March 4, 2010

Country singer with Maine roots making a name

RAY ROUTHIER

— By

Staff Writer

Growing up in the St. John River Valley in both Maine and Canada, Jason Rogers used to entertain house guests with his version of Glen Campbell's ''Rhinestone Cowboy.''

When he turned 18, he left his home in Wicklow, New Brunswick, and headed to Nashville with only a vague idea of becoming a musician. He only stayed about six months.

But the vague idea must have been deeply implanted in his brain because, after living in Chicago and Texas for several years, Rogers went back to Nashville six years ago for a second time.

Now 32, Rogers is making a name for himself on the country music scene. As of Oct. 19, his single ''It Ain't Braggin' '' was number 29 on the Cashbox Magazine Top 40 country music singles chart.

His traditional country style has earned him comparisons to a young George Strait.

''I've always been into music, but I didn't really think I'd make albums or anything until a few years ago,'' said Rogers from his home in Nashville this week.

''I was actually working in the warehouse of a pool and spa company when things started to happen.''

That was in 2006, when Rogers decided to enter the international Song of the Year contest. His song, ''Breathe Into Me,'' won best song in the country category.

From there, Rogers released his debut self-titled CD, and the single, ''It Ain't Braggin','' began getting recognition around the country music scene.

Rogers was born in Maine and lived in Washburn, near Presque Isle, until he was 3. He spent the rest of his childhood in New Brunswick, Canada, just across the border, mostly in the town of Wicklow.

He still comes back to Maine and New Brunswick often to visit family.

He has relatives in Portland, Bangor, the Presque Isle area and New Brunswick. He hopes to play some shows in Maine and New Brunswick sometime next year.

For more on Rogers and his budding career, go online at www.jasonrogerscountry.com.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

rrouthier@pressherald.com

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