JJ McCoy
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JJ McCoy

Fort Myers, Florida, United States

Fort Myers, Florida, United States
Band Country Rock

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I've never been a giant fan of country music although I do enjoy small doses of John Prine, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, and of course red-eyed Willie. So I felt utter astonishment upon listening to this cleverly produced country EP from Lake Placid, Florida resident, J.J. McCoy.

Other than being my Facebook "friend", I know little about J.J.'s career, life or history, but I will pursue the opportunity to learn a little more and feature a personal interview after downloading this mini album from iTunes.

The first tune "Sunshine State" simultaneously brings a tear to the eye, a patriotic tug at the heart, and a smile to the face as it describes a soldier fighting in the middle east anxious to return home to Florida. I can't help but reminisce about my own pleasurable experiences in Ybor City and on Duvall Street. David Allen Coe and Waylon would find difficulty displaying any more country attitude than the well written "Redneck, White and Blue" with the southern rock groove and the writer who likes "grits and greens, and old Jim Beam, and a shot of Jack with with an ice cold brew" and loves "Jesus, Jennings and Momma." The final tune "Life Gets in the Way" defines the difficulties we all encounter each day and the way that it becomes all too easy to distance ourselves from our parents as we struggle to feed our own families.

Every song on this way too short EP could easily find itself in frequent rotation on any country and most adult contemporary radio stations. Lyrically weighty, crisply produced and skilfully played and executed, "Redneck, White and Blue" is a small country masterpiece. I look forward to discovering more of this hidden gem, J.J. McCoy.

Hats off to you and God Bless, good buddy! - RamblingsofJohn


LAKE PLACID --
A Florida soldier's desperate longing for home is the theme of JJ McCoy's newly released song "Sunshine State."

The award-winning country musician with the rich baritone voice will feature the tune when his band performs at the Highlands County Fair on Friday, Saturday and Feb. 18.

James Junior was inspired to write his tribute to the troops after watching news coverage and talking with his brother, who was serving with the U.S. military in Afghanistan.

A professional musician for 27 years, McCoy is the band's songwriter, lead vocalist and lead acoustic guitarist. He also plays drums.

Since the group came together about six months ago, and with the release of "Sunshine State" in October, "things have really taken off," said McCoy.

Emails, Facebook comments and testimonials have poured in from people all over the world who have been touched by the homage.

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Other members of the band are bass guitarist Leo August, who also sings; drummer Mark Sturman Charlie Brown on the steel guitar, dobro resonator guitar and the banjo; Rob Tolp, rhythm guitar and vocals; Dennis Smith, keyboards and backup singer; and Jody Carlson, the sound technician.

"If I had to sum up our music, it's kind of Merle Haggard meets the Allman brothers," McCoy said. The group has Haggard's country style but with a blues influence.

The band's manager, John Hose, said that since the song's release, the band has gotten air time on local radio stations and talk shows, and sales of a three-song recording are steadily increasing.

Besides "Sunshine State," the EP, released on iTunes, features "Redneck, White and Blue" and "Life Gets in the Way."

Country music runs in McCoy's family, with several of his relatives having had professional careers.

"Charlie McCoy is my mom's cousin. … My uncle Otis McCoy played with the guys from 'Hee Haw.' … It's been in my family for generations," he said.


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The Florida County Music Association presented JJ McCoy with the adult male gospel entertainer of the year award in 2001.

And he received Horizon Awards from the Orange Blossom Country Music Association for both new country entertainer and new country vocalist in 2002.

Looking at a living room wall covered with family photos, McCoy pointed out the six children he and his wife, Bobby-Jo, are raising. They range in age from 6 to 24.

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The family moved to the Lake Placid area from Nashville two years ago to be near JJ's father who was ill. They liked Highlands County and wanted to put down roots.

"This is a close knit community … everyone knows everyone," said McCoy.

With a broad smile, he added, "That's kinda cool."

After his father died last year, McCoy saw a lot of changes in his life but felt his dad was watching over him.

He left the group he was playing with, the Fakahatchee Band, and found himself "diving deeper" into his music.

"If you are someone with a lot of dreams and visions … if you have a goal in life … do everything you can to attain it," McCoy said.

With notebooks stashed all over his house, this down-to-earth entertainer is always jotting new lyrics and ideas for his music.

"I'm persistent," McCoy said. "I live and breathe it, and it never stops running through my mind."

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The band's newest song, "Kids," written by Nashville's Buddy Owens, is scheduled to be released at an upcoming autism benefit in Fort Myers.

The group donates time to children's causes including cancer research and autism.

They have played clubs in Fort Myers, Naples, Miami, Okeechobee, and in Sebring at Cowpokes Watering Hole.

The JJ McCoy band will appear on the Expo Stage at the Highlands County Fairgrounds on Friday and Saturday, and will open the Josh Thompson concert at the Fair Convention Center on Feb. 18.

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For more on the band, visit www.jjmccoymusic.com. - Highlands Today


Discography

2011 EP Redneck, White and Blue, Receiving airplay throughout the USA and available on iTunes.

Photos

Bio

Born and bred in South Florida, JJ McCoy recently emerged from the local country music scene and exploded into the national spotlight with his debut EP, “Redneck, White and Blue”. With kin hailing from Scooterville, Georgia, JJ cut his teeth on country music and at times attempted to explore other genres but regardless of the path traveled, all roads led back to his humble roots. Gifted with tremendous insight and powerful songwriting ability, JJ paints an indelible word picture in one’s mind as he weaves tales ranging from life in the country, raising a family, or how it feels to be a soldier alone in the Middle East. His voice echoes with a deep baritone alive with a rich, crisp timbre as the hulk of a man whips his telecaster into submission, causing it to grind, scream and cry the blues! No lone ranger, JJ surrounds himself with some of Florida’s most talented musicians, with a full assault of pounding drums, thumping bass, twanging guitar and the unmistakable wail of the pedal steel. Whether recorded or live in concert, these good ole boys deliver, not the whiny, twangy, crying in your beer stuff, but with both barrels locked and loaded, a blast straight to your soul. His motto has always been best described by David Allen Coe " Mister can you make folks cry when you play and sing? Have you paid your dues ,can you moan the blues, can you bend them guitar strings? Boy can you make folks feel what you feel inside"? Everything he has done musically in life has followed that recipe! If you have never seen his show in person you owe it to yourself to get to a show near you!