An all American, country artist and songwriter from the Desert Southwest of Arizona. After growing up singing in honky tonks, around bon fires and at rodeos in his home state, he packed up and headed east to take a shot at Nashville. On that drive, he wrote a song for the girlfriend he had to leave behind to chase his dream called “Everything in Arizona” all in his head! “I’d never written one that fast and for sure had never done it without my guitar in my hand”! He was excited.
After three years with no luck in Nashville, he soon learned the music business wouldn’t have quite as much “Devine inspiration” as songwriting. “There was going to be nothing easy about this” Harter realized. Nothing worth having ever does come that way. “I was about to give up, and my Dad taught me that’s something we just don’t do”! says Harter. That was before veteran record producer, Blake Mevis(George Strait, Kieth Whitley, Charlie Pride), heard something special in J. MIchael’s voice and songs. That chance meeting led J. Michael to not only his first top 40 hit “Hard Call to Make”, but also the first top 40 for his label BBR/Sony Red as well. They recorded his first album and sparked a fire storm of events that have built J. Michael Harter into the humbled, ever growing, yet seasoned artist he is today.
J. Michael has three solo albums and recorded an EP with his brother and sister in a group they appropriately called The Harter’s. The Americana meets country sound and family harmonies attracted the likes of legendary producer Kieth Stegal. Signed to Bigger Picture/WME in 2008 the group’s radio success helped to add two new songs, “If I Run” and “Jenny” to the seven charting singles Harter has to date.
He’s thankful to have toured with artists such as Alan Jackson, Sara Evans, Lee Brice, Blake Shelton, Little Big Town, to name a handful. Depending on the stage you catch him on, you could see a cowboy on a stool with a guitar in a spotlight or a rocking’ Honky-Tonk show! In any setting, J. Mikes love and passion for what he does can be felt by all who listen to him.
Harter’s héros and influences have always shown in his music. Artist like Chris LeDoux, George Strait, Glen Campbell, The Eagles, Merle Haggard, Don Williams, and Garth Brooks can all be heard in hints of his sound and style. That combination gives Harter’s vocal a distinct yet comforting familiarity to it. “I’m both kinds of music”, he laughs, “Country and Western”!!
With his fourth studio album to be recorded and a tour schedule filling up, 2022 is a busy year! The first self titled album, “J. Michael Harter” will be a close look into his life and influences and is in the recording process now! The acoustic driven theme will lend to a “Singing by the bon fire’’ feel. Songs about love, cowboy life, God, family, and Country.
AWARDS: 2021 Country Songwriter of the Year in Texas Country Music Awards Association
2021 "truck back" featuring Chauncey Jones.