When Jason Adamo finished high school in his native Blacksburg, Va., it didn’t take him long to get started on his life’s dream of becoming a professional musician living in New York City. He busked in subway terminals to make a little cash and found the odd bar gig here and there, and then decided he should move to Los Angeles to try the business on the West Coast.
That’s when Adamo’s brother stepped in with an idea: Why not try the Triangle’s burgeoning music scene and put down roots a little closer to home?
“My brother had just gotten a decent paying job in Wake Forest, and he offered me the opportunity to move into an empty bedroom in his new townhouse to get a job and live rent free with him,” said Adamo, whose band performs Friday at The Pour House. “That was in 2003, and other than two years spent in Nashville writing music until 2015, I’ve been here ever since. I met my wife here and recently got married, so now I’m planning on being in Raleigh for the next 30 years or so.”
Arriving in the Triangle, Adamo hit up all the open mic nights he could find and introduced himself to as many local musicians as he could.
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“Back in 2003 the open mic scene in Raleigh was on fire, as it felt like every bar in the city would host them on slow weekday nights,” Adamo said. “Those shows made me realize quickly just how much of a hotbed of talent Raleigh had.”
Friday’s show in Raleigh will act as a band reunion of sorts – this is the first show in which all of them have been able to perform together in quite some time – as well as serve as a continued celebration of the release of their 2016 EP, “… and Friends.”
While Adamo was quick to make both friends and a name for himself within the Raleigh music scene, the two years spent in Nashville may prove to be his most fortuitous in the long run.
One friend in particular, Brett Young, has made Adamo’s name circulate among the songwriter circles in Nashville lately. The up-and-coming country performer wrote a song with Adamo, “Beautiful Believer,” which has become both a signature tune for Young and the first of Adamo’s career to appear on a major label release.
Adamo’s love of music has never wavered, and he promises that local fans will always find him gracing stages around the Triangle – but he does seem destined for a future that features less time under a spotlight.
“Touring really isn’t in the big picture for the band for the next year or so,” Adamo said. “My wife is my main focus at the moment. I recently enrolled myself into a two-year Business Associates program at Wake Tech, basically to go in a slightly different direction in the music field, besides being the guy onstage performing. Still, I keep getting invites to play with people that I really admire, so if something comes my way, I’ll still try to work it out with my wife and the guys in the band to attempt to do it. As of right now, my focus is just a little closer to home.”
Who: Jason Adamo Band, with Julie McKnight and Jake Dean
When: 9 p.m. Friday
Where: The Pour House, 224 S. Blount St., Raleigh