The Best Song You’ve Never Heard: “Finish Line” by Jade Jackson

Jade Jackson Photo: Matt Bizer

The idea of the “big break” seems like a Hollywood storyline, where an artist gets a great opportunity out of the blue. While becoming a professional musician can take years of hard work, a big break isn’t a false idea. Some artists do get lucky and find a person who helps launch their career. Today’s “The Best Song You’ve Never Heard” comes from an American artist who was connected to a punk rock legend.

Jade Jackson grew up just outside San Luis Obisbo on California’s Central Coast, working at her parent’s restaurant and listening to country legends on the radio. After attending CalArts in Valencia, she broke her back and became addicted to painkillers.

Her experience with addiction helped inform her songwriting and soon started performing. She was later introduced to punk legend Mike Ness of Social Distortion – Jade’s mother went to high school with Mike’s wife Christine.

Christine told her husband to see Jade and they started recording music together. Jade signed with Anti- Records, the Americana offshoot of punk label Epitaph. She has since released two solo albums, Gilded and Wilderness, and just recently released an album with Lee Ann Womack’s daughter Aubrie Sellers as Jackson + Sellers with songs like “Waste Your Time.”

“Finish Line” was one of the earliest songs Jade released and shows off her country roots. It kicks off with a slide guitar and vocals reminiscent of Lucinda Williams.

Her lyrics are deep and dark, reflecting on the difficult times of her life and the strength she is finding to push forward. She translates the lyrics beautifully with her vocal performance to express her emotions in song.

This song showed her promise and she now continues to build her career after getting her big break.

If you enjoyed this track, take this and past “The Best Song You’ve Never Heard” picks with you via our handy-dandy Spotify playlist here

Jeff is a KXT weekend host and the Manager of Radio Operations for KERA 90.1 and KXT 91.7.

Our work is made possible by our generous, music-loving members. If you like how we lift up local music, consider becoming a KXT sustaining member right here.