It’s a big day for Frankie Lee: the Mississippi musician releases his debut album, ‘American Dreamer’, and announces his first UK shows.
The singer, who’s been compared to Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and Ryan Adams, will be supporting Joe Pug in Manchester and Glasgow before they reach St Pancras Old Church in London on 12 November 2015.
Lee, who was born on the banks of the Mississippi river, spent much of his childhood in Minneapolis. Following the death of his father, the then 12-year-old Lee jumped into the city’s live music scene, the self-taught guitarist soon sharing stages with the likes of The Replacements’ Slim Dunlap.
“I was raised on stage,” he says. “These guys would bring me into the clubs, sit me behind the soundboard and give me all the coca cola I could drink until they’d call me up for a song or two at the end of the night.”
Shortly after turning 20, Lee made his way to Austin, Texas.
“The scene at the time was bursting wide open with everything from Western swing bands to Roky Erikson’s psychedelic garage rock. I was out almost every night for 6 years. There was never an excuse to stay in,” remembers the man who was diagnosed with narcolepsy at 22.
A year in Los Angeles saw him refine his songwriting skills and demystify the recording process with engineer Patrick McCarthy (U2, REM) before the nomadic Lee returned to Minnesota after a decade away.
He’s since released an EP, ‘Middle West’, and spent the past three years developing the songs for ‘American Dreamer’, an album inspired by his rural surroundings while working on a hog farm.
“I decided when I got back home, to get back to the land and the people who shaped me. Both sides of my family were North Dakota wheat farmers. Hardworking, soft-spoken, Scandinavians who moved to the middle of nowhere with nothing, and of that place made everything they needed,” says Lee.
“There’s a movement now to get back to that way of living, and if we’re gonna last a while then that’s the only way we’re gonna make it.”
- For more Frankie Lee, visit his website.