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Beachcomber Profiles* — Jordan Ballantyne

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HOMETOWN: Atlanta, Georgia.




AGE: 28.


HOBBIES: Music is my hobby. Who has time for anything else when there is always new music to learn?


RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Becoming a full-time musician was always a goal of mine, so I’m happy to have achieved that. I am currently working on original music and hope to transition to a more original setlist.


PROFILE: We moved to the area when I was seven, and I grew up in Santa Rosa Beach. As a kid, I attended Faith Assembly Church where every Sunday I would hear Donnie Sundal, Shannon Wallace, Tom DeVoursney, Phil Calhoun and all of the local greats play.


For my 10th birthday, I got my first guitar. Phil and Norma Calhoun are great friends with Jeff Cook (guitarist for the band Alabama) who had his own line of guitars for kids. My parents took me to Jeff’s house in Destin with Phil and Norma, where I met Jeff and received my first guitar, a green electric “Stinger” with amp. Jeff taught me my first guitar chord—a G.


When I was 13, I started taking lessons from Tom DeVoursney and loved every second of it I practiced constantly and couldn’t wait for my lessons every week. A few years later, I started playing in Faith Assembly’s early service band and sitting in with Tom at his local gigs.


When I was 17, my dad moved back to Scotland. At 18, I headed across the Atlantic where I would spend every winter for the next five or six years traveling all over Scotland and Northern England and busking on Buchanan Street in Glasgow. Mostly for beer money.


I worked at a local restaurant in Destin for 10 years to pay the bills while still concentrating on music because I knew that was what I wanted to do for a living. In early 2016, I met Brandon Day and we became friends instantly. He let me sit in on a few of his gigs, and with his help, I was able to start playing at local venues full-time.


Now, more than a year later, I’m still gigging and I love every minute of it. All of the musicians in this area are incredibly supportive of each other, and I am very grateful to all of them that have helped me along the way.


QUOTE: “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” – Victor Hugo


FAVORITE FREE PUBLICATION: Beachcomber, what else?


* Inspired by the late, great Creem magazine.

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