Jason Fraley, long time mandolinist with Deeper Shade of Blue, is stepping down from that position.
“I’ve been seeking things out and praying about making the right decision,” stated the Monroe, NC native in a phone interview. “It’s been hard. I’ve been with DSOB over 22 years. I joined right out of college.”
The timing just seemed right to make a change now.
“I am having double jaw surgery on Thursday. I am getting ordained in the near future. I need to focus on church, job, and family.”
Regarding surgery, Fraley has dealt with temporomandibular joint issues for a while, a condition that has caused him a lot of pain in recent years.
“My jaws pop. I have difficulty breathing. It’s affected my bite and made it hard to chew. I’ve developed a lisp over the last couple of years. The older I get, the harder it is. I need to get it addressed. Recovery will probably take a month.”
His ordination into Lee Park Church near his home adds to his commitment to the spiritual community. Fraley already serves as the church’s minister of music.
“I will basically serve as a worship pastor. I will not just play, but be there for my congregation. I have a desire to help people and do ministry with my church.”
Fraley seems at peace with his decision.
“It’s time. God’s called me to grow my music ministry and have more family time.”
He admits it was not an easy or quick resolution.
“It’s hard to explain how life can change in an instant. I have had a calling in my life for music ministry a long time now, and have been in it full time for three years.
It’s a big change. I’ve spent over half my life in Deeper Shade of Blue. For 20 years, I traveled and played with my dad (banjoist, Jim Fraley) which was awesome because I watched him growing up playing, and knew that was the life I wanted.”
Fraley has fond memories.
“In my time traveling with DSOB, I have gotten to play some of the best stages in the industry and shared bills with my heroes. I don’t regret a minute of it. I have received awards, and we have had songs on the charts. I say that to say this… sometimes as nice as those things are, sometimes a calling in our life is way more important. It is time for me to enjoy my family and concentrate on my music ministry.”
Fraley concluded with praises for his band mates.
“To my brothers of Deeper Shade of Blue… we have made some amazing memories over the years. I wouldn’t have wanted to travel and play music this long with anyone else. Troy (Pope) has stood with me the longest; 20 plus years. I put many a dent in that ole box he plays! Frank (Poindexter) has been a musical hero since I was a kid. I’ve stood beside him on stage for years now, and the honor was mine. Scott (Burgess) came along about eight years ago and keeps the dad jokes coming. Steve (Wilson) came in to replace dad and was so gracious and made the transition easy. For that, I am grateful.
I will miss the fun and the music we made together, as well as the best harmony in the business. ‘Baritone done,’ they know what I mean.
I will continue to fill in when they or other bands need me, as well as continue to put out my own music. A huge thank you to all the fans who have stood by me and encouraged me over the years. Go support these guys when you can! I will be seeing you around!”
Deeper Shade of Blue will be announcing Fraley’s replacement soon, and a farewell concert with their long time mandolinist is being planned.
Good luck to Jason Fraley with his surgery and as he follows his heart and his passions.