Michael Lee review…June 30, 2019….

MICHAEL LEE

MICHAEL LEE

RUF RECORDS  RUF 1274

HEART OF STONE–DON’T LEAVE ME–WEEDS–PRAYING FOR RAIN–LOVE HER–THIS IS–CAN’T KICK YOU–THE THRILL IS GONE–FOOL OF OZ–HERE I AM–GO YOUR OWN WAY

Many fans will remember Michael Lee’s run on “The Voice” from a while back, anchored by his mesmerizing version of B. B. King’s “The Thrill Is Gone,” during those broadcasts.  He has just released his, er, “thrilling” self-titled debut for Ruf Records.

Oh yeah, his cover of B. B.’s classic is included–the folks in his home base of Dallas/Ft. Worth would’ve likely run him outta town if he hadn’t added it–but there’s much more to this young guitar-slinging bluesman than what we saw on TV.  He’s already sang on Ruf Records’ “B. B. King Blues Band” album, (reviewed elsewhere within this forum), and, with producers Nick Choate and Nick Jay, this album shows a young man with unlimited potential.

There were highlights aplenty.  “Don’t Leave Me” finds our hero at a low point in a relationship, knowing he’s made some mistakes, but is willing to own them for a second chance.  Michael’s impassioned vocal over Anthony Farrell’s B3 gives this one a good, sanctified feel.  “Weeds” is an upbeat, positive tale inspired by Michael’s moving into his new home with his wife, and envisioning their yet-to-be-born children.  That brilliant, organ-drenched, “Thrill Is Gone” was one of our favorites, as was Michael’s Delbert-inspired, roadhouse-rockin’ story of the pull of a lover.  Hey–“I can kick the alcohol, I can kick the nicotine, but I Can’t Kick You!”  The set closed with our final favorite.  “Go Your Own Way” has a definite Crossroads-ish vibe, but, this time, no deals go down, as a wise man offers sage advice to our young hero, to “follow your song, for these words won’t lead you astray!”

As are the rest of his legion of fans,  the eyes of Michael Lee are firmly fixed upon his future.  With a set as powerful as this debut, expect great things from this mighty young bluesman!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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