Albert Lee: Country Boy At Heart

March 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

Albert Lee

I feel very lucky to have seen the guitarist Albert Lee perform with Hogan’s Heroes this weekend. In a small, intimate gig in the Crouch End Music Palace he won the heart of at least one new acolyte. My friend Andy got us tickets on a tip-off from his business partner, and though I grumbled a bit about paying that much to see someone I had never even heard of before, I agreed to go when he said “Trust me.” Which was the right thing to do. Albert Lee is nearly 70, but on Saturday night he played and sang with a passion, energy and speed that blew me away. The pace lagged a bit on some of his newer material, which nevertheless demonstrated some melodic lead guitar lines and soulful singing by Albert, and fantastic contributions by his pedal steel guitarist. What really knocked me out were Albert’s performances of Country Boy and Tear It Up, which soared along through note-perfect solo after note-perfect solo on the back of what must have been fairly exhausting drumming, leaving everyone in the crowd shaking their heads, grinning and whooping their appreciation. Obviously it doesn’t come down to the money in the end, but the fact is I would have been willing to pay much more for the privilege of hearing him play those songs.

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