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home : hope-area news : general August 16, 2017

8/4/2017 5:02:00 AM
Night Owl Country Band reaching new heights
Photos courtesy of Night Owl Country Band
Photos courtesy of Night Owl Country Band

By Jennifer Willhite
For HSJ Online

The Night Owl Country Band is taking flight.

Fans of the local favorite certainly have some exciting things coming down the pike to look forward to.

Since the band formed on Halloween 2015, it has undergone many changes, says Matt Lee, Night Owl Country Band founder.

In 2016, the band established its footing on the local music scene with band members Steve Pardue and Brett Denney. And to complete the band's sound, they recently added band member Tim Dooley.

"At first it was have fun and make a little money," 40-year-old Lee says. "Now that it has blossomed, we are registered as a small business, I'm registered as a songwriter, and we have a publishing company."

Stanley Music Group, located in Coeburn, Va., recently reached out to the band after seeing some of their videos on Facebook and asked them to send some music, Lee says.

"We had nine originals and they picked three," he says. "Then we picked from that three for a single to release."

The Night Owl Country Band signed a contract with Stanley Music Group on May 12th.

The band's single "Cool Gentle Breeze" was released nationally in July and is now available on a variety of online music outlets, including iTunes, Spotify and Amazon Music.

Drummer Steve Pardue recalls the first time he heard the band's single on the radio he was awestruck. The band was doing an in-studio interview with KORN Country Radio when the song came through the speakers.

"It was almost surreal," 38-year-old Pardue says.

Lee says the publishing company and songwriter registration were prerequisites necessary to claim 100 percent of the royalties from their single "Cool Gentle Wind" that was released nationally in July.

The group was then asked to perform at a tribute concert Oct. 19th at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn., for the late Ralph Stanley, founder of Stanley Music Group, who died in June 2016.

The band accepted the invitation without hesitation.

"We will be doing a compilation with other Stanley Group artists," Lee says. "The headliners that evening are Lee Ann Womack and Dierks Bentley."

Pardue admits the band is beyond excited and amazed at the same time about the gig at the Grand Ole Opry.

"We never thought we would get this far," he says. "Every chapter is just awesome. We have awesome wives and families to support us and that makes it much easier."

Surprisingly, Lee admits he no longer gets nervous before shows anymore. He says he and the guys are just doing their thing and having a good time.

And regardless of what happens, the guys are determined to stay entrenched in their hometown.

Lee says that no matter where the journey takes the band, he still wants to play the small venues as a way of giving thanks to them for the support and love they have given in helping the band get started.

"It may end up not being anything, but we had to take a swing," Lee says.

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