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Michael Lee - Michael Lee

I have had this CD for a while now and it was lost in a shuffle of releases that came across my doorway - I do want to apologize to Michael Lee - and to Ruf - since this release is truly outstanding, original, and incredibly impressive. A lost treasure that I have been thrilled to discover, playing this one over and over again - Thanks so much - John Muller

Michael Lee has been a fixture on stages in the hall, clubs, and juke joints of Fort Worth, Texas, since he was 17, first as a guitar for hire, then eventually fronting his own band. On nights that he was not in the blues clubs he was down in the stockyards soaking in the country sounds which emanate from the Fort Worth honky tonks.

Lee first earned national and international notoriety when he appeared on "The Voice" television program. He lasted through 15 episodes and then was eliminated in the live playoff round, when the number of contestants are cut to 12. His performance of the B. B. King classic "The Thrill Is Gone" on the show has racked up more than 6 million-plus plays on YouTube.

The B.B. King Blues Band were so impressed by his version of the iconic King classic that asked him to cut a version of the song for their album The Soul of the King. After that he was asked to take center stage and tour with the band.

Michael is a triple-threat performer who can sing, play, and write songs that crackle with energy and ooze with a flood of emotions. He certainly proves the point that a great song will always be a great song and can stand up to new ideas. On this release you will find plenty to enjoy, from semi-gospel numbers to southern soul, retro Tex-Mex, which makes this a triumphant soul blues release with a range as wide as the Texas panhandle.

His distinctive 4-wheeler on gravel vocals, tinged and shaded with just enough coffee-and cigarettes, is distinctive enough, but the guitar playing here takes center stage from start to finish. Come hang with Michael Lee - grab a few friends and get ready to party! Great stuff that deserves wider attention from an artist certainly impressing critics and thrilling fans everywhere. A real gift to blues lovers!

Reviewed by John Muller.

Label: Ruf Records

Produced by: Nick Choate and Nick Jay

Recorded at: Christ Chapel Church

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