By Moe Tompkins
Ok. To answer the question that I’m sure everybody was thinking from the moment that they opened this page…‘yes.’ Johnnie Lee Jordan is his birth name. Sounds like a hairy-chested country singer right? The kind of guy that you listen to and go to see even though you hate country music because, well, ‘that’s the sexiest name that I’ve ever heard, how could I NOT go see him play, am I right?!’ Well, Johnnie is a down-to-Earth rock ‘n roll singer/song-writer/guitarist. I can’t say if he’s sexy or not, because I didn’t get to meet him in person, but his voice rang over the phone with the sultry smokey hue of one-thousand late-night gigs and after-parties. Alright, enough hyperbole.
Jordan grew up in Patchogue, and started playing guitar pretty early in life. He remembers being inspired by the Smashing Pumpkins. He started writing songs soon after picking up the axe. He played his first gig in 7th grade with his ‘shed band,’ and the rest is history. He counts Tom Waitts, Jeff Tweedy, John Denver, and Jonathan Richman as major influences in his lyrically-driven, story-telling style.
Jordan has always envisioned himself as more of a ‘song and dance man.’ He cites among his influences KISS. He has respect for the spectacle, the ‘show’ part of playing, well, a show. But he strives to entertain without letting the music suffer. He engages the audience without insulting their intelligence. He went on to say “I love watching the crowd when I’m playing, and seeing someone who maybe isn’t completely paying attention….then there’s a moment, and I can see when I’ve got them.” It sounds like he manages to walk the fine-line between showmanship and the hammy antics of a Pop-music machine pretending to be a musician. In so many words, he keeps it real. Keeping with that line of thinking, JLJ is an artist first, and a musician second. He regularly dabbles in the visual arts, his favorite being collage work, and wouldn’t be opposed, to acting, dancing, or anything really.
Jordan is in the process of getting an EP mixed that will in his words, ‘EXPLODE,’ keep your eyes and ears open for that. He wanted to take special care to give a shout-out to Soda-Bomb, and of course, ‘The Boys,’ Jordan’s backing band (they kind of sound like The Pixies and television playing Tom Petty songs). Come check out Johnnie Lee this Saturday at the Sound Buffet, and see if the man is as sexy as the name; that’s what I’ll be doing.
See JLT and The Boys this Sunday evening at SPARKBOOM’s Sound Buffet in Heckscher Park, Huntington, NY, 6:30-10 PM. Johnnie will be giving away a special prize to an audience member. Want to find out how? You’ll have to attend! This concert is event is FREE ($5 Suggested Donation). RSVP here via FB!
Listen to Johnnie’s new EP, “Sol/Hum” at johnnieleejordan.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Moe Tompkins, a native of Islip, New York, holds a double degree in jazz studies and music education from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). Upon acceptance to the College-Conservatory of Music he began simultaneous study both with Ray Charles Orchestra alumnus Marc Fields, and Tim Anderson of the Dayton Philharmonic. For several years he worked as a highly-in-demand trombonist on the Cincinnati scene and beyond playing everything from salsa, to reggae, neo-brass band sharing the stage with the likes of Streetlight Manifesto, The Aggrolites, and Foxy Shazam, just to name a few. He currently resides in Islip, working with the Long Island Arts Alliance and finally pursuing his own musical vision with his original group Slang (facebook.com/slangthebandli). When not making music, Moe can typically be found enjoying horror movies, fusion jazz, or White Castle.