“Jonboy Storey” is about as country as names can get, and it should come as no surprise that the man on the other end of that name is making a splash in the Chattahoochee Valley music scene. What may surprise you, though, is the road he took to get here. Despite having the name of a country music star (or morning radio show host), Storey spent most of his school years playing sports and was captain of the wrestling team. Although he started playing guitar in middle school, it wasn’t until his senior year that he thought about committing more time to his musical endeavors.
Storey recalls telling his wrestling coach his plan to focus on music instead of wrestling and his coach’s declaration of “The bus is leaving in the morning. I’ll see you at the school.” As the season got underway, the coach continued to shoot down Storey’s hopes of music success, but before long Jonboy was supporting Chris Janson at a show in Phenix City, AL. This minor breakthrough served as a revelation to Storey that music was going to take him places that neither he or his coach could have dreamed of, but it also illustrated the motivating power of doubt. Thus, Jonboy’s first song “Thank You For the Doubt” was born.
Following that fateful show and the soon-to-be-hit it spawned, Jonboy Storey went to Nashville to record a six-song EP titled Mr. Heartbreaker that paints a vivid picture of a small, Southern town with catchy hooks and boot stompin’ guitar riffs. Songs like “Locals Bar” and “What You Wanna Believe” are musical movies that pan through Small Town, USA, uncovering the characters, rituals and secrets that dwell there; while “Mr. Heartbreaker,” Thank You For the Doubt” and “Back on the Map” use autobiographical lyrics to talk about the universal issues of finding love and overcoming adversity.
Storey demonstrates the lyrical prowess of a lifelong veteran on his first EP, but the thing that keeps people coming to see Jonboy live is the energy he and his band have when they perform. After building a strong local following playing acoustic shows with drummer Kegan Hussey (Formerly the drummer of Artist Spotlight Alum I the Victor) on cajon, Storey used the release of his EP as an excuse to build a full band to begin spreading his reach further throughout the Southeast. Now that the roster has solidified, Storey and the band are ramping things up heading into 2019 with plans for more shows, new songs and plenty of fun.
Aside from the catchy songs and voracious energy, the most impressive thing about Jonboy is his sincerity. It’s hard to find genuinely kind people, but Jonboy is the type of person that will give you the shirt off his back, $20, a Zaxby’s club and a ride to work when all you asked for was bus fare. He’s the guy that pays attention and laughs at your story when the rest of the group stopped listening halfway through. Despite having immense talent, Storey stays humble, chipping away at his goal to make it to the Opry.
Despite facing doubt and adversity early on, Storey has found a way to elevate himself above the negativity. It’s a long way to the top, but Jonboy Storey’s unique blend of skill, perseverance and personality will have him singing in that legendary circle in no time.
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Photographer - Sarah Htun
Writer - Tayler Newman
Designer Elyssa Velez
Digital Media - Tanya Wise
Executive Producer - Liz Peña