blues feel. That rub really captures the live energy of the band.”
McKinney is the rare exceptions that has an extremely educated background with a Doctorate, an MBA, and a BA in Management to go alongside multiple industry awards, including a Josie Music Award for Male R&B Vocalist of the Year in 2019 and an Independent Country Music Association award for Artist of the Year in 2014.
Pieces is the eighth studio album from the Jason Lee McKinney Band, and it was recorded with Grammy-nominated producer Kevin Houston (Buddy Guy, Robert Plant, Lucero) at Jim Dickinson’s Zebra Ranch (North Mississippi Allstars).
The eclectic background, longevity on the road, and honest nature of McKinney sets an ideal backdrop for the framework of the song.
“The theme of Normal is Just an Exit is really just a challenge for the individual to resist homogeny,” he said. “Our society purports to value the autonomy of the individual but really asserts heteronomous conformity to the crowd.
“The song is just really an encouragement to not look at past failures, present trials, or future worries, external or internal, and live comfortably in who you are.“
Pieces is expected to be released in February and the up tempo, soulful, Americana track sets the expectations very high.