Johnny Lee
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Johnny Lee

Band Country Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Music reunites classmates"

Friday, August 27, 2004

By Ginny McCabe

Two area musicians, Luke Hart and Johnny Lee, will take the stage tonight C.C.’s Showcase in Middletown.

The evening will not only bring together several local talents, but also serve as a reunion. Hart and Johnny Lee Howard attended Van Buren Junior High School in Kettering.

They played baseball and basketball together and became the best of friends. In the ninth grade, Hart moved to Franklin (where he lives) and lost touch with his classmate.

In 2003, the two were reunited after not seeing each other for more than 15 years, at Soft Rock Café in Centerville,

“I said, ‘Johnny, what have you been doing with your life?’” Luke said. “He said ‘I am into music, and I said, ‘So am I.’”

That was only the beginning.

It didn’t take long for Hart and Howard to reconnect and realize they have a lot in common.

“We hit it off and he invited me to play several shows with his band, Lonesome Ridge,” Hart said. “He has been a big inspiration for me, and I think I have been a big inspiration for him.”

Stylistically, Hart, a Dayton native, describes his music as contemporary folk. He is recording his fifth album. He also plays frequently at shows in Dayton, Kettering and Middletown.

“I probably like playing live more than anything, because it gives you the chance to interact with the audience,” Hart said. “I also like the fact that you can change people’s lives through music.”

Hart said his daughter, Ellen, 8, and his mom and dad have really helped him pursue his music and his dreams, he said.

Howard is a 1987 graduate of Kettering Fairmont High School. He has been playing guitar and singing country music since age 12, and now he performs locally with his band, Lonesome Ridge.

Johnny Lee released his debut, “It’s A Long Way Back” in April on KMA Records in Nashville. He said the album is propelling him to a new level in his career.

“This is a very exciting time for me. I’ve waited many years for what I felt was the right time to get serious about my music,” Howard said.

Now, at the age of 35, he’s ready.

“I really don’t know what will come of all this People tell me all the time that I have a great singing voice and that I should do something with it,” Howard said.

Howard resides in Bellbrook. He has two children, Austin Lee and Ethan John. He also serves as the general manager for his concrete company, BorderMagic of Southwest Ohio. In addition, he enjoys watching and coaching sports and spending time with his kids and girlfriend. He has coached T-ball and baseball teams for the past five or six years. - Middletown Journal


Johnny Lee released his first and only CD to date back in April 2004. The title of the CD is "It's a Long Way Back." The CD reached #51 on the Worldwide Most Played List for Independents ealier this year.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Johnny Lee is one of the most accomplished independent country music artists in the world. His songwriting talents are matched equally by his ability to provide a powerful delivery to audiences of all sizes.

Like most country artists, Johnny has accumulated thousands of stage hours playing in local and regional clubs and honky tonks. This time has given Johnny a great opportunity to connect with fans on an up close and personal level, while building a confidence that can only come with this kind of experience. As the Dayton Daily News reported on August 15, 2004, "Johnny Lee's shows are a party."

Johnny Lee is proud to be backed by one of the finest group of musicians around. The combination of the crying steel guitar and Nashville Telecaster guitar, coupled with the bands vast years of knowledge of country material, allows them to play everything from Haggard and Jones to current Montgomery Gentry and Tim McGraw (and everything in between!).

Johnny's primary influence is George Strait, and a good deal of Johnny's original material was written with King George in mind. Many people have told him that he can sing "The Fireman" and "Amarillo by Morning" as good as King George himself. A great compliment no doubt!

Bottom line: This is a band that has knowledge and has the ability to rock crowds of all sizes with a high-energy variety of country music!