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Dollywood is quickly becoming a mini-Nashville when it comes to developing musical talent! Rising stars Carly Pearce and Heidi Parton both got her start singing at Dollywood, and now a brand new music duo from the Pigeon Forge theme park is making a splash on the country scene. This October, Jada Anderson and Barry Jobe, two of Dollywood’s most talented performers, released their debut album, “Long Way Home.”
Anderson, who is known professionally as “Jada Star,” and Jobe, who goes by “Barry J,” both perform at Dollywood’s “My People, My Music” show. Jada also happens to be the daughter of Dolly Parton’s younger sister, Freida Parton!
To mark the release of their new album, the Knoxville News Sentinel conducted a great video interview with Jada Star and Barry J:
How Jada Met Barry
Jada and Barry were both performing in the same show at Dollywood when they started playing music together backstage. They soon found that they had a lot in common, both musically and as people. At the urging of some of Jada’s family members, the two started to pitch their music in Nashville. Instead of buying their songs and selling them to other artists, Soundbiscuit Productions encouraged them to record an album of original music together.
Jumping at this exciting opportunity, Jada and Barry got to work on their new record. The duo has described their unique sound as “artsy country music” or “Sugarland meets Fleetwood Mac.”
Barry and Jada are best friends and they liken their relationship to that of brother and sister. Jada told the Knoxville News Sentinel, “I think that we both share a lot of the same views on things, and it was nice to see that a lot of our songs, our music, was very similar to each other even when we hadn’t grown up together … we’ve known each other for like 3 or 4 years, but it’s like we’ve known each other forever, and it just seemed to kind of fit together.”
Dolly Parton Loves the Album
To promote “Long Way Home,” Jada and Barry threw an album release party on October 11, 2018 at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort, where they performed songs from the record. Dolly Parton wasn’t able to make it to the event, but she did send in a sweet video message to show her support for Jada and Barry:
“I am so excited as I know all of you are to be celebrating today with Jada Star and Barry J and their ‘Long Way Home’ album release. I think it’s great. I wish I could be there….I’ve got to hear most of the things I believe, and I think it’s absolutely wonderful so I just wanted to say ‘Jada Star and Barry J, congratulations.'”
In an interview with the Knoxville News Sentinel, Jada said how lucky she feels to have been “dropped” into the Parton family. Dolly’s influence on her music is clear, as they both try to be “very honest and very open” as songwriters. Jada has also been inspired by her mother, Freida Parton, who is a skilled songwriter and singer in her own right. Speaking about her mother, Jada explained:
“I grew up with someone who was always writing and feeling and putting it out on paper and teaching me how to play guitar, and she was so influential in that, and she was so influenced by her big sister, so it just sort of was like this little step ladder situation.”
Listening to “Long Way Home”
Jada Star and Barry J’s album is out now! To find the album, just search for “Long Way Home” on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, or CD Baby.
If you’re looking to catch a rising music star during your trip to Pigeon Forge, you will definitely want to plan a visit to Dollywood! To get the best deal on Dollywood tickets (and free cancelation up to a certain date), click the green box below: