Courtesy of Aaron Crisler
On Tuesday and Wednesday at the Ohio Expo Center, Jason Sturgeon will return to Columbus to attend the All American Quarter Horse Congress, but this time he won’t be competing with a horse like he has in recent years.
Sturgeon will be performing his debut country album “That’s Me” for the crowd at a place he’s been many times before.
Sturgeon told The Lantern he’s excited to be back.
“It’s really cool,” he said. “I competed in Columbus about five times before and it’s interesting because I kind of got away from it but now I’m going back. It’s funny going back in a different form, this time I won’t be having a horse with me.”
The album, “That’s Me,” has been out for about a year now, and since it’s his debut album, there’s a lot Sturgeon wants to showcase about himself.
“A debut album is an introduction and I just want people to get a better idea of who I am,” he said. “The songs are stories about me, written by me. Good, bad and ugly. They’re all on it.”
Sturgeon said he wants fans to see his album as relatable.
“I write about human experience,” he said. “It may be my times but they may be other folks’ too. I hope they’ll see someone doing something real. I’m just some country kid — what you see is what you get.”
Along with his family, Sturgeon has always been inspired by another artist.
“Since I was four or five, it’s been Kenny Rogers,” he said. “I saw him on stage and he was a heck of an entertainer. He made a strong impression on me and he still influences me today.”
At that same young age is when Sturgeon started his performing — for his family.
“At Christmas parties I’d sing for them and they’d give me quarters,” he said. “I guess it was my first paying gig, and it probably had something to do with how I turned out.”
Years later, at a show Sturgeon was performing with his previous band, he was still being paid in quarters.
“At one of our huge shows my family came up to me at the end and my dad had a quarter in his hand,” he said. “He shook my hand and slid me the quarter. Then my whole family gave me some.”
Along with being featured on Country Music Television, Sturgeon’s music video for his single “The Cover” reached No. 1 on Yallturnative, a country music video website.
“It felt amazing,” he said. “This is the third video I put out and others have done pretty well but to have a release like that in the first week was shocking to me. It’s something I’m proud of.”
Kallan Opheim, a first-year in exploration, said that story-telling is what she likes about country music.
“I’d like to go to the concert but I can’t,” she said. “But I love country music. I like that it’s unique to America and a lot of the times it tells a story.”
Dan Thorson, a third-year in health sciences, won’t be attending, but he said he thinks some students will.
“I won’t be going because I didn’t know he was coming, but I like country music,” Thorson said. “I think it’s easy to identify with and everyone else who likes country will sing along with you when a song comes on.”
Sturgeon said fans can expect an entertaining performance.
“The band and I put on a pretty rockin’ show,” he said. “It’s a fun time and I think people are gonna enjoy it.”