Anna Shay Wasden Jason Givens and the Wanderers have taken Montgomery's music scene by storm over the past year. The band has seen its fair share of the spotlight after opening for Montgomery Gentry at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and drawing one of the biggest crowds The Shoppes at EastChases event Sounds of Summer has ever seen.
After learning to play guitar at age 10, Jason Givens knew he had found his life's calling. A native of Montgomery, Jason has been playing around the capital city for over 10 years. Aside from being the namesake of his band, Jason also serves many roles in his everyday life: husband to Sarah Anne Givens, father to three, guitar teacher to many students across Montgomery, worship leader at Vaughn Forest Church, and songwriter. As the years passed, Jason spent a lot of time writing, composing and perfecting his music. With the welcoming of his first child, Jason knew it was time to finally release his own album. In 2014, Falling in Love was released on iTunes. All five songs were written by Jason himself and paint the story of his journey with his wife, Sarah Anne.
One unique quality not seen in many bands today is the strong moral belief and faith portrayed in each member of Jason Givens and the Wanderers. Jason remarks that his faith has been a huge driving force in his career thus far. He says, "As a Christian, it's not just about playing at church then playing somewhere else- like they're separate. No, I am a Christian wherever I go and that shows in my music." Life in the music business is not always without temptation, but with God leading him and his band, Jason knows their values will prevail.
His family has also played a vital role in his music, "It's made music personal, whether it's someone else's music or my own. Songs can make you cry a lot easier when you're a dad." Jason's own song, "Sights on Tennessee" is written about how much he misses his family while he is away from home. The love he has for his family is evident in any song he writes or performs.
Jason Givens and the Wanderers is the perfect mix of country, Blues, and rock n roll. It is not uncommon to see one bandmate in cowboy boots and another in Converse tennis shoes. Their juxtaposed look matches their eclectic mix of music- something for everyone. For Jason, it is country all the way. He loves everything from Willie Nelson to The Eagles to Zac Brown. Specifically, he enjoys the intentional writing and story behind the songs. Chris Kratzer (bass guitarist) has more of the Pop/Funk feel in his style while the rest of the band- Fowler Holding (drums and guitar) and Stefan Slade (keys) - is a perfect mix between the two. Backstage, Jason and his bandmates look like any other group of buddies. "We have a great time together," Jason remarks, "we really appreciate each other."
Jason and his bandmate, Chris, have seen their band and families grow together over the past year. Two of their most prominent shows have been marked not only by success of the band,
but also by the welcoming of two new fans into their lives. Jason and his wife had their third child less than three hours after a successful show at River Jam. Similarly, Chris and his wife had their baby just a few hours before the Montgomery Gentry show. Jason assures his fans that no babies are expected anytime soon, but it is certainly an exciting time for the band.
So, what's next for Jason Givens and the Wanderers? "I would love to have a couple of albums of original music, be touring or even just write music for other artists, Jason says.
Until Jason and the Wanderers make it big, be sure to keep up with the band on their Facebook page, Jason Givens and the Wanderers. Watch their pre-show vlogs, performance excerpts and the genuine interactions between each bandmate. Also, keep up with all their upcoming show dates and contact information for booking inquiries should you want to enjoy a great band with great values at your next event.