The Lee Boys :: 06.05.08 :: Sullivan Hall :: New York, NY
The Lee Boys are a family affair that groove in lockstep together. They lay down a brand of music dubbed “Sacred Steel.” Hailing from the House of God church in Perrine, Florida they consist of three brothers – Alvin Lee (guitar), Derrick Lee and Keith Lee (vocals) – with their three nephews, Roosevelt Collier (pedal steel guitar), Lil’ Al Cordy Jr. (seven-string bass) and Earl Walker (drums). Alvin formed The Lee Boys with late brother Glen at around seven years old.
“When Glen died it threw me for a loop, and that inspired me to take this music out of the four walls of the church, share it with the world and spread it all over,” says Big Alvin. “Our music is all about uplifting, feeling good and making people feel better about themselves.”
The show was billed as “The Lee Boys featuring Marco Benevento.” The four core Lee Boys and Benevento took the stage for a short opening set. Three tight extended jams and 45 minutes later, the crowd was sufficiently warmed up. Due to the economics of the road, The Lee Boys’ vocalists didn’t make this particular trip. Roosevelt Collier, as always, shined as his pedal steel sang “Joyful Sounds,” a Robert Randolph favorite written by the late Glen Lee.
It had been whispered around town for a few days that Warren Haynes would make an appearance. As a NYC resident, Haynes will often grab a cab to a small club to support the music he digs. Often he’ll sit in and graciously lend his guitar licks to the mix. As we sat in The Lee Boys’ dressing room after the first set, in walks Warren Haynes, Eric Krasno (Soulive, Lettuce) and DJ Logic. After hugs all around, Big Al and Haynes huddled to discus the setlist, and it was clear Haynes would play the entire second set with the band.
“Wow, after that I don’t know what to do with myself!” laughed Alvin Lee.
The Lee Boys are currently hard at work in the studio recording a new album, which will also feature some great guest appearances. During Jazz Fest in NOLA this year they broke a record by performing seven gigs in four days. Three of those gigs at the Fairgrounds! They will perform on the big stage at Bonnaroo and you can probably catch them this summer at a festival near you.
“Our mission is to touch people through our music,” says Alvin Lee. “If we can touch just one person through our music our job is done.”
Judging from the looks of the crowd after the show, it’s safe to say… job well done!
Opening the show was fantastic New Jersey jam band BuzzUniverse. Just off a sweet appearance on the Mountain Jam main stage last weekend they warmed up the crowd with their cool, danceable grooves.
The Lee Boys play Friday night, June 13 at The Social in Orlando, Florida before performing at Bonnaroo this Sunday. Complete Lee Boys tour dates available here…
Check out the Warren Haynes interview on JamBaseTV here…
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