Bad Company: Ackles and Carlson Nashville Jam

Jensen – obviously – at the La Con (not Nashville!). Credit for photo to Oscar Benjamin

The first (and hopefully not the last) Jensen Ackles and Steve Carlson jam session was a highlight of the Nashville con, for the chance to hear the way the two harmonize live, and to feel a bit like you’re sitting around their living room listening to their banter. Jensen was less nervous than he was playing with Jason a few months ago, though fans definitely didn’t mind his first time jitters that time anyway.

Steve shared the backstory to how the two friends ended up playing together, and even doing some recording. Whenever they were both in town they’d get together at Steve’s house and the guitars would come out. Apparently wherever Steve is living, something gets turned into a makeshift studio – when Jensen and Steve lived together, it was the hall closet, wired up and soundproofed with foam, and probably looking very …. Interesting. In Steve’s place before that, it was the garden shed, similarly outfitted but alas, sans air conditioning. Steve would lure friends out to record there and they’d emerge sweat-soaked and bedraggled, asking plaintively, “was that okay?”

Backstory established, they kicked off the jam session with a fan favorite, “Wasted Jamie”.

“Why didn’t you all sing along?” Jensen asked incredulously afterwards. Pretty sure Steve gave him a look like, really, I think maybe they’re not here to listen to each other sing. Pretty sure Steve was right.

Before they started the next song, Steve told us that he and Jensen had actually never played it together. They were hanging out a few days ago doing a bit of preparation for this jam session (with a few more beers than were currently on the table between them….) and thought, why not do this one?

After some disputes about who needed to see the ipad on the table between them with the lyrics, they played a beautiful rendition of “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”, full of emotion.

Jensen was playing Jason’s guitar (which Jason carefully watched over from the back of the room), and mentioned how much he’d learned from watching his musician friends play, sometimes wishing he had binoculars to watch their hands. Steve laughed that all musicians do that, and that he and Jensen weren’t so different.

They then played the very first song Jensen learned to play, “If I Had a Million”, after alluding to a backstory that Jensen insists nobody knows but him and Steve and apparently nobody ever will.

Fans: Damn!

When Jensen and Steve had a house together, Jensen picked up a guitar one day and started playing it. Steve ended up playing mandolin and they actually recorded it, though the recording will remain safely hidden away, alas. Apparently their shared house was quite the creative eclectic place, cameras and film stuff everywhere for Jensen and guitars and music stuff everywhere for Steve, a Hitchcock book on the coffee table next to a Beatles book.

Steve: (accusingly) You spilled wax all over that.

Jensen: (eyeroll) I know. I’ll owe you forever.

Fans: Awwww.

The first song Steve and Jensen actually wrote together was “Love You Or Leave You”, which they played next. Steve commented that he loved the lyrics that Jensen wrote for it.

Jensen: Umm….we haven’t played it in so long, I’m not sure I remember them.

He asked the fans to excuse the mistakes. And then didn’t make any.

Jensen also apologized for playing a few repeats from his jam session with Jason, until Steve reminded him that’s exactly what musicians do!

Next Jensen introduced one of his favorite songs, one that’s very therapeutic for him, and said he loves the lyrics. He belted out “Rock ‘n Roll Radio” with so much feeling, we were all pretty much rapt. Seems he’s as good at conveying emotion when he’s singing as when he’s acting.

Next up was the song that Jensen says is possibly his all time favorite, “Pinata Novia”.

Jensen: When Steve and I met and I heard his music, I just fell in love with it.

The next song was one that Steve heard and was very moved by. So moved that he texted his five best friends who are music lovers, one of them Jensen. At first, Jensen wasn’t that into it, felt he wasn’t in “the right headspace” and working too much on the show, but when he did listen a few months later, one night while he was cleaning up in his apartment after a long day, he suddenly got it. He immediately said I’ve gotta learn to play that, and listened to the one song the entire 2.5 hour flight back to LA that weekend.

Steve: Told ya so! When he didn’t respond right away I was like, ohmygosh, are you really that busy?

Jensen: I just had to find it on my own time….and ohmygod, I don’t even wanna play this song anymore, after this big build-up. Can we just play it?

Fans: LOL

“Colder Weather” was definitely not a disappointment.

The next song was one of our favorites. Jensen told us that the crew had asked (demanded?) that the cast and crew band, creatively called the Impalas, play a specific song – one that was perfect for the show. So they finally agreed, Steve figured out the guitar, and the song came together. We couldn’t help but imagine Dean as soon as Jensen sang “I was born, six gun in my hand….” Bad Company indeed. In a very good way.

The last song they saved until last for a reason – it was the first song they ever played together. Steve was working on it one day and Jensen came over and started singing harmony. So Steve threw him in the woodshed (aka studio) and that’s how they recorded “Come Around More Alabama”.

Steve: He thought he was coming over for a beer, and I threw him in the woodshed and put him to work! And now that’s one of the most requested songs on itunes, because of Mr Ackles’ popularity.

Jensen (interrupts): And your genius writing skills.

Fans: Awwwww.

Their rendition of the song was incredible, the harmonies spot on, everyone in the room pretty much riveted. Afterwards, Jensen gave a heartfelt thank you to the fans for their donations (proceeds in part going to charity).

Jensen: It’s humbling and gratifying to be around people who are so supportive. You guys are awesome.

As he and Steve got up to head out, Jensen stopped once again, and sounding a little choked up, shook his head and said, “Best fans in the world.”

We couldn’t agree more, but it goes both ways. Right back at ya, guys.

More of our chats with Brian Buckley, Matt Cohen, Richard Speight Jr. and Chad Lindberg from Nash-Vegas soon!

25 thoughts on “Bad Company: Ackles and Carlson Nashville Jam

  • OMG!!!!! You got to hear “Come Around More Alabama”? I have no, and I mean no words for how envious I am of that.


  • I have no words for how jealous I am that you got to hear Jensen and Steve together. If I could’ve been there, I would, but this time it was just not to be. It’s a memory I would treasure forever.

  • OMG!! I laughed. I cried.
    Just thank you for sharing this.

    And I pray to God and Castiel, please don’t let this be the last one!

  • Thank you again! You are so fortunate to be there for their music jam sessions! I love that Jensen is becoming more comfortable playing for his fans. His friendship with Steve warms the heart, how supportive they both are of each other.

    They joy of music and their friendship is infectious. They are two incredibly talented men and nice too! Thanks again for a little more insight into their talent and friendship.

    If you get the chance, can you convince Jensen to release some video of the Impalas playing at the wrap party? All of his fans would love to hear him performing live.


  • I’m so glad I found your site again…I stumbled upon it a while back for forgot to bookmark, on accident. Great stuff, always entertaining!

  • I can’t help but say AWESOME!!!
    That was great.. Those guys are so humble and nice.. Wish I could go to a con and see them in person!!! Hope it happens one day!
    Thank for the great report.. It really felt like I was there!!:D Thank you.

  • Thanks for the report – I did read somewhere that Jensen had said he was unlikely to do this again as he thinks it is kind of disrespectful of his friends who are real musicians, so I was interested to see you didn’t mention this idea – we really need to disabuse him of such a cockeyed notion!!

  • Such a great report! Thank you so much for this. I hope some day they’ll allow to make vids of this awesome event for all unlucky fans who couldn’t be there.

  • Thank you for this recap! I was at the jam session too, and it was amazing!

    I was very impressed with Jensen’s voice when he was singing “Colder Weather” and Bad Company! Especially singing parts of Bad Company a cappella!

  • That was definitely the highlight of the con! Thanks for keeping track of the songs, I was too caught up in the moment. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this wasn’t the last time–I would love to hear more of them singing!

  • This was a lovely report–almost made me tear up a little. I would give anything to attend one of these jam sessions. Your report is the next best thing.

    BTW, I checked out “Colder Weather” on iTunes. It is way up in popularity right now…I wonder why? ;D It is a lovely song.

  • Awww, I’m speechless! This is beautiful! I LOVE you, ladies!!! Thank you SO much for sharing with us!
    It melted my heart & put a HUGE smile on my face.
    I cannot begin to describe how much I admire Jensen & what the fact that he is real, that such people exist in this world means to me. ♥

  • Oh, ladies, thank you so much for reporting on this!

    Jensen is, you know, Jensen. And I’ve loved Steve and his music since I first heard him at the con in Dallas 2008. “Come Around More Alabama” is one of my favorite songs! I would *love* to get to one of their jam sessions someday as I’d love to see Steve do his stuff live again and I would love to get to see Jensen sing live. As of now I’ve only seen vid clips.

    I must admit I never knew Jensen and Steve had once lived together. Eeps. Do I have to turn in my fan card now? 😉

    You know what would make my head explode and get me to sign up for as many credit cards as I had to…if Christian Kane could ever do one of these jam sessions! Heck let’s make it a party…Jensen, Steve, Christian, AND Jason! I would mortgage, well, I have no kids, so maybe my roommate in order to be there! LOL

    Thanks again, ladies.

  • Thanks so much for the Jam session report. I really doubt I’ll ever get to one of these things but wow I’d love the opportunity to hear him sing, I mean really sing. I can just imagine the Bad Company song, from what I’ve heard of Jensen’s voice, he’s really got the perfect sort of voice for it. And I happen to love Wasted Jamie. Yeah I first heard it because I knew Jensen was singing on it, but it’s such a catchy tune, that now I just like it for itself, same with Come Around More Alabama.

  • Wow. What a wonderful report. This part did me in:

    “As he and Steve got up to head out, Jensen stopped once again, and sounding a little choked up, shook his head and said, “Best fans in the world.” ”

    The man is so humble and it’s such a turn-on.

  • I so wish I could be in the room for a jam session like this! I envy you … and I’m going to go listen to my Steve Carlson recordings (which include a little Jensen Ackles harmony!) and my J&J “Crazy Love.”

    Here’s hoping the Impalas may play at Vancon someday in the not-too-distant future!!!

  • That sounds like it was a lovely evening. Thanks so much for the great report!

    I’m curious: which “Rock ‘n Roll Radio” did they perform? I know of a couple of songs called that.

  • awesome article!! i almost went to nashville just for the music going on! i’m gonna repost this everywhere! let me know if it’s ok! may be too late by then! will absolutely give you guys the your credit!! check me out! again, thanks for the article!

    • Absolutely! Post away and thank you very much for the credit 🙂 The music was seriously awesome!

  • if you guys get good stuff or new stuff you want posted, let me know! i post any & everything spnl that hasn’t benn blasted or tweeted! blessings, donna

  • hi there – thank you so much for the recap! although i later tried to jot down the songs they did, i couldn’t recall much of the little stories, so this is awesome. 😀 like you said, i also hope this won’t be their last performance either.

  • Envious is such a strong word…and yet completely fitting!! I want to be in the room with them!!! But your article was great and I loved reading all the details and most of all the backstories!! Must find “Colder Weather” now. So many things to love about Jensen and his many talented friends!!
    thanks for sharing your amazing times! 🙂

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