Twilight star Jackson Rathbone recently debuted his first solo album, American Spirit Blues

By Jessica Fecteau
November 27, 2018 10:30 AM
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While recording his debut solo album American Spirit Blues, Jackson Rathbone says his two young children played a major influence.

The dad to daughter Presley Bowie, 2, and son Monroe Jackson VI, 6, tells PEOPLE, “Whenever I would do songs before, I would hide behind a gruffer voice or a little more rock and roll — shout-sing.”

“But now, whenever I work on my music and I do something like that, my kids think it’s funny,” Rathbone says. “So they’ll hear me do like a voice and they’re like, ‘Why do you sound like the Cookie Monster on this song?’ ”

Continues the Twilight star of his two children, “So they inspired me to be a little bit more open and to also sing a little softer, like the way I sing to them.”

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The 33-year-old, who also stars in Heart, Baby!, says when his daughter was a newborn and would cry, he’d sing her “Love Me Tender” by Elvis Presley. “It quieted her down, and I’ve just always kept that with them,” he says. “It’s just a nice, soft, honest tone of voice.”

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Rathbone’s love of music has also been passed down to his son Monroe.

“He and I have formed a band that he has named the Yes No’s,” he says. “He is the singer and the lyricist and I am the backing musician. I play the drums and guitar and whatnot — whatever he wants me to. Oh, and he also plays the harmonica.”

American Spirit Blues- Jackson Rathbone -Album Cover itunes
American Spirit Blues by Jackson Rathbone

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Rathbone, who married Sheila Hafsadi in fall 2013, says Monroe has been asking when their father-son album will drop online, just like his EP did recently.

“It’s really sweet. Yeah, he loves the idea. We’ll be sitting in the kitchen and it makes him so happy to call to Alexa — ‘Alexa, play Jackson Rathbone music,’ ” he says. “He’s got a passion and a talent. He’s a young kid so I don’t want to overexpose him in any way, but I also want him to be able to follow his passions.”

But for now, Rathbone shares that he “loves the fact” that his kids can listen to his music. “Luckily, I’ve never been a writer who writes profane lyrics and all that,” he explains.

American Spirit Blues is now available on