#MusicMonday: Jarrod Dickenson, Singer, Songwriter, Performer

This article first appeared in Texas Lifestyle Magazine on July 13, 2020.

Known for his soulful vocals and ability to blend a variety of instruments and influences into one signature sound, Jarrod Dickenson is a Texas musician with international appeal.

As a late bloomer to music, Dickenson considers himself a “mostly self-taught guitarist.” He fine-tuned his craft through ardent observations of other guitarists. Thanks to his music-loving father, Dickenson’s musical foundation was immersed in legends like ZZ Top, Tom Petty, Eagles, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Who.

Living in Austin as a University of Texas undergraduate, Dickenson discovered the blues. He frequented the famous Antone’swhere he’d spend countless hours listening to Hubert Sumlin and Jimmie Vaughan play some of the most incredible sounds to ever leave a guitar.

When Jarrod Dickenson (shown) sits down to write a song, he first starts with its story and then brings to life every song in a different way. Photo courtesy Matt Wilkinson

After four years of playing Austin gigs, writing his own music and recording his first album, “Ashes on the Ground,” the Waco native decided to take a leap of faith. He gathered his music, his cowboy boots and his musical dreams to hit the road playing from the west coast to the east.

But it wasn’t until Dickenson traveled to Belfast, Ireland for a festival appearance that he met his future band mate, co-writer, singer and wife, Claire Ward. With no musical experience outside singing with her family, the future Mrs. Dickenson was coerced into ditching her marketing career and becoming the other half of this Texan-Irish husband-wife team.

Inspired by his wife’s lilting vocals and euphonic tones, Dickenson’s whole idea of music and songwriting changed. His music developed a fuller and complex sound. His lyrical storytelling would take the listener into the song’s tale as if it had been their own. Dickenson says, “It’s amazing just how much a single harmony can lift a song, and add a layer of richness that completely transforms it.”

Claire Dickenson (shown) says, “It’s an incredible feeling, and I consider myself very fortunate to have the opportunity to travel around the world performing on stage with my husband.” Photo courtesy Jay Simon Photography

Together the duo embarked on a journey that would take them across the globe picking up legions of fans along the way. Their duet, “Your Heart Belongs To Me,” has been played at many weddings as the bride and groom’s first dance tune.

Dickenson’s most recent album, “Ready the Horses,” was recorded in a mere four days in an analog studio off the southeast coast of England. The arrangement of the folksy sounding, blues-inspired, R&B vinyl has been described as honest and raw without the usual studio trickery, fixes or edits. It even has a “cowboy song thrown in for good measure,” said Dickenson.

Jarrod Dickenson says, “Claire has most definitely changed my music, and changed it for the better.” Photo courtesy Tatsuro Nishimura

The friendly and likeable Texan was forced to cut his latest tour short due to COVID-19. But he’s taking advantage of the opportunity to write new songs and finish up others before picking up where he left off — entertaining fans, making great music and enjoying the experiences with his wife.

Cover: Jarrod Dickenson, courtesy photo