“In this brave new world of song, Eric Lee sings and write gems of truth with a new kind of language…” - Eric Andersen
A Pennsylvania-born songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Eric Lee shapes songs with stand-alone melodies and rich musical backdrops. From the personal to the sublime, they range from tales of honkeytonk heartache to anthems of social consciousness, and are told with a language of poetic and raw honesty. Lee draws from a well of uncommon musical depth, having worked professionally in recording studios, festival stages, and on the road with acclaimed artists in both folk and bluegrass (The Kennedys, Eric Andersen, Peter Rowan) from an early age.
His first full-length album, Heartache Town, featuring vocalist Tracy Grammer and multiple IBMA mandolinist-of-the-year winner Jesse Brock, placed at #26 on National Folk Radio Charts, with the track “The Garden” reaching #25 most-played song in 2019. The album displays a vast sonic landscape, a testament to Lee’s heightened musicality. David Sokol (former editor in chief at New Country Magazine) writes that Eric Lee “…is a musician’s musician and a songwriter’s songwriter, who can write catchy, lyric-rich songs with as much ease as he can lovingly interpret the essence of bluegrass icons Jimmy Martin or Bill Monroe. He’s a Natural, a purist, and a romantic in a world where those qualities are becoming more and more elusive. And with Heartache Town, [he] has crafted a truly engaging album that promises to stand the test of time while revealing new beauty and essence with every listen.”
As a teenager attending the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Eric was introduced to Pete & Maura Kennedy, and was brought up as a guest to join the renowned folk duo's psychedelic supergroup, the Strangelings, at an informal showcase in the campgrounds. That Saturday night, he was the band’s newest member, closing the evening on the main stage. He has since performed at the festival as a solo artist and as a member of the Falcon Ridge Festival’s House Band (a position formerly held by Railroad Earth’s Tim Carbone, and Jake Armerding,) alongside Piano/accordionist Radoslav Lorkovic and bassist and producer Mark Dann.
Lee continued working as a freelance musician, performing in musicals, including, Kiss Me Kate!, Godspell, Jacque Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, Liars & Believers’ Icarus (in conjunction with Boston’s American Repertory Theatre), and conducting and performing in a production of Jesus Christ: Superstar. In 2012, he released a self-titled EP, marking his debut as a singer/songwriter and front man. During this time, he toured and recorded as a member of Northeast bluegrass bands The Morning Bugle (featuring members of Twisted Pine) and The Gather Rounders, and began touring with songwriting legend Eric Andersen. In 2018, Eric joined the Philadelphia-based bluegrass band Man About A Horse, winning the FreshGrass Festival’s band contest, and receiving a nomination for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Momentum Band of the Year award. They have subsequently toured in both the U.K. and the U.S., and are scheduled to release an album in the spring of 2021 with their label, Dark Shadow Recording.
Since the release of Heartache Town, Lee has performed internationally, having supported acts that include Lorrie Morgan, The Gibson Brothers, Della Mae, Yarn, Frank Solivan & the Dirty Kitchen, and The Quebe Sisters, and is quickly becoming a powerful new voice in Americana and acoustic music.
His solo performances are intimate and insightful and charged with wit and musical prowess. Occasionally, he performs with a full electric band (Eric Lee & Co.), bringing a raucous musical energy infused with country twang and a bluegrass backbone. Additionally, he tours with Eric Andersen and as a member of Man About A Horse, and continues to work as an instructor and session musician. He currently is based in Western Massachusetts.