George Jones once sang, “Who’s gonna fill their shoes?,” regarding the massive impact country stars like Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and well, he himself had, and who will carry on the torch. So who better than the next of kin?
In this case, it happens to be the son of outlaw country legend Johnny PayCheck, and the only heir to the family name. Yes, John PayCheck has established a deep-rooted appreciation for the traditional country sound his father pioneered, and is carving out his own path in country music.
Born a native to Music City in 1976, PayCheck spent the summers of his childhood on a tour bus working in his father’s band. It was during this time that he picked up his unique perspective of life on the road and the music business. His love for music developed at an early age, as he learned a variety of brass and reed instruments as well as the coveted six-string. In working with his dad, he would soon hoist his way up from roadie to road manager.
He played in a few different bands while pursuing other interests outside of music, including earning a Bachelors of Science in Computer Information Systems and his Masters in Military Strategy and Diplomacy. He would soon meet his wife Samantha, a combat veteran, and they’ve since been raising three young girls. Flying planes and helicopters, working with computers at IBM, and raising a family just wasn’t enough for Paycheck however, as he desperately missed making music and the thrill of the road.
So with the encouragement from friends in the music industry, PayCheck got back in the saddle, and would soon release his debut album, We All Have a Story. The collection of songs blends storytelling songwriting chock full of wild cowboy escapades and the sentiment of life’s experiences, with inspirations like Bob Wills, Clint Black, George Strait, and more.
Paycheck has been quite active this year, having released a slew of singles including the one that caught our ear, “Lone Stars.” The track hits with a nostalgic blend of both his father’s generation of country, as well as the more melodic 90s style of country. The fiddle, pedal steel, and overall juke joint country shuffle creates an inviting atmosphere for his catchy lyrics and nostalgic vocal delivery.
He also released the tracks “Ain’t How My Story Ends,” “Where Did Our Country Go,” and “Half,” all which offer a range of feels that country fans can and will respond to with fondness, what with his ode to traditional country with a modern and original flare.
And for fans of PayCheck Sr., if you listen closely, you might just catch a hint of that familiar family tone like his father before him. But make no mistake- despite his iconic lineage, John PayCheck is on his way to establishing himself as one who may just fill those shoes Jones once sang about.