“I met him when he was 15, and he was already writing songs,” says Hanna, a Nashvillian whose Nitty Gritty Dirt Band went on to help fuse country music’s past, present and future with its acclaimed “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” series of albums. “And they were really, really good songs. I remember him playing one called ‘These Days’ in the alley behind the Paradox, and we were all just stunned. I was so intimidated by his writing that for years I was like, ‘Why bother being a songwriter?’ ”
What’s even better is that Jackson got into the band because he could play a mean kazoo.