Jordan Rowe Reflects Back on Life Growing Up in Georgia: 'We Just Got a Walmart a Few Years Ago'
As the pandemic began to rage last year and people everywhere frantically flocked to their local grocery stores only to find necessities dwindling, singer/songwriter Jordan Rowe simply sat back and smiled.
"I wasn't concerned," Rowe, 24, remembers in a recent interview with PEOPLE about those uneasy days last year as COVID-19 began to spread across the country. "I just kept thinking to myself that I can go out and get my food if I have to. It totally gave me peace of mind."
Indeed, as an avid hunter and fisherman, Rowe has always found a sense of purpose whether out in the woods or down by the lake. But he has also found there a sense of contentment and solitude, a place where he is the most himself and a place where he can experience little moments of time feeding his soul with what it's always longed for.
"Pardon the pun, but that's where I am a little 'more me,'" he says, referring to his new single "More Me" which tells the story of a guy who finds comfort in the people and places that have made him the man he is. "Everything in the song feels like it's about me. It's like I wrote it."
But he didn't. In fact, that job was left to friends and fellow songwriters Corey Crowder, Cole Taylor and Randy Montana, who had the song under their collective belts for a while before Rowe himself came to them with an intense interest to cut it.
"I heard that song two years ago, and it just really hit me," remembers Rowe. "I knew it was a hit, and I assumed someone would cut it, but nobody ever did. And I was like, 'What are y'all doing? Can I have that song?' And they gave it to me."
There is no doubt that the genuine, down-to-earth feel of the song lines up almost exactly to Rowe's very own upbringing in rural Georgia.
"I grew up in a small town in Georgia called Adel that had six red lights," explains Rowe, who officially made the move to Nashville in 2019. "I mean, we just got a Walmart a few years ago. But really, it was great. I lived there my whole life in the same house and my parents always had the same job and it was just a real tight-knit community that I was able to build the foundation of my life on."
The only problem was there wasn't much to do.
Or maybe, there was plenty.
"If I wasn't in school, I was hunting or fishing or riding dirt roads," says Rowe, who grew up on the music of country music superstars such as Joe Diffie, Alan Jackson, and Luke Bryan.
"I mean, riding dirt roads is an activity down there. You jump in with your girlfriend, if you had one, and if you didn't, you would find one," he says with a laugh. "It was a thing to do. In the song, where it says, 'the good Lord got me where he wants to be,' those are the days that I think about."
Of course, simple pleasures were something Rowe once took for granted. Like so many across the country and around the world, the ongoing pandemic paired with the subsequent lockdowns went and put Rowe's professional and personal life into quite the tailspin in 2020.
But it also taught him something quite important.
"Be more thankful for what I already have," explains Rowe, who watched his dad "get his first turkey" last year while on a hunting trip together. "It took this past year or so to make me realize the blessings around me and how quickly they can be taken from you. Whether it was eating out at a restaurant or playing a show, it was something that I tended to take for granted. But I never will again."
Rowe recently announced that he will be heading out for six dates out on the road in 2021 as part of The Cody Johnson Tour presented by Blue Otter Polarized tour. And besides finally getting the chance to play feel-good songs such as "Up to Something Country" in front of a live audience, it also will give him a chance to live differently.
"We were just talking about this yesterday," says Rowe of a recent conversation he had with fellow tour opener Drew Parker. "It's something that we will remember when we are out there. If something gets us frustrated, now we will be able to handle that better. Now, we are going to know how good we have it."
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