BEMUS POINT - Jackson Rohm will make his Floating Stage debut tonight as guest performer and judge during Chautauqua Lake Idol's country music theme round of competition.
A Lakewood native and Southwestern High School grad, Rohm will perform a song from his new CD, ''Long Way From Moving On,'' during Idol's intermission. His fifth full-length album, Rohm has described ''Long Way From Moving On'' as a little more country than his previous acoustic pop rock releases.
Though presently based out of Cleveland, Rohm returns home to Chautauqua County regularly to play gigs at Shawbucks and other venues - including the Village Casino in Bemus Point.
Lakewood native and Southwestern High School graduate Jackson Rohm will take a break from his touring schedule to perform and serve as a guest judge at Chautauqua Lake Idol tonight on the Floating Stage in Bemus Point.
P-J file photo
''The Bemus crowd has been incredible this summer,'' Rohm said in a recent e-mail interview. ''I've played two shows so far this summer at the Casino and both were fantastic. I anticipate a different crowd at the Chautauqua Idol though. I'm expecting a good number of people who have not yet heard me perform before.''
Unable to regularly attend Chautauqua Lake Idol because of his touring schedule, Rohm said he has visited Bemus Point for the event in the past and is looking forward to sitting in as a judge. In Chicago, Rohm judged a similar singing competition called ''Big Break.'' However, Rohm said his participation in that contest was early on and he did not address each performer as he will likely do tonight.
''I'll be looking for primarily a great singer,'' Rohm said of judging. ''It's always great to see someone that can let their personality come through, especially if they appear to be having fun while they are up there. First and foremost, I'll be hoping to hear some great vocal performances though.''
Though it is Country Night, Rohm said he doesn't want to hear someone fake a thick, southern drawl to make their vocals work with a country song.
''I want to hear great singers that can finesse it just enough to make it fit,'' Rohm said. ''Contestants should be true to themselves. However, if they have that traditional country voice, let it all hang out!''
''I think that you can 'finesse' your vocal delivery to make the performance suit a style or genre of music,'' Rohm continued. ''When I sing one of my country songs, I do tweak the way that I sing a bit to suit the music. It tends to come naturally for me. I don't think that the change in how you sing different styles should be overly drastic though. Again, you have to be true to yourself or the audience won't buy it.''
Select tracks from the new album, such as ''The Old Me'' and ''Driving With The Breaks On,'' can be heard online at Rohm's MySpace site, MySpace.com/JacksonRohmMusic. Rohm said he has been thrilled by the reception of the new CD.
After graduating high school, Rohm attended Miami University in Ohio and soon after began releasing studio albums of his music. The self-released 2006 CD, ''Four on the Floor,'' proved that local roots still run deep - as the title track was written about the loss of friend and fellow Southwestern graduate Rod Welling.
Preceding ''Four on the Floor'' were ''Red Light Fever,'' ''Twisted & Misguided'' and ''Sink Or Swim.''
Following Chautauqua Lake Idol, Rohm will play several shows in Chautauqua County. Rohm said he is excited about the shows, several of which are free and all ages. For more information about Rohm, his music or his summer tour, visit www.jacksonrohm.com.