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Albert Lee Biography

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Albert Lee born December 21, 1943 in Leominster, Herefordshire is an English guitarist known for his finger-style and Hybrid picking technique. He grew up in Blackheath, London. His father was a musician, and Albert studied piano. During this time, like many of his age, he became a fan of Buddy Holly, and also Jerry Lee Lewis. He took up guitar in 1958, and left school at age 16 to play full-time the following year.

Lee was with a variety of bands from 1959 onwards, playing mostly R&B, country music and rock and roll. Lee first experienced commercial success as the lead guitarist with Chris Farlowe and The Thunderbirds. During his time playing with Heads Hands & Feet, Lee became a "guitar hero", playing his Fender Telecaster at breakneck speed. Heads Hands & Feet became a very popular live band in the UK and also in Europe, where they appeared on the German music programme Beat-Club.

Despite positive press from Melody Maker and New Musical Express, Lee has never achieved any great commercial success in terms of record sales during his career, but more as a live performer, session player and sideman, perhaps due to his self effacing stage presence. Lee has been described by his peers who include Jimmy Page and Richie Blackmore, as a complete gentleman who does not know the meaning of the word ego.

Lee left for Los Angeles, California in 1974 as offers of session work were flooding in, although efforts to record and release his own albums were stalling. In 1976, Lee was asked to join Emmylou Harris's Hot Band, replacing one of his heroes James Burton.

Starting in 1978, Lee worked for five years with Eric Clapton, playing and singing for a live concert recording at the Budokan in Japan.

Lee continues to tour and work in the studio, and tours on a regular basis with Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings Band. Known as, "the guitar player's, guitar player" due to the high presence of many famous, and non famous guitarists, everywhere, and anywhere he performs. Albert Lee is also referred to as "Mr. Telecaster". A long time Telecaster player, Lee wrote a forward to A.R. Duchossoir's book detailing the history of the instrument.

Albert Lee was responsible for The Everly Brothers 1983 reunion concert and was the musical director. Lee is a regular player with the Everlys.

In 1987, Lee was invited by Gerry Hogan to headline at a Steel Guitar Festival in Newbury, Berkshire. Lee was at first intimidated by the prospect of having to front a band, however, the gig was successful and he now tours with Hogan's Heroes on a regular basis.

Hogan's Heroes are renowned for attracting celebrities to their gigs. Stars such as Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Nanci Griffith, Don Everly, Emmylou Harris, Sonny Curtis and Rodney Crowell have all jammed with the band at one time or another.

In 2002, Albert Lee appeared at the Concert for George.

Also in 2002, Lee received a Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance for Foggy Mountain Breakdown from the CD Earl Scruggs and Friends.

Earl Scruggs, comenting on Albert Lee has stated: "I am constantly amazed at his talent. I am sure there are many guitar players who have been influenced by his style and will continue to be influenced for years to come. Albert is in every sense of the word, a guitar wizard".[3]

Lee has received many awards for his playing, including the five times winner of Guitar Player magazine's "Best Country Guitarist".[4]

Reflecting on the Heads Hands & Feet period of his career, Lee has stated: "What amazes me is, how many musicians in Nashville have a copy of our first album in their personal record collections, and still ask me what happened to the band".

Albert Lee is the owner of Don Everly's Gibson J-200. The Gibson Guitar Corporation made one for Don and the other for Phil Everly. The guitars have an all black, high gloss lacquered finish, and are equipped with twin Everly Brothers white pickguards. The Everly Brothers manager Wesley Rhodes had wanted the guitar to be presented to the Country Music Hall of Fame, but Everly informed him that guitars like that, should be played, not sitting in a glass case. Don Everly presented it to Lee, along with his Gibson Everly Brothers Model.

Eric Clapton also gave Lee the Gibson Les Paul that he played with Delaney and Bonnie

Lee is known within the music industry for his speed of playing and his technical virtuosity [5] and yet by the same token, one of the most melodic, playing slower passages approximating the sound of the Pedal Steel Guitar with his Music Man and Telecaster guitars which are equipped with B-Benders. [6]

Albert Lee is often confused with Alvin Lee. This confusion has led to Alvin Lee being incorrectly credited on many albums in the past.

Albert Lee currently lives in Malibu, California.

The Guinness Who's Who Of Country Music. Guinness Publishing. ISBN 0-85112-726-6

Recordings for other artists not included.
Artist information courtesy of their Wikipedia entry, which is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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