The Back Porch Music on the Lawn concert series returns Thursday night at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham with a performance by honky-tonk musician John Howie Jr. The concert is free and will start at 6 p.m.
The Chapel Hill country singer will play with the Rosewood Bluff and will be joined by Tonk. But before he gets on stage Thursday evening, Howie Jr. decided to stop by WUNC to talk with Eric Hodge about his approach to writing country songs and life as a parent.
Howie Jr.’s former band the Two Dollar Pistols split in the late 2000s, but he didn't let it interrupt his passion for country music as he continues to play with the Rosewood Bluff. He said making country music has always come naturally to him since the first time he sat down with a guitar to write a song.
"I just try to approach from the standpoint of write what comes out honestly and if there is an audience for it great and if not then you did something you are happy with," he said. "That sounds simple, but that's the way I do it."
“When I was in my 20s and 30s and had pretty much zero responsibilities other than paying the rent and a few bills I could sit around all day and do it. Now I have a son and a mortgage and everything else people my age have,” he said.
"(Songs) tend to pop into my head at very inopportune moments like in the car line at my son’s elementary school so I am always singing into my phone and stuff like that and typing lyrics into phone and piecing those together."
Howie Jr. said he is planning to release his first solo record called Not Tonight later this year. As a preview for the show on the lawn, watch Howie Jr. and the Rosewood Bluff play "Why You Been Gone So Long?" below: