Jason Scott Hook describes himself as “a new country singer with the old country flare.” That old country flare could light up the skies of Nashville as well as Southeastern Ohio now that Hook has signed a recording contract in “Music City” with Colt Records.

Hook, of Nelsonville, performed at The Nashville Palace on March 20. Also performing that Saturday night was country music singer and songwriter J.K. Coltrain. After hearing him perform, Coltrain, who is founder and president of Colt Records, contacted Hook and offered him a contract with his company.

“As of Monday, March 22, Jason is on the Colt Records’ Nashville roster,” said Amy Hook, Jason’s wife and manager. “He goes back to the Nashville recording studio in May to record two promo tracks and a music video for one of them.”

Coltrain, like Hook, describes himself as a traditional country music performer and in a press release announcing Hook’s contract, he praised his voice and ability to perform.

“Ohio’s very own Jason Scott Hook is one of the Midwest’s hottest new country artists and is now prepared to make the leap onto the national and international country music scene,” Coltrain said. “He has a very unique vocal style and the ability to deliver a song as very few can.”

Back in Nelsonville now, the singer-songwriter is excited about this latest career advancement as he works on songs to record in May.

“I’m still pretty much on a big rush to see that something like this could happen — but my head hasn’t gotten too big for my cowboy hat yet,” Hook said, laughing. “Colt Records is a great place to work. Everybody knows you by your first name, and they take time to work with you. They don’t force you to do anything you don’t want to do, and they let you work at your own pace.”

“One of the songs he’ll probably record is ‘Cowboy Up.’ It’s an awesome song about rodeos and about having a good time. To me, it’s a fun, good-time song,” Amy Hook said. “There’s another one called ‘I’m Not So Little Anymore,’ and it’s about a little-bitty boy who gets bullied all the way through school and he grows up to be, like it says, not so little. Then there’s ‘If I Could Kill Her Memory,’ which, obviously, is about a guy trying to get over a girl. He’s got about 33 songs to pick from.”

Hook, who was featured in an article in The Messenger last August and has a Web site at jasonscotthook.com, said in an interview this week that he started singing “as a little kid” and continued singing only as a hobby until a few years ago.

“I really got into it about three years ago, and I’ve been after a record deal since then,” he said. “I love to perform in front of a crowd. It just makes me happy to be able to make people happy with what I’m doing.”

Amy King said Hook made quite an impression when he played The Nashville Palace.

“Jason played at The Nashville Palace in March. It’s a well-known place. In fact that’s part of its name — it’s actually called ‘The World Famous Nashville Palace.’ He was in a showcase in the afternoon and got invited back by Larry Hamilton, who is in the house band. He invited Jason to come back and play with them that night. We talked to J. K. Coltrain yesterday, and he said Larry wants to know when he’s coming because he wants him to play with them again.”

Hook will be appearing in the area before he leaves for Nashville. The weekend of April 16, he’ll perform at Begley’s ATV Campground in New Straitsville, and he’ll play the main stage at 9 p.m. on May 27 at the Moonshine Festival. Then he’ll head for a major event in Nashville, the Fan Fair music festival.

“I’m nervous and excited,” Hook said of the event, officially called the CMA (Country Music Association) Music Festival Fan Fair.

When asked if she knows what the record contract and performing in big venues like Fan Fair and The Nashville Palace mean to Hook’s career, Amy Hook said she has a pretty good idea.

“I think it means that big things are going to happen,” she said. “J.K. says his first single should come to the radio in the first part of June. I’m keeping all my fingers and toes crossed. It’s very exciting.”

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