Lee Paul Band
Red, White and Blue
The Spirit of the South from the North Country.
I only stumbled upon Lee Paul a couple of weeks ago when he was the opening act for another local Americana act. That night he was only accompanied by his friend Mike Gatto on acoustic guitar; and I really enjoyed his take on Modern Country, so was delighted when a very pretty female member of his entourage thrust this disc into my sweaty palm.
As regular readers will be aware most of the albums I review tend to be Americana or Roots in essence; but that’s only because I’m not on any mailing lists for Modern/Nu/Traditional Country music. I’m a Country Boy at heart and have a real soft spot for Vince Gill, Tim McGraw and my personal favourite Toby Keith!
Which brings us to the Lee Paul Band; all born and bred in the North East of England but sounding as if they come straight from the heart of of the American Mid-West.
The album opens with the title track Red, White and Blue which is full of feisty guitars and Lee’s story of why he loves Country Music and the dreams that have enveloped his life. I’ve certainly heard a lot worse from Nashville acts that are household names; so it’s a damn fine start.
Remember The Days; which follows is a sweet acoustic ballad that stood out the night I saw him play live and this version is even stronger.
All of the songs here were written by Lee Paul and he certainly has a talent, that needs to be heard by a wider audience. Two songs that need repeated plays are Sad Story and the deeply personal Right From Wrong; which is about a broken family that is headed up by a strong woman; who helps her children avoid the pitfalls in life.
Both songs are given a Country treatment here; but could easily be turned into Folk songs or depending on the singer; a sharp edged Alt. Country ballad. There aren’t many songs you can say that about.
Just for the Hell of It; Lee includes a fast and furious two minute instrumental called How We Do Country. Not quite the Shadows; but a fun tune any way.
The album closes with another ballad; but this time sang to a piano accompaniment; and while I really like it on it’s own it doesn’t fit in with the rest of the record.
All in all a very good debut; the production is a bit thin in parts; but nothing experience won’t improve over the years. Fingers crossed someone with some influence will hear this album; and Lee Paul and his band won’t be destined for a lifetime playing covers in bars.
Released September 2013