Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bonnawho's Who - The Lee Boys

Official Bio:

The Lee Boys are one of Florida’s finest African-American Sacred Steel Artists. The Hottest movement on the music scene these days in the “Sacred Steel” sound that developed its roots in the House of God church. This church serves as the foundation from which these seasoned musicians developed and perfected their style, talents, and skills. There are six members who are brothers and nephews. Each member began making music in the church when they were 7 and 8 years old, and they have not stopped playing since.

In the late 1930’s two brothers brought a new musical instrument into the worship experience of the House of God church in Jacksonville, FL. The Pentecostal congregation embraced the soulful sound of the electric lap steel guitar, as played by a novice named Wille Eason and his brother Troman. Over time this unique sound became the hallmark of the church. The pedal steel guitar was later added into the mix in the 1970’s The Lee Boys are part of the fourth generation of this in the faith.

Born and raised in Miami, FL the Lee Boys grew up attending the House of God church in Perrine where their father and grandfather to some of them, was the pastor and a steel player himself.

Exhilarating, Energetic, Exciting, Freeing Fun, Inspiring, Spirited, Soulful, Thrilling, These are only some of the words fans have used in trying to describe how The Lee Boys make them feel. You can hear it all in their music as they come alive on the stage when they perform. It is the music of praised, faith and hope but with a whole lot more funk and enjoyment than has ever echoed through any church. The Lee Boys sacred steel style is rooted in gospel, but is infused with rhythm and blues, jazz, rock, funk, hip-hop, country and world music genres in a powerful jamming mix. When the Lee Boys bring their joyous spiritual sound to the stage, audiences instantly recognize that this is not “sitting and listening” music: dancing, shouting out, and having fun are considered essential parts of their tradition. Their style of music is unique and different from any other music that’s ever been heard before. It features the pedal steel guitar as the central instrument. It is music with the exciting sacred steel dimension that uplifts you and makes you feel good like nothing else can!!! Guaranteed.

Founder and bandleader Alvin Lee lays down infectious rhythms on the lead guitar. He says “The inspiration and feeling that comes along with our music is the reason that people feel good. It is like the new music on the block and its just getting ready to explode!” His brothers sing straight from the heart and soul. Keith Lee belts out some of the most dynamic and energetic vocals to be heard anywhere; while smooth and mellow singing Derrick Lee, the youngest brother further extends the group range of expression.

Roosevelt Collier was taught how to play from his 12-string pedal steel guitar by his late uncle Glenn Lee, who also help establish the band’s sound. ‘Velt’ learned his lessons well. He carries on with fast picking by delivering passionate, rapid-fire licks, and captivating instrumental solos that imitate the African-American singing voice.

Two more nephews power the rhythm section engine. Drummer Earl Walker beats out grooves that will have you up and dancing in nothing flat while “Little Alvin” Cordy provides funky fingering on his seven-string bass guitar.

These engaging artists work well in a variety of venues ranging from intimate club settings to large festival stages. Most recently they blew the roof off the House of Blues at Downtown Disney in Orlando and they just finished their summer tour 2004 which included performances throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Fans of all different genres of music will definitely not want to miss out on this amazing group. The Lee Boys deliver powerful music with an exciting new sacred steel twist that never fails to thrill an audience. These guys will funkify your soul and help you see the musical light.

Live On Stage:

I've only heard great things about The Lee Boys. If you dig the pedal-steel stylings of Robert Randolph then you're going to dig these guys. They do have a heavy dose of gospel in their music, but they sure can play....

There isn't a lot floating The Lee Boys floating, so let's just go with one more live clip and call it a post...

For more on the The Lee Boys make your way over their official website.

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