MUSIC SPOTLIGHT: Area musician says playing guitar therapeutic

"Gusto" Dave Jackson will be playing a solo gig Friday, Sept. 30 at the Branch at 8 p.m.

Wagoner musician and Northeastern State University alumni "Gusto" Dave Jackson first started playing music when he was a child.

Jackson said his father first bought him an electric guitar when he was around 8 years old from a garage sale, but he didn't keep playing because he couldn't make it sound like the band KISS' music.

About five years later, his father bought his mother an acoustic guitar that she didn't take to. This prompted Jackson to try it out and start learning chords from a Roy Clark Big Note Guitar Book.

"It sat in the corner and I was kind of a bored awkward kid, so I gave it a shot and it got me a lot of attention," said Jackson.

Jackson plays guitar and sings all many genres during his solo performances and when he plays with a trio called "Hurricane Romance."

Jackson said there's a sort of tactical satisfaction when playing guitar, which he believes connects people to their roots or family.

"For instance, if you take a woodworker who is out in the shop and he's got the saws going, and [he's] nailing or gluing it all together, that touch of the wood in your hands there's something earthy about it that connects you back to your roots," said Jackson. "I think it's very similar to the neck of the guitar. I really do believe a lot of players do it for that reason. There's almost a family connection to touch the neck of a guitar and the feel of the strings."

Jackson said the biggest struggle he has encountered with music is his shaky hands. His shakiness does not come from nerves but stems from him being high-strung.

"I'm almost the last person in the world who should be playing guitar, but I struggle sometimes with accuracy because I get so lit up," said Jackson.

The main issue Jackson's shakiness causes is the synchronization between his left and right hand. He said he thinks a lot of people don't notice it because of the expression and feeling he uses when playing.

He said while he craved attention when he first started music, he enjoys playing now due to the monetary gains and emotional satisfaction he receives, especially when writing music.

"Even if it's playing somebody's cover and you really cry that certain note the right way, it's therapeutic," said Jackson.

The musician is not sure why performing is therapeutic but he said he thinks everybody needs something such as that.

Check It Out

"Gusto" Dave Jackson will be playing Wednesday, Sept. 28 at the Canebrake at 6 p.m.; Thursday, Sept. 29 at the Tulsa State Fair at 5 p.m.; and Friday, Sept. 30 at the Branch at 8 p.m.

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