Singer-actor Jonathan Jackson returned to the small screen last week with the rest of the Nashville cast as the series, now on CMT, began its fifth season. In addition to his role as Avery Barkley on the musical drama, Jackson continues to record and perform with his band, Jonathan Jackson + Enation, as well as making regular appearances on the Grand Ole Opry.
Jackson’s Opry performances have sometimes spotlighted the musician’s original material but have also included classic pop tunes, such as the Righteous Brothers’ epic ballad “Unchained Melody.” Given the long-running radio show’s origins at the Ryman Auditorium, the “Mother Church of Country Music,” Jackson has also taken the opportunity to pay homage to gospel-inspired rock & roll with his soul-stirring take on songs by rock legends U2. In addition to the Irish band’s “Love Rescue Me,” from their live 1988 LP Rattle & Hum, Jackson has treated Opry audiences to a soulful version of another track from that album, “Angel of Harlem.”
U2, who recorded those Rattle & Hum tracks at the iconic Sun Studios in Memphis, just announced The Joshua Tree Tour 2017, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the diamond-certified album (denoting sales in excess of 10 million copies) which preceded Rattle & Hum and was followed by the group’s hugely successful trek across the globe, where they immersed themselves in American music and culture.
Jonathan Jackson + Enation released their EP Blame-shifter last spring. They followed in November with the 90-minute concert CD/DVD Live From Nashville. Enation also includes Jonathan’s brother, Richard Lee Jackson, on drums and bass player Daniel Sweatt.