Vexil Brand Featured Highlight: Carson Jeffrey
It’s always a pleasure getting to discover new music talent. It’s extra special when that talent hails from Texas and is a cowboy before anything else. Carson Jeffrey is the epitome of a homegrown, Texas music artist. At a very early age, Carson was already enjoying early Texas artists such as Cross Canadian Ragweed and Ryan Bingham. Growing up in the ranching and western way of life, he was sure that his future was roping, but his journey led him to music.
It was exciting being able to sit down and learn more about Carson’s philosophy on his overall personal branding and music style. During the interview, he mentions several times that he’s just a cowboy who happens to write and play songs. His first album, Muchos Sonidos means “Many Sounds” in Spanish, and that’s just what this cowboy delivers. Check out the full interview below and give this guy a listen!
CLN: Can you give our audience a brief introduction to yourself, and background within the western industry/rodeo, and how you got started in music?
Carson: I was born and raised in Cat Spring, Texas which is about an hour west of Houston down here. I grew up rodeoing, my dad roped and that’s all I’ve ever done since I was itty bitty. That was the plan, I quit sports in junior high and that’s all we did, every day, I would come home and we would rope. We went to junior rodeos every weekend and I stuck to that plan that I was going to be a roper. Then I got into college and did college rodeo throughout my time at Texas A & M University in College Station. I’d always played guitar since junior high and then I started writing songs in high school. When I was in college, I started doing some open mics and taking some small gigs, mainly for fun. I started writing more songs and all of my friends started saying that I needed to record them. So the summer before my last semester of college, I did an album for fun and one of the songs, “Ranch Girl Dream” really took off. All of a sudden I have this following and I figured, I better try to make something out of it, and the next thing I knew, we were booking shows.
CLN: How has your lifestyle helped shape your career in music?
Carson: Really, the music world and the rodeo world are identical besides the fact that you are doing two different things. For rodeo, you load your horse up, you’re out there all night competing, then the next morning you’re rolling out or even the same night. The music world is just the same, the traveling, the late nights, the long hauls, and the waiting around, it’s basically a hurry up to wait game. We set up, then we wait around for hours for the show to kick off. It is the same with rodeo, you show up and you wait for your event, spend 8 seconds in the arena then roll out. Rodeo has taught me some key responsibilities early on that have helped me as well in the music industry.
CLN: Can you tell us a little bit more about your music style?
Carson: My music starts with my songwriting. I don’t sit down and say, “okay, this has to be traditional country, or this one has to be a little more rock n roll.” There’s a lot of folks that sit down and write a whole album with either all steel guitars or only fiddles and they try to keep the same style across the whole album. I’m not really worried about that and I just write however I’m feeling that day however the song turns out. Every single song of mine has a different feel to it and the instrumentation comes out different. I just let the song build upon itself, that’s why we named the first album “Muchos Sonidos”, it just means “Many Sounds” and that’s what you’re going to hear. It’s got a little bit of rock n roll, a little bit of country, it’s just a mixture. I think that’s how my music is always going to be, I don’t ever plan on conforming to just one kind of song.
CLN: Can you go a little deeper into the details of your latest album, “Heart of This Man”?
Carson: Heart of This Man is just a chapter. The first album was also a chapter, but this next one was more honest songwriting and true to what I was going through. It came about in the middle of the pandemic and I didn’t have anything else to do but sit around and write songs. I think ya’ll got some really honest songwriting out of me and we went in there and did it all ourselves just like the first one and ended up with a really true album this time around.
CLN: What does your process look like for creating new music?
Carson: My writing style has changed in the last several years. I used to get the tune first on the guitar, and let my voice match whatever melody I came up with. Here lately, I have tried writing without the guitar and let my vocals do other things and then bring the guitar in after the fact. That’s gotten me out of the hole of repetitive vocals and it’s allowed me to get to new levels vocally.
CLN: What is your favorite thing about what you do?
Carson: For me, I’m just a really normal guy from Cat Spring, Texas who just so happens to sing. When I go to Tulsa, Oklahoma to play a show, and I don’t know a soul in the crowd, then I see people out in the audience singing every single one of my songs, that’s just a really cool thing. If I could do this without getting the recognition and the fame, it would be great, that just comes second for me. I’m just a really simple guy, that likes to rope and just happens to sing.
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CLN: What are you most looking forward to this year?
Carson: Thankfully, we were on the road a lot last summer compared to other artists. I’m still a small artist compared to the big guys who are playing stadium shows, so we were able to play in smaller venues that were still having shows. We were able to play 2-3 shows a weekend and got a lot of exposure during Covid when a lot of other folks weren’t able to. As far as this next year, we are already seeing things turn around for us, we have some huge opportunities and great shows. We are planning to be out of state quite a bit more and we do have new music coming out early this summer.
CLN: Who are some artists that have influenced your music style?
Carson: When I was little, my uncle gave me every single Cross Canadian Ragweed CD that they had put out up till that point. I remember we had a brand new truck that had the new six disk CD player and you could plug your headphones into the backseat. I would sit in the backseat when we would go to town every day, and I would listen to those CDs over and over again. In the early days it was Cross Canadian Ragweed, then I found Ryan Bingham in junior high so those two were the biggest influences for me until I got a bit older and found Casey Donahew, Josh Abbott, Randy Rodgers, and William Clark Green.
CLN: How do you feel about partnering with the Vexil Brand? What makes you want to stand behind the brand? Additionally, how has it helped you progress in your career?
Carson: Vexil Brand has been great to me, as well as Shawn, the owner, he’s been absolutely great. Here lately, he’s become more than just a business partner, he’s become almost more of a business mentor. I think working with Vexil is good for me because they have big plans and I have big plans, it’s nice because we both believe in each other’s goals which is a great thing for someone like me who is just starting out. My brand and Vexil’s brand work really well together. They are a ranching, rodeo brand and that’s how I’ve tried to position my personal brand. For me, singing is not the focus, it’s everything else. It’s when I go out roping in the practice pen, that’s who I am, I’m not the singer, I’m the cowboy. That’s how I’ve tried to position my brand and it’s one of the reasons I enjoy working with Vexil, because our values are perfectly aligned.
As we wrapped up the article, Carson did drop a little teaser that he is going to have new music coming out this summer, possibly next month so keep your eyes out and we can’t wait to follow this cowboy’s journey in country music! You can learn more about Carson & Vexil Brand below.
About Carson Jeffrey
At a very early age, Carson discovered artists such as Cross Canadian Ragweed, Ryan Bingham, and Chris Knight. He grew up in the ranching and western way of life, spending a lot of time at his family’s ranch in Dryden, Texas, as well as his hometown of Cat Spring, Texas. Most every weekend was spent going down the highway to another rodeo to another town. With the highway as his guide, he picked up a guitar and started writing songs in his high school years. It wasn’t until college that he began to play acoustic shows and realized that people actually listened to his songs. In the summer of ’19, Carson recorded his debut album “Muchos Sonidos”, and formed a band to start trying to make his mark in the Texas Music Scene.
VEXIL is a brand built on the cowboy and cowgirl lifestyle. Some were born into it and others were just drawn to it but regardless of what lead us to this life, it is now forever branded upon our souls. From the sound of creaking leather as we climb into our saddles to the banging of metal as bulls and horses are loaded in the chutes, the small details of this life become the spark that fuels our passion. It’s really sad that the majority of this world’s population will never get to see what we see or know what we know. Outsiders will never understand our lives but that really doesn’t concern us. We will keep being who we are because that is what we know and all we care to know. We will be strong, we will be courageous, we will BE COWBOYS.