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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Bryan Lee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bryan Lee. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Bryan Lee - Sanctuary - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Sanctuary, from Bryan Lee and it's smokin' good. Opening with New Orleans funky, Fight For The Light, with a super strutting rhythm. Lee on guitar and vocal sets the pace backed by Deirdre Fellner on backing vocal, Marc Spagone on guitar, Jack Berry with particularly hot bass, Matt Liban on drums, lush keystrokes by Jimmy Voegeli, and Greg Koch on dobro. Very nice. Rolling shuffle, The Gift has great stride and a warm BB King kind of feel. Voegeli sets a great path on electric piano and Lee's guitar soloing is tops. One of my favorite tracks on the release, Mr Big, has a perfect blend of soulful vocals and guitar floating in a blues cloud. Very cool. another outstanding track is Don't Take My Blindness for a Weakness with extended melodic guitar soloing and soulful vocals. Excellent! Wrapping the release is swinging shuffle, Lord And Savior with direct, committed vocals and concise guitar riffs. Lee is one of those guys that has been around for a while and every time you hear him you say, man this guy is great!

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Severn Records artist: Bryan Lee - Play One For Me - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (September 17, 2013), Play One For Me, from Bryan Lee and it's a soul stirred blues stew. Opening with Aretha (Play One For Me)
has a real nice R&B flow featuring Kevin Anker on keys and Lee on vocals. Freddie King's It's Too Bad (Things Are Going So Tough) has a real nice blues sway and features some real sweet guitar riffs from Lee. A strong soul track written by Bobby Womack, When Love Begins (Friendship Ends) has a great lyrical line and melody. With just the right touch of blues guitar, Lee leads Steve Gomes on bass and Robb Stupka on drums into the mist surrounded by a solid string and horn section. Tasty guitar riffs really highlight what is likely my favorite track on the release. Chester Burnett's Evil Is Going On produces a nice treat with Kim Wilson joining on harp. Anker plays really nice key work underneath the melody providing a nice balance and Lee on vocal and guitar punctuation makes this another hot track. Straight To Your Heart is a nice New Orleans style blues funk track. I've always loved this style of blues playing and Lee has his finger on the pulse. Poison, an interesting slower blues track. Johnny Moeller on guitars and Wilson on harp add a lot to the overdriven vocals and guitar work of Lee who does a nice job on this track. Why has a real nice walking bass line and blues lope with Ankers on organ and Moeller on guitar pushing Lee to the boiling point on his guitar solo on this particular track. Really nice cut. The release ends with high steppin Sixty-Eight Years Young, a funky rhythm track having only the essence of instrumentation under vocal except for a pretty hot guitar solo. This is a great conclusion to a really cool release!  

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The following track is not from the release but is representative of Lee's work:

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bluesman Bryan Lee Says "Play One for Me" on Severn Records Label Debut CD, Due September 17

Bryan Lee Says Play One for Me on Severn Records Label
Debut CD, Due September 17

New Album from New Orleans-Based Bluesman Features Special Guests Kim Wilson and Johnny Moeller of
The Fabulous Thunderbirds

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Severn Records announces a September 17 release date for Play One for Me, the label debut CD from New Orleans-based blues guitarist/singer Bryan Lee, recorded at Severn’s new state-of-the-art studios in Annapolis. Severn Records is distributed in the U.S. by City Hall Records.

Play One for Me was produced by Kevin Anker, David Earl and Steve Gomes and features Bryan Lee’s powerfully soulful vocals and stinging guitar backed by the label’s studio house band of Anker on keyboards, Gomes on bass, and Robb Stupka on drums, augmented by special guests Kim Wilson (harmonica) and Johnny Moeller (rhythm guitar) of The Fabulous Thunderbirds. Horns and strings on the new album were arranged and conducted by Willie Henderson.

The new disc’s 10 tracks are a solid mix of five Bryan Lee originals and covers of such songs as Bobby Womack’s “When Love Begins (Friendship Ends),” Howlin Wolf’s “Evil” (with a guest harmonica performance by Kim Wilson), Freddie King’s “It’s Too Bad (Things Are Going So Tough),” Dennis Geyer’s “Straight to Your Heart” and a beautiful rendition of the George Jackson classic, “Aretha (Sing One for Me).”

“I want to thank David Earl for believing in me, for pushing and challenging me and surrounding me with tremendous musicians,” Bryan Lee said about the new recording. “Thanks also to Kevin Anker on keys; Steve Gomes on bass; Willie Henderson for his beautiful charts; a young man I got to be close friends with, Johnny Moeller, on guitar; and the gentleman on the drums, Robb Stupka, who I used to work with in the ’70s – it was such an honor to work with him again.  Last but not least, I want to give a special thanks to brother Kim Wilson on the harmonica.”

Although raised in a small Wisconsin town near the shores of Lake Michigan, Bryan Lee has been a New Orleans resident since 1982, so much so that he’s been called a “New Orleans Blues Institution;” and is also known as the “Braille Blues Daddy,” dubbed so because he’s been blind since the age of eight. Eric Clapton called Bryan Lee “one of the best bluesmen I have ever heard.” He's played the prestigious New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival for over 25 years and his new Severn CD marks his debut for an American label, with previous albums appearing on the Canadian imprint, Justin Time. 
Growing up, Lee listened to clear channel station WLAC in Nashville and became enamored with the sound of the blues he heard on the radio. By the time he was 15, Lee was playing guitar in a variety of rock and blues-rock bands, and in his late teens he befriended legendary guitar slinger Luther Allison. In 1981, Lee and his band opened for Muddy Waters at Summerfest in Milwaukee, and he got a chance to talk with his hero backstage. After Lee told Muddy how honored he was to be opening for such a legend, Waters told the youngster, “Bryan, stay with this. One day you’re going to be a living legend.” Those words of encouragement have become an inspiration to Bryan Lee throughout his career.

Bryan Lee’s recognition in the Crescent City began in 1982 with a long residency at the Old Absinthe House in the French Quarter. One of the formative blues guitarists who caught his act was a young Kenny Wayne Shepherd, whose time sitting in with Lee’s band proved to be a revelatory experience for him. Many years later, Shepherd would return the favor by including Lee in his documentary, 10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads, which was nominated for two Grammy Awards and won the 2008 Blues Music Award for Best DVD and the 2008 Keeping the Blues Alive Award under the category of Film, Television or Video. A follow-up album, Live in Chicago by Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Friends, was nominated for a Grammy in 2010 and won the Blues Music Award for Best Blues/Rock CD in 2011. Bryan received a Grammy nomination and also received a BMA for his contribution to this CD. 

Lee, whose New Orleans studio became a victim of Hurricane Katrina’s wrath, was nominated for a Blues Music Award in 2008 for his Katrina Was Her Name CD, which also won the German Critics award that same year.

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bryan Lee - Blues Singer

Bryan Lee (born March 16, 1943, Two Rivers, Wisconsin) is an American blues guitarist and singer based in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is also known by the nickname braille blues daddy and has been a fixture on Bourbon Street scene since the 1980s.

Lee completely lost his eyesight by the age of eight. His avid interest in early rock and blues was fostered through the 1950s by late night listening sessions via the Nashville-based radio station WLAC AM, where he first encountered the sounds of Elmore James, Albert King and Albert Collins.

By his late teens, Lee was playing rhythm guitar in a regional band called The Glaciers that covered Elvis Presley, Little Richard and Chuck Berry material. Through the 1960s, Lee's interest turned to Chicago blues and he soon found himself immersed on that scene, opening for some of his boyhood heroes. In 1979 he released his first album named Beauty Isn't Always Visual.

In January 1982, Lee moved to New Orleans, eventually landing a steady gig at the Old Absinthe House on Bourbon Street becoming a favorite of tourists in the city's French Quarter. For the next 14 years, Lee and his Jump Street Five played five nights a week at that popular bar, developing a huge following and a solid reputation.

Today Lee continues to perform in New Orleans. He also tours several times a year in the Midwest, Eastern Seaboard, Rocky Mountain States and recently Europe. Lee appeared with Kenny Wayne Shepherd as the musical guest on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on February 14, 2007.