Unlike most musicians you find in Nashville, singer, songwriter and musician Jesse Wayne Taylor is a born-and-bred middle-Tennessee native. Growing up with a love for music, he started experimenting with writing lyrics as young as 7 years old. Jesse sang in church throughout middle and high school but did not start playing guitar until he was 18. In his early years of college at Lipscomb University, he played around town any chance he could get. Following his college graduation in 2015, he decided to become a full-time musician. As an independent artist, he’s already released several projects alongside his work at CreatiVets. Just like with music, Jesse gained a passion for guns at a young age. His father and grandfathers sold and traded shotguns and revolvers for fun, and he would gladly test them! “Wasting” ammo quickly became a favorite hobby. While in college, he worked behind a range counter, and three years later, he was promoted to development director, hosting and doing private instruction for large parties. Since 2021, he has been the music instructor for CreatiVets. Now he gets to spend his days teaching the veterans of our country how to write songs to process their emotions and how to play an instrument with their song. NRA Country’s Lisa Supernaugh spent some time with Jesse at a recent charity event for CreatiVets and got to ask him a few questions. You can check out Jesse’s music at jessewaynetaylor.com and his work with our Veterans at creativets.org.
LS: Your Instagram shows you had a great hunting season last fall. Who got you in to hunting and the outdoors?
JWT: I did have a great season! I brought home a really nice eight-point buck and a fat doe. I made some burgers from that for some friends tonight, as a matter of fact. I’ve always loved shooting, but I have only gotten into hunting deer in the last three years. My cousin, Tim Goar, was kind enough to teach me, not only how to gut, but to process my whole deer myself.
LS: Your podcast with your dad, Travis Taylor, talks about your Paw Paw, firearms and music; how did you come up with the idea for it?
JWT: Growing up, I remember walking across the street, Taylor Road, which was named after our family, to go see my grandparents. I would sit and listen to my dad and his dad tell stories for hours. My dad is one of the best storytellers on the planet. I always wanted to have recordings of him telling stories to listen to after he passed. So, what better way than to start a podcast?
LS: You are a true patriot and volunteer to help our veterans tell their stories and heal through songs. How did you come to get involved?
JWT: I was fortunate enough to meet Richard Casper one night at the Whiskey Jam in Nashville. We exchanged numbers and he had me sit in on a writing session with a veteran the very next day. I went on to volunteer with them for several years, and then I joined their team as their music instructor and staff writer in February of 2021. It has been a massive blessing in my life since the moment I got involved.
LS: Does CreatiVets offer more programs than just music to help our veterans tell their stories?
JWT: Absolutely. I would say about half of what we do is the music. We just finished running an art program in Chicago yesterday. There are photography classes as well. All you have to do is apply at creativets.org.
LS: You work with so many of those who have put their lives on the line for our freedom, so my last question for today is what does freedom mean to you?
JWT: I’ve been given the privilege of writing songs with more than 100 of our country’s finest veterans through the CreatiVets program. To me, freedom means suffering. It means someone paid the price for me to be free and someone is suffering because of it. Whether it’s a guy who lost both of his legs, or a mother who lost her son, someone is suffering for me to enjoy my freedom.
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