Teri Vance: Local country artist to host concert for music video
For the Nevada Appeal
After leaving home at 18 for Los Angeles, Justin Lee, now 32, is looking to connect with his roots. Following the advice of his upcoming album, “Where I Belong,” Lee has returned to his Yerington hometown where his Sayre family goes back for generations.
“This is where I belong,” he said. “I was tired of L.A., and I wanted to come back around family, close friends and good people.”
Lee spent 12 years chasing his country music dream in California, but is back home playing his music in venues around Nevada and for special events, including Night in the Country, the Reno Rodeo, Genoa Cowboy Festival and National Finals Rodeo.
But he’s got his sights set on even bigger stages. Lee will release his first single, “Like I’ve Fallen,” on Aug. 11. The full album, “Where I Belong,” will drop Sept. 1.
“People who have heard my old music are going to be blown away with this album,” Lee said. “The people who’ve heard it so far are floored.”
Fans will have an opportunity to support Lee in the making of his video — and maybe even appear in it — during a free concert at the Carson Valley Inn’s TJ’s Corral at 8 p.m. Aug. 12. Scenes from the concert will be featured in the music video as will scenery from around Smith Valley and Yerington.
Ashley Espin, 2014 Miss Reno Rodeo and 2015 Miss Rodeo Nevada will be featured with her boyfriend in the video.
“It’s such a relief to have them on board,” Lee said. “We won’t have to fake the onscreen chemistry. Everything is falling into place. It’s so perfect.”
Local band Whiskey Heroes will open for Justin Lee for the concert.
“This is going to be a full-blown concert,” Lee said. “People are not going to believe it’s a free concert once they hear the music.”
Although gates open at 7 p.m., Lee recommends getting to the venue early.
“I think it’s going to be packed,” he said. “I’ve heard people talking about camping out.”
He said he has close to 100 people coming just from his family and close friends circle. He’s hoping, however, to hit the 1,100-person capacity of TJ’s Corral.
“I’m so thankful and grateful for the amount of response we’ve gotten,” he said. “The support is overwhelming.”
Both the single and album will be available on all the typical online music platforms such as iTunes, Amazon, Pandora, iHeartRadio and Spotify.
To keep up on Lee’s career, like his Justin Lee Country page on Facebook or follow him on Instagram.
He’s hoping the video and album release will kickstart a new level of success.
“We’re hoping for that contract, for that deal,” he said. “We’re hoping to get picked up for a tour.”
Regardless of the outcome, of one thing he remains sure.
“Nevada is where I belong.”
Teri Vance is a journalist, freelance writer and native Nevadan. Contact her with column ideas at email@example.com.