Frank Lee | Artseen

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Frank Lee

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United States - North Carolina

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Folk: Traditional Folk Blues: Acoustic Blues Moods: Type: Acoustic
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by Frank Lee

Archaic music from the rural Southeast presented on bottle neck guitar and fretless banjo.
Genre: Folk: Traditional Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. What You Gonna Do When Your Liquor Gives Out
2:30 album only
2. Doctor Doctor
1:49 album only
3. The Farmer Is the Man
4:58 album only
4. Fully Saved Today
2:38 album only
5. Riley the Furniture Man
2:58 album only
6. Ragged and Dirty
5:00 album only
7. Run Little Rabbit
1:47 album only
8. Old Smoky
4:03 album only
9. Let An Old Drunkard Be
1:40 album only
10. Keep My Skillet Good And Greasy
2:54 album only
11. Shout Lula
2:12 album only
12. Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning
3:59 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
A passion for traditional songs and tunes from the rural South has fueled Frank's love of performing for the past 25 years. As a founding member of the Freight Hoppers, he has shared this passion with audiences all over the United States and Canada, as well as much of Northern Europe. He presents a range of old-time music that spans from raw Blues from the Mississippi delta, to the hillbilly music recorded in the South in the 1920's.

Growing up just south of Atlanta, Frank recalls hearing stories about the exploits of his banjo-playing grandfathers, as well as hearing about Fiddlin' John Carson and Riley Puckett. As a kid a neighbor introduced him to the music of Ralph Stanley, Frank became fascinated by the banjo. Immediately after high school graduation, Frank broke his femur in a motorcycle racing accident. His father bought him a banjo to pass the time in traction, and Frank's been playing ever since.

Frank began giving banjo lessons while he was in art school, and in the mid-80's started traveling with Clearwater, a bluegrass band that toured throughout the U.S. and released an acclaimed album, Willow of Time (produced by Rhonda Vincent). His focus gradually moved toward older, more archaic styles of Southern music. Clawhammer banjo styles took his attention away from the slick 3 finger bluegrass styles.

A few years later Frank moved to Bryson City, NC to take a job playing music for the tourists on the Great Smoky Mountain Railway, where he met fiddler David Bass. The two of them began playing old-time music at the train depot in Bryson City, and the Freight Hoppers stringband grew out of this gig. The daily work of the depot created a particularly tight band sound, and the group placed first in the stringband competition at the Appalachian Stringband Music Festival (a.k.a. Clifftop), appeared on A Prairie Home Companion, and signed on with Rounder Records.

The Freight Hoppers toured extensively throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe, released three albums, and achieved a level of public recognition previously unheard of for a modern old-time band. Frank's old-time banjo playing can be heard on the three Freight Hopper albums, as well on a Freight Hoppers live concert video. He has a banjo instructional video out on Homespun Video. Slide guitar has become a part of Frank's concerts. A 1932 National Steel Duolian was added to the arsenal of banjos, along with a love for the oldest recorded blues players from the South, Son House, Willie Brown, and Blind Willie Johnson. Spirituals and blues round out a performance of unique arrangements of Old-time music from the deep Southeast.



to write a review

Frank Hering

Great banjo and slide guitar playing.
I love Frank Lee's banjo playing. It was rather hard to hear it in the stringband context of the Freight Hoppers albums. But on this CD, his playing--both on a nylon-strings openback banjo and a slide guitar--really shines. Frank's vocals aren't always as strong as his playing, but they sure ain't bad. I think his singing works really well on track 3 "The Farmer is the Man." Definitely worth the price! I'm looking forward to his next solo CD. Also check out his other recent CD, "Two Mules."


Frank's music draws you in
This CD picks you up and draws you in. You can almost feel yourself being transported back in time to when life was simple and music crisp.This is a must have CD for lovers of old southern music

Bob Pemberton

Fine old-time playing on some classic tunes.
So, Frank is not only a top-notch banjo player but finger picks a guitar with the best too. He's picked some great old songs and plays them with a lot of drive and sings pretty good too. This is where old-time meets blues meets gospel and becomes just classic Southern music. If you think you might like it you will.

Robert Anderson

This album is great! I'm a big fan of old time music and this disc doesn't disappoint. Though the vocals on this recording don't always match the intensity of the originals, the musician-ship of Frank Lee is amazing. In addition to his virtuoso banjo playing (note Doctor, Doctor - track 2), Frank plays some outstanding guitar on his Gibson & National. This album covers some great old time material, and Frank Lee interprets the tunes with an impressive style.

Glenn Godsey

Simply the best!
Frank Lee is simply the best living player of old-time southern music. I have followed his music for years and he keeps getting better and better. His singing on this album is much stronger than it was in the Freight Hopper days. His playing on all intruments is superb and his devotion to the real subtleties of the tradition is unequaled. If I could only have two CDs, they would be Artseen and Two Mules.