Overdrive Magazine

July 2019

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38 | Overdrive | July 2019 Overdrive-Red Eye Radio s T he sixth annual Overdrive- Red Eye Radio Trucker Talent Search received more than 50 entries from talented truck- ers who love to sing. Judges selected three finalists – Jason Henley, Ken Freeman and Taylor Barker – who will compete for first place Aug. 23 at The Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. The winner receives a full professional recording session in Nashville, Tennessee. The con- test will be emceed by trucker and recording artist Tony Justice, who also will perform during the event. BY KATHLEEN CRAFT To see each finalist's contest entry, visit the 2019 Trucker Talent Search playlist at youtube.com/OverdriveMag. TALENT FINALISTS TO DELIVER THE GOODS AT GATS Jason Henley of Jemison, Alabama Drives regional- ly as a company driver for Indigo Fluids, hauling industrial cleaning products in a tanker. He's been truck- ing for 15 years. My favorite part about singing is bringing people together. Singing is a therapy and a connection to the spiritual realm for me. I have started writing thousands of songs but have only recorded a few. I'm a much big- ger fan of playing live and playing with new musicians than I am of writing and recording. My wife, her mother-in-law and I – as well as longtime friends – are a part of the musical community in central Alabama. We open our home to host musical events as well as practice for my band. We have about 20 acres and are working on building a stage and creating a bou- tique private music venue. We'd like to make it into a regular festival, as well as doing other work such as weddings and photography. Ken Freeman of Centreville, Mississippi Pulls a liquid bulk chemicals tanker as a company driver for Transport Service Co., run- ning all over the United States and Canada. He's been trucking for 23 years. I think I just "have to" sing! It's a form of stress relief. It's hard to stay in a bad mood while singing, and when you sometimes get the chance to sing for others and get a positive reaction, well … how can you not love that? I usually keep ideas running through my head while driving, then at the end of the day, I try to spend an hour or two with my guitar and note- book to see what works. This is prob- ably not an ideal method, but it keeps me occupied throughout the day and helps me unwind when the driving is done. I've also gotten to play at a couple of truck shows over the last year, and that's been a real treat. Taylor Barker of Kingsport, Tennessee Hauls hazmat in smooth-bore tankers, leased to Heniff Transportation. He's been trucking for 22 years. My favorite thing about singing is being able to share a story with music and make people feel that the song was written about them because they relate to the lyrics. I sing, write and play music because it allows me to escape reality and live for a moment in a place in which my problems are forgotten, as are the listeners' problems. It's been a very powerful drug to me. I also like to use music to help others by playing for charities and raising money for people who could use a helping hand. On the road, I make time dur- ing my 34-hour resets or 10-hour breaks. I have been known to stop on the clock when that lyric in my mind is begging me to stop so it can mingle with the music.

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