The 2010s have been dominated by the new wave of Pop Country and many traditionalists are up in arms about the direction the genre is headed. Then you have listeners like me who actually don't give a shit and just want to hear good music. I do understand where these traditionalists are coming from, as now on the radio, artists like Jon Pardi, Cody Johnson & Chris Stapleton don't get as much love as they deserve. I'm going to save the history lesson as that is not my area of expertise. But if you wanna go nuts and dig deep into that discussion, Grady Smith will have you covered. One thing I do know is that good ole country boys and girls who are true to their roots are going to love what my man Jonathan Lee has to bring to the table. A name that should be on your radar for years to come, bringing you that true roots sound everyone loves.
Get To Know Jonathan
Making the move to Music City in May of 2018, Jonathan has been able to keep his music dream alive and is turning heads. Originally from Middleburg, Florida, music has always been a passion in Jonathan's life. He started playing piano at 6 years old and remembers his dad telling him "you're mine until you're 18 and you're not going to quit". That was a big reason he put so much time into music. Growing up in church, singing came natural to Jonathan and was something he enjoyed. These experiences translated into him playing solo acoustic gigs when he was about 18, and quickly turned into gigs in neighboring towns and other places. Jonathan took this momentum and formed a band. With his passion for Country Music growing and wanting to do more, Jonathan wanted a change of scenery and decided to make the move to Nashville.
Put on your cowboy boots, grab a barstool and a bucket of beer... you're in for a treat.
Traditional Country Music is alive and well and Jonathan Lee is living proof with his new heater "Good Place to Quit". Mannnn.... I remember the first time I heard this song and it just took me to this smoky, run down bar with dim lights, a rugged old pool table and the local band who plays there every Friday night. Oh, and let's not forget the same group of drunkards who have been coming to the same spot since they were 20. Then there’s that random couple making out in the corner. Mr. Lee has that perfect Honky Tonk sound we all need after a long work week. Along with a powerful voice, Jonathan brings to life lyrics that are relatable and which unwrap a whole story in just 2 minutes and 45 seconds. A name you will be hearing a lot of in the next few years... that's a promise.
Inspiration Behind "Good Place to Quit"
Written By: Dan Alley, Sam Banks, Jonathan Lee & Chase Fouraker
Produced By: Michael Rogers & Korey Hunt
"Good Place to Quit man, I went on a little writing spree for a weekend... I think it was like 8 to 10 songs that weekend. It was really cool. I wrote this with my buddies Dan Alley, Sam Banks and Chase Fouraker, whom I met when I first came to town. We sat in my old apartment and drank some whiskey and words poured out. We wrote just a good ole honkey tonk song. I usually like writing ballads or slower tempo songs, but this one has a more fun, old school vibe. It was fun for sure."
Q & A With Jonathan
Q: Growing up how did you get into Country Music?
A: "It's a weird answer. So like I said, I grew up in church, went to a private school and was in this bubble growing up. When I was a junior in high school I found an old mp3 player and put it on Country radio. It was 2000’s country - so it was like old school Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Craig Morgan, Eric Church. All of those guys really pulled me into the storytelling side of things. It's hard for me to listen to the radio today, it's just not my thing. I like the more true side of things... I'm a big lyrics guy. Nobody really showed it to me, I just stumbled upon it myself and really gravitated toward it and just took over."
Q: Who were the people that pushed you to chase your dream in Country Music?
A: "My biggest influence - and I will always say it - is my dad. He was the song director at our church and loved to sing. He actually had an opportunity to go on the road back in the 70s or 80s but turned it down because he had my sister and wanted to live the family life. As far as music goes, my dad is definitely my biggest influence. My mom is my biggest supporter and I give credit to both of my parents who have supported me since day 1. My friends up here and back home in Florida have really pushed me. I definitely wouldn't be here without them."
Q: What has been your favorite place to perform so far?
A: "The coolest show I think I've ever done was opening up for Luke Combs and Adam Craig at Jacksonville Beach. It was a few years back when I had a full band. It was amazing! There were probably like 15,000 people there. This was Luke Combs when he was right on the edge of blowing up. My local radio station set that up for me. It was a feeling that I've never felt before."
Q: What is your favorite thing about Nashville?
A: "Favorite thing has to be the comradery and all of the friendships I've made that will last forever. Nashville is about networking, meeting and writing with new people, but honestly, I have found my group I enjoy being around, singing with, playing gigs with etc. That is for sure my favorite thing about Nashville. I do really like the food... it's amazing. My go to spot would be... tough question, but Nashville hot chicken is hard to beat, so Hattie B's is up there and a lot of Midtown bars are solid places."
If you are just discovering Jonathan, head over to Apple Music or Spotify and stream his debut single "Bourbon Bible" and his most recent heater "Good Place to Quit". Big things ahead.