Jennings unveils latest album, reflects on highlights of career in 2009

NEW YORK CITY - Howard E. Jennings III has had a good year.

Most recently, the Cadyville native released his latest album, Ready to Listen, after working on its production for nearly three months. The CD features five new tracks which Jennings said were inspired by "love, living with a long distance relationship, and being out on the lonely road touring solo."

The album was officially launched at Gramercy Theater in New York City Dec. 19.

"I couldn't have asked for a better venue to release the disc," said Jennings. "The sound, lighting and audience were perfect."

The day prior to the launch, Jennings played on the "Live at Best Buy" stage at Best Buy in New York City's Union Square, which also added to promoting the album's release.

"That was a special weekend indeed," said Jennings.

The last year, in fact, has been a year of many opportunities for Jennings, who most recently toured with Vertical Horizon. That tour was "the greatest thing" that has happened to him as a musician so far, he said.

"Playing in front of hundreds of listeners every night with a similar taste in music, traveling and hanging with such a great and successful band, and being able to share a stage with them, it was such a positive experience for me as a singer-songwriter trying to get my name out there," said Jennings, who added he learned a lot from the members of Vertical Horizon and made many new friends.

Being on tour with Rusted Root, an alternative rock band with more of a cult following, was also a memorable experience, said Jennings.

"By the end of the tour, their fans knew lyrics to my songs, which was encouraging," he said.

Jennings also shared the stage with alternative bands like Eve 6 and Marcy Playground and recording artists like Ryan Cabrera, Chris Trapper and John Hampson, the latter of which is best known for his role as guitarist and vocalist for the band Nine Days.

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