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Originally from Dallas, Texas, Jon came from a musical family. Jon's father Ronnie Stewart was a policeman who also had a bluegrass band. Mother Linda played dobro. They put a guitar in their son Jon Randall Stewart's little hands when he was six. The instrument has been his life's companion ever since. As soon as he graduated from high school in Dallas, the boy packed his songwriting bags for Music City. The only trouble was, nobody wanted to listen. He formed a short-lived bluegrass band called The Prairie Dogs to pick up money. He also took a job delivering birthday balloons in a gorilla suit. In the summer of 1988 he was a strolling musician in Nashville's Opryland theme park. Holly Dunn discovered him there and hired him for her band in 1989. Later that year he auditions for a spot in The Nash Ramblers, Emmylou Harris's band. He was an unknown in a band with some of the Grand Ole Opry's best. In 1992, this group won a Grammy for its CD, 'At The Ryman'.

Jon worked with Harris for five years. In the meantime, he landed a songwriting contract with Sony Tree and a recording contract with BNA Records. Because Larry Stewart, Lisa Stewart, Gary Stewart and Marty Stuart were already making records, the label abbreviated his name to Jon Randall. What You Don't Know appeared as his debut album in 1995. Despite his songwriting talent, it contained only one original tune. A year later, he had a hit with 'By My Side', a duet with Lorrie Morgan. It was intended for his second BNA CD, Great Day to Be Alive. Like its predecessor, it had only one of his own songs. In any case, the disc never came out, and he was dropped by his label. The title tune later became a smash hit for Travis Tritt.

Jon later signed with Asylum Records in 1998 and produced his third album, 'Cold Coffee Morning'. But the record company ended before the CD could be issued. Another CD, 'Willin'' got critical acclaim in 1999 but didn't get out into circulation because the label releasing it, Eminent Records, went out of business as well. After this, Jon concentrated on doing recording session work with the likes of Lyle Lovett and Sam Bush. There were still many folks in Nashville who believed Jon should concentrate on his own music. Patty Loveless was one of these folks, using Jon as her duet partner on Mountain Soul in 1991 and Bluegrass & White Snow in 2002. These two won a Grammy for their work on the CD 'Livin', Lovin', Losin'.

After being asked by music publisher Ree Guyer-Buchanan, "How can I get you off the road to stay home and write songs," Jon remembers, "I promised her I'd stay home and write songs for her company, Wrensong. It was hard for me to make that transition. I did tour with Earl Scruggs last year. How could I turn that down? But otherwise, I kept my word."

Last year his songwriting gate swung wide, with more than a dozen artists recording his tunes. "Whiskey Lullaby," cowritten with Bill Anderson, was sung to fame by Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss.

"Next door to Wrensong on Music Row was DMZ Records and [its then executive] John Grady. It turned out, he was a big fan of my first record. He was actually aware of who I was and what I was doing, which was pretty cool. Since his office was next door, he'd come over, hang out, drink coffee and talk about music. After he moved over to Sony, he came to me about doing a record. As soon as we started talking, I said, 'Whatever we do, whatever this turns out to be, I want to work with George Massenburg. I first met George on the Seldom Scene session. That's why I insisted on working with him. I had never worked with him, but I'd loved everything he'd ever done - Little Feat, The Trio (Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris) and on and on."

Jon's musical plans had to change for the better once he was heard playing guitar on a Seldom Scene album produced by George Massenburg. The two of them hit it off instantaneously. Jon then decided he should make another CD. Of this decision Jon says this, "George is a genius. He's brilliant about microphone placement and so many other things. A lot of these songs were recorded live in the studio, sitting in a room together with no headphones and just playing. When I tell people that, I know the first thing they think is, 'Oh this is one of those arty, too-cool records.' The truth of the matter is, the reason we recorded it that way is because it sounds bigger. The production sounds enormous because of all the natural reverb in the room and the way George captures sounds.

"It was a priceless experience. Spiritually and emotionally I've matured a lot. So once we started recording this music, I really knew what I wanted it to be and where I wanted it to go."

Jon's unparalleled singing and guitar playing skills led to jobs with the bands of Emmylou Harris, Sam Bush, Linda Ronstadt, Patty Loveless and Kid Rock. All the work and success in this line of career travel, for Jon, led to a little distraction from his original reason for moving to Nashville. Jon has definitely found his way back to his original musical path with his new CD, 'Walking Among the Living'. All 14 songs on this CD were written or co-written by Jon. Songs like 'Lonely For Awhile', which gives a thoughtful portrayal of post-relationship heartache to the peppier 'Austin' show Jon's truly varied writing and singing talents. Jon's own version of a hit song he co-wrote, 'Whiskey Lullaby' will definitely pull at your heartstrings. 'Walking Among The Living' is a great journey in which to listen how the footsteps of emotion fall for those who take the time to hear them.

Check out Jon's latest tour dates and music information through his website:

http://www.jonrandall.com

The first thing most true country performers will tell you about their music is it has to come from the heart. It takes years for some artists to get to the place where their voice matches what comes from their heart. Jon Randall has a voice that comes straight from the heart, giving the listener insight into the soul of the song he's singing. This talent didn't come overnight, though. Jon had to walk the same road of sacrifice and learning every other writer-performer walks on the way to country music success. He says, "When I moved to Nashville, it was to be a songwriter and I did everything BUT that. At first, I took jobs as a sideman because I had to eat. Nobody was going to give a song-publishing contract to an unknown. But then, over the years, traveling became a way of life."