Lee’s been in lots of rock bands over the years-as a sideman (bassist in Meanflower, The Hollywood Squares, The Ukulele Hipster Kings), and the frontman in quite a few others (Chicken, The Cartwheels, Rosebud, The Lee Harris 3). He's also spent time interning at Warner/Chapel in Nashville, working in college and public radio; hell-he's even DJ'd weddings. But the thing he does that's closest to his heart is writing songs. Lee writes a couple hundred a year. But until Doyle Hull and his question came along, he'd never had a place for the stockpiles of country material he's written.
Doyle, enamored with the Bakersfield sounds of Buck Owens, Wynn Stewart, Red Simpson, Tommy Collins, and Merle Haggard had been talking to the guitarist in his legendary surf band The Red Hot Lava Men, Mark Golden, about “going country.” Turns out Mark’s always wanted to be in a country band, too. Doyle then enlisted the Lava Men’s drummer, Greg Weatherford, for the drum throne.
These four men got together and started practicing every week or so, and the participants really started enjoying playing honest-to-goodness honky-tonk culled from the repertoirs of the previously mentioned artists, as well as some George Jones, Conway Twitty, Johnny Paycheck, Lefty Frizzell, Hank Williams, and dozens of others. They also started working with Lee's original songs, and everyone agreed this was a band worth sticking with. But the band wasn't complete just yet. They needed what every self-respecting honky-tonk band needs-a "girl singer."
Enter local radio personality and longtime friend Jenny Jusell, who was added to the line-up, and off they went. After the shows they've played people have asked the band "Which songs are the originals? They all sound like classics." In fact, one of Lee’s songs, “Voice from the Past,” was recently honored as one of three finalists in the 2nd annual Hank Williams Songwriting Contest. As of this writing a winner has yet to be determined.
The band has recorded a half-dozen originals in Doyle’s basement studio, and is currently being played on Richmond’s legendary classic-country station AM 950 WXGI on the Big John Trimble show. Big John is a legend himself-he hosted an all-night trucking show on WRVA for years, and was filling in for Bill Mack recently before Mack switched over to his satellite radio show. They’re also receiving airplay on the popular Floyd Henderson show here in Richmond. Floyd’s been on the air for over 50 years and knows a good thing when he hears it.
So ladies and gentlemen, presenting Lee Harris & Country Sunshine.