Serving Justice
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Serving Justice

Hitchcock, Texas, United States

Hitchcock, Texas, United States
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"Texas Music Speaks - Review"

Serving Justice

Our soldiers and service men and women put their lives on the line daily to protect and serve each one of us. One band wants to give them hope and faith through music. Serving Justice formed just three months ago on the dream that they may play for Armed Forces Entertainment and USO shows. Each one of the band members have either been in the military, have had family in the military, or have served on the police force. They shared their inspirational story with me and gave me some insight on why giving back means so much to them.

What does Serving Justice mean to them? Dawn Lee, lead vocalist, explains the meaning behind their name. “Serving Justice means patriotism, honor, integrity, and the love of music.” They have a great desire to play for military and people who have served. “There is a great need to support our soldiers, sailors, airman, and anybody who gives their life. When you are military you give your life; you have no life.” Their greatest desire is to give them a way to keep their spirits up and give them something they can look forward to. “They have very difficult lives and so do their families.” Serving Justice is not only making and creating music; they are putting a positive spin on things by giving back to those who sacrifice their lives for us each day.

Heath Parrish (Guitar/Vocals) and Dawn Lee have been making music pretty much their entire lives. Music has always been in their blood and they have had a dream since they were young to somehow show the world their passion and love for music. “This has been a dream for the both of us that was able to come into fruition three months ago.” The love of music has been handed down from family members and that drove them more than anything to be musicians. Dawn’s inspiration came from her father and her grandfather. Not surprisingly, Dawn’s father, Johnny Lee, plays bass for Serving Justice. “It’s a journey I know I personally started seven years ago. Sometimes life happens and you have to put things off for a little while until you can get to a point where you can live your dream,” Dawn explains. She is finally able to live her dreams. Heath wants to let his talents be known. “Most of my family has the talent, they just never pursued it.” Texas music means something different to both Dawn and Heath.

Texas music is all breeds combined. “It’s homegrown, it comes from the heart. Texas is all about heart,” Dawn explains. The difference between the music made in Texas as compared to the music made in other states is that it encompasses all genres. “It doesn’t have to be country, but that’s what it is to me.” Nothing tells the tale better than a song that comes from the heart and soul, and that is what Texas portrays through music. It paints this beautiful picture of people living their everyday lives but proves to be more than just life. “Texas country is kind of its own genre in itself. It is a mixture of country and Southern rock. That to me is today’s modern country,” says Heath. Each band has their own particular theme for their music.

Serving Justice’s whole theme is to represent soldiers and their families. They put their lives on the line each and every-day to protect our freedoms. “That is the music we want to represent.” Each day families have to struggle with saying goodbye to their loved ones who go overseas. Sometimes, life becomes so hard for not only the soldiers but the families as well, that they feel like they have no hope left. Sometimes music can have such an effect that it changes a person’s whole perspective on life and how to deal with the challenges. Serving Justice would like to offer them hope, motivation, encouragement, and inspiration through music. Although they do not write their own music, they still have a powerful message to send.

Dawn has been writing since her early twenties. She has notebooks filled with words that have yet to be set to music. Two of their original songs were written by Chief Store Keeper, SKC Eldon Pollard, who is stationed in Kingsbay, Ga. He is currently working on some more songs that they will feature on their first, self-titled CD, Serving Justice. They are currently working on a three song preview CD that will be released at their premier concert in Lockhart, Texas on October 23, 2010. The songs that will be included on this CD are: Whiskey Won the Battle, Hot Saturday Nights (a duet with Dawn Lee and Heath Parrish), and Honeymoon in Paradise. Their musical influences are so vast that they simply could not list them all.

Dawns’ greatest influences are her dad and her grand-dad. “That’s where my talent comes from. My dad is my biggest supporter and encourages me to keep making my music.” Some of her other influences are Patsy Cline, Reba McEntire, and Miranda Lambert. “People compare my sound to Patsy Cline, that is who they say I sound most like. I love Reba because she is the whole person and someone I would inspire to be like. Miranda Lambert just rocks it!” Family is something that is huge to Serving Justice. “My father is my biggest inspiration,” says Heath. His musical influences are Ronny Millsap, Conway Twitty, and George Strait. Though, they aspire to help people and make a difference, they still dream as big as Texas.

Their musical career goals are unlimited but they both want to someday sing on the Grand ‘Ole’ Opry. “My dream has always been to perform on that stage, not because I want to be famous, but because that has always been my dream,” says Dawn. They do not want to be signed by Nashville they just want the opportunity to sing at the place where all the greats once stood. “It would be a dream come true to stand on the same stage where all those who came before us actually stood. I would much rather sing in the Ryman Auditorium where the original Grand ‘Ole Opry was because of the heart and soul that was paid to stand on that stage. They paid their time, their dues, and worked their tails off to get there,” Heath explains.

The original Opry members were inducted. Now, you have to pay $40,000 dollars just to perform there. “Sometimes they choose you before you pay, but most of the time you have to pay the price to be on that stage. Money isn’t everything, but unfortunately to be able to get far in this business, money talks and bullshit walks.” That is why they are perfectly content being Texas Musicians with the purpose of giving back to our service men and women.

Not only do they aspire to sing at the Grand ‘Ole’ Opry; they also want to be able to tour and entertain the troops worldwide. “We would love to be able to perform for other countries because they also have a love for Texas Music.” Serving Justice hopes to expand their horizons and meet new people. They want to someday play for Armed Forces Entertainment, USO shows, any type of military organization like VFW and American Legion. “We want to touch everyone with our music, from the young to the old. We want to give other people the inspiration to do what we are doing. Music touches everybody in some way,” says Heath. How would they define success?

“We will be successful when we get off the stage and any firefighter, police officer or soldier can walk up to us and say thank you, you have made my day,” Heath continues, “That is when we will succeed in this group.” Serving Justice pours out all their emotions in their music and they simply do it to make people truly feel the message they are sending. Dawn gives me definition of success, “When we sing our duets about the soldier and his wife; we are basically telling their stories through our songs. If it touches some couple and even makes a soldier drop down on one knee and ask his girlfriend for her hand in marriage, then we have succeeded. If something we sang inspired them to say, we can do this, we can live this military life, then I know we are doing what we set out to do.”

For a band that has only been together for three months, their music has completely evolved. They sound as if they have been singing together for years. Dawn and Heath say that they instantly connected. Their sound just fit. “I am a firm believer in fate and destiny, and this is what this really is. Heath and I actually lived in the same areas just about all of our lives, yet we never met. We were actually at the same concert one night at a bar in Dallas and never saw each other.” Dawn went to Karaoke one night to practice her vocals and that is where she first heard Heath. They have been harmonizing together every since. What advice would they give to someone wanting to pursue a career in music?

“You’ve got to have patience and you have got to have a strong-will,” Heath explains. This business calls for so much heart and soul. They said that if you are looking to do this solely for the money, then you are in the wrong business. Heath continues, “I’m not looking to make money. If I make money, then that is just an added bonus. Right now, I just want to make people happy.” Making and creating music is a labor of love. You have to start out small and pour your heart into it if you ever expect to make it anywhere. “The day I walk on stage and have no emotion, is the day I walk away,” says Dawn. Even if they make it big in this business, they will forever remain true to their fans. “We will shake as many hands as possible, and sign as many autographs as we can. We will never forget where we came from and we will never choose money over friends and family.”

It may seem quite obvious how Texas Music Speaks to Serving Justice. They listen to the freedom it stands for, the independence in the name Texas, and the uniqueness of the sound. “Texas Music is a little on the rebellious side. It’s our roots and it’s homegrown; it’s different. It is an artist’s ability to see or play what they want with the major labels telling you what you can and cannot do. Sometimes Texas Music is a little eclectic. It is off the beaten path and a totally different breed.”

Serving Justice is a band that is there to constantly remind us what this country was founded on; freedom, independence, honesty and integrity. They are true to everything Texas as a whole represents. The passion and desire they have when they sing truly shines. I honestly hung on every word, allowing the tears to freely flow from my eyes. Their music, their dreams, their energy, and their love for music spoke to me personally. Dawn sums it up quite nicely, “When you can physically see that you have touched someone by singing something that comes from your own heart, then that is no doubt success.”

Be sure and check them out on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/servingjusticeband. They will have a music player there and on reverb-nation soon. You can also visit them at their website www.servingjusticeband.com. Make sure you catch their premier concert in Lockhart, Texas on October 23rd at Walker Hall. Children 12 and under are free, military personnel are always free with proper ID, and for everyone else the cost is just $3.00. - Texas Music Speaks


Discography

Honeymoon in Paradise - A - Original
Hot Saturday Night - A - Original
Red, White and Blue, I Love You - A - Original
Whiskey Won The Battle - A - Original

Photos

Bio

Dawn Lee – Lead Vocals

Dawn Lee was born on November 9, 1969 in Pasadena, Texas. She was born into a family of eclectic musicians that has influenced her over the years. Her Paw-Paw and her Daddy being the two biggest influences that helped her develop her unique style. Dawn started singing at a young age with her Daddy by learning her first song at the age of four “Delta Dawn”. She continued singing through junior high and high school years. She earned “Who’s Who in Music” at Del Valle High School her junior and senior year in high school. She has a definite love and passion for music that has stayed with her all these years. She has performed with numerous bands, her most prominent one being the “Honky Tonk Rebels” out of Houston, Texas. Dawn was selected to record her CD demo at the prestigious Sugar Hill Recording Studio out of Houston. The two singles “A Fool Walked Out on Me” and Back in the Saddle Again” were her two prominent songs that were played in various venues around Houston, as well as on the air with “Texas Renegade Radio” out of Dallas.
Dawn, along with Heath Parrish established “Serving Justice” in 2010 to help show their patriotism and love for their country by performing for the troops, law enforcement and public servants that protect and serve us everyday.
Dawn says “As long as I get to do what I love, play music, then I am an accomplished individual.

Heath Parrish – Rhythm guitar and lead vocals

My parents, Ray Parrish and Melissa Unger were my biggest influences. They bought me a drum set for Christmas1982 and I began playing as if I were born with those drum sticks in my hands. At that same time my interest for playing and singing became apparent to everyone. I got my first break when asked to sing on stage with the Union City band in the Beaumont area. Union City Band was a big part of my families life at that time. Another influence was my grandmother who played a guitar and sang. My  talent grew as I played trombone and Alto saxophone in middle school. In high school I played Tenor, Baritone, and Soprano saxophone along with the Tuba. Later in 1995 while visiting my mom in  Nashville I was fortunate enough to sing on stage several times with Cigars and Cataracts. A well known Nashville  band with great musicians including Jim Unger, Dennis Payne, Jack Daniels, Jimmy Hyde and Rick Boyer. They started in the music world with various artist Buck Owens, Hwy 101, Billy Crash Craddock, Doug Stone, Ray Price, Johnny Paycheck and Eddie Rabbit just to name a few.  Later as my skills grew I became inspired by other great artist such as George Strait , Ronnie Milsap, and Vince Gill.
My music comes from deep within my heart and soul. Seeing people join in, singing along and relating to my music adds to my inspiration to make more music. I hope to touch someone special, in someway, so that my music inspires them to follow their dreams. And starts them on the road to develop their own musical talent so it can be heard too.

Ron Harvey – Bass Guitar

Music was a huge part of Ron’s formative years. He started playing guitar at 13 years of age and soon switched to bass when his dad bought him a Peavey bass and amplifier. His dad, Thomas, played guitar locally in the Port Neches, TX area for years and was also a fine baritone singer in a gospel quartet.
“I learned to play bass by listening to TONS of music back in the late 70's and early 80's… learning the riffs and grooves of the music I heard on the radio – mostly R&B, Rock, Funk, and Country stuff. As goofy as it may sound, I remember being so proud playing along with the bands on the old Hee Haw television show. My mindset was, ‘I can play bass as well as those guys can’. There were countless nights where I would lie in bed playing my bass and wake up in the morning with my guitar still in my hands. I had a hunger to play bass, and play it well.”
After graduating from Lamar University in Beaumont, TX in 1984 (having played bass in Lamar’s Jazz Band), Ron moved to Nashville, TN and enjoyed success as a road player and a studio musician. He toured as bass guitarist and road manager for Capital Records/Columbia Records artist Larry Boone, and has made multiple appearances on the Grand Ole Opry as well as television appearances on TNN’s (The Nashville Network) Nashville Now and New Country shows, in addition to several music videos aired on TNN.
“My major influences on bass have been Marcus Miller, Bootsy Collins, Nathan East, David Smith, Will Lee, David Hungate, and Mike Brignardello – such tasteful players; so professional, and extremely talented. I have been incredibly blessed to work with some of the greatest musicians Nashville has ever seen: Brent Mason (guitar), Brent Rowan (guitar), Mark Casstevens (acoustic guitar), Jeff King (guitar), Warren Haynes (guitar), Eddie Bayers (drums), Hargus “Pig” Robbins (piano), Johnny Gimble (fiddle), Rob Hajacos (fiddle), Randy Beavers (steel), Tim Sergent (steel), Boomer Castleman (g