North Carolina is known for the creative musical talent it has sent to the world stage, and Raleigh’s Johnny Orr Band (JOB) is on its way to seeing its name added to the list of renowned contemporary Country acts. Formed in 2007 by dynamic vocalist and main songwriter Johnny Orr, guitarist/vocalist Gino Latarulo and bassist/vocalist Jack Getz, later adding drummer Bill Eagen, JOB has opened for Kenny Chesney, the Zac Brown Band, Little Big Town, Gretchen Wilson, Parmalee, Cole Swindell, Tyler Farr, Jason Michael Carroll and more. In 2012 the band won the prestigious American Country Star talent competition in Nashville, starting a buzz that has opened the doors for the band to take its career to the next level with its new EP, DOWN SOUTH.
Spotlighting Johnny’s one-of-a-kind voice on six outstanding originals, DOWN SOUTH opens with “Bottoms Up,” a catchy rocker driven by a crunchy guitar line about tipping a few at the end of a hard day. The everyman Southern vibe of the title song shows Orr’s love of God and family, with a melody that just won’t quit. He uses his coastal Atlantic background as the setting for “Sunday In Savannah,” a song about the innocence of early life in this beautiful Southeastern city. With the unique “I Don’t Speak Spanish,” Johnny taps his sense of humor while addressing an issue that so many Americans deal with, namely, how to communicate in another language. On “You Can’t Hide Love,” he describes couples who can’t conceal the desire to be with someone else, something he’s witnessed from countless nights on stage. And on the EP’s closer, “We’ll Get By” (The Autism Song), Orr digs deep and exposes his heart in a way that few writers would on a ballad addressing the issue of childhood autism with an intensely emotional lyric and vocal performance.
Basically the guy next door, Johnny writes what he knows and what he’s lived and seen, penning tunes about the everyday man and woman and their trials and triumphs. “Those are the kind of songs I love the most, and what we deliver to our fans,” he says. And it’s that commitment to the music and their audience that has gained JOB one of the most loyal followings in the Southeast.
On his band’s rare days off Johnny keeps busy with writing songs, doing voiceover projects, and perfecting celebrity impressions that he incorporates into JOB’s shows. Besides singing Country, Orr has also worked as a Rock frontman, and his musical influences range from classic rockers to Country legends, including Van Halen, Boston, Edwin McCain, Kenny Rogers, Keith Urban, John Mellencamp and Bryan Adams. “But Country was what I loved in the beginning,” he says, “and while I enjoyed playing Rock, nothing could be more satisfying than being a Country performer and playing with this great group of musicians.”
The members of JOB aspire to nothing less than greatness and worldwide success. “We want to do it all,” Johnny says, “and we intend to keep working as hard as anybody and do it at the highest level. We’re going to know that we did our best at what we loved, and I’ll know that my songs hopefully changed some people’s lives for the better.” This is an act whose time has come, that is soon to be embraced by a listening public eager for quality, heartfelt music and entertainment from a new voice. The members of JOB are gifted, talented and relentlessly driven. But maybe more than anything, they are ready.