Eric Lee

Download the new album "Heartache Town" now at:

A powerful new voice in Americana and bluegrass, 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 honky-tonk heartache to anthems of social consciousness, and are told with a language of poetic and raw honesty. His first full-length album, Heartache Town, reached #26 most-played album in national folk radio charts this year (with the single, “The Garden” reaching #25 most-played song,) and features vocalist Tracy Grammer, and IBMA mandolinist-of-the-year Jesse Brock. 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, country, and bluegrass (The Kennedys, Eric Andersen, Peter Rowan) since his late teens. He has opened for artists including Grand Ole Opry member Lorrie Morgan, The Gibson Brothers, and Della Mae, and commands the stage with the seasoned ease of a veteran performer.


In the 3 years since the eponymous Eric Lee extended-play mini album comes this perfectly produced collection of twelve compositions with huge crossover potential.  “Heartache Town”, the title track, is pure pop Americana succinctly wrapped up in two minutes and forty-five seconds.  It drives, captivates, and brings the listener in with the elegance of James Taylor and an integrity so essential to believability. The singer's voice is the intro flowing into an immediate groove that gives a solid foundation for the storyline for Lee's prime instrument are those vocal chords, above his ability to play, pluck and strum a variety of different vibrating strings attached to a multitude of different wooden platforms. "Another Bloody Mary Morning" is a rock hootenanny with bluegrass overtones and a showcase for the singer's ability to discretely traverse different styles.  Those styles change quickly from song to song, quickly yet ever so slightly, with the tunes placed in an inviting way begging for repeated spins.  "Silver Headstone" goes pure traditional country - almost three minutes before the five minute "Prince of Dreamers."  And despite the reference to James Taylor above, Lee's influences aren't that glaring, he tucks the many sources he draws from onto an original canvas that makes it all very appealing.   Two epics are "Fall of Man," and "To Write You A Song," the latter appearing on the previous collection as well.  "Fall of Man" features Eric Lee - lead vocal, acoustic guitar, mandolin, baritone violin, electric fiddle, violins, electric guitar, Tracy Grammer - harmony vocal, Greg Greenway - harmony vocal, Matthew Thornton - cello, Jim Henry - electric lead guitar, Paul Kochanski - bass, J.J. O’Connell - drums, Brian Johnson - sitar - and the accompanists are listed straight from the press information to give a scope on how many different ideas and vibrations combine to give these story songs such lively brio and heart. The semi-duet on "Lucky Penny," a song co-written with Neale Eckstein, brings a nice change of pace, though it's still Eric Lee's vocal chords that pave the way. A deep, intentionally underplayed acoustic guitar as lead instrument,  "I Wish I Was a Plumber" is a musician's lament, reminiscent of Tony Hendra (Spinal Tap) and his amazing, insightful John Lennon parody "If I could be a fisherman I would be a fisherman but I can't because I'm a (expletive) Genius."   Co-written with Pete Nelson, the rhythm section of Kochanski and O'Connell are a delight while Ryan Homer’s pedal steel also demand mention.

    Again it is Lee's heartfelt voice and observations catch your attention while the sterling accompaniment embraces the themes of these dozen essays, smoothly enveloped by these vibrant musical textures

- Joe Viglione, "The Noise" Boston