Country Boy

A Biography of Albert Lee


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About the Book

Best known for his unique musical style and blindingly fast hybrid picking technique, English guitarist Albert Lee is often referred to within the music industry as the “guitar player’s guitar player,” renowned for his work across several genres of music and for the respect that he has garnered from other industry giants. This comprehensive biography tells the entire story of Lee’s long career and personal experiences, beginning with his upbringing in south London and his early experimentations with skiffle music (the British equivalent of American rockabilly). It covers Lee’s career in Chris Farlowe’s Thunderbirds and the British rock and country group Heads, Hands, and Feet, his move to the United States in the 1970s and his subsequent work with Eric Clapton, the Crickets, Emmylou Harris and the Hot Band, the Everly Brothers, and, more recently, with Bill Wyman and with Hogan’s Heroes. Lee’s career is set against the background of changes in popular music and shows how he, as a British artist with nomadic Romany roots, has influenced traditionally “American” musical genres. The work includes 66 photographs, many from Lee’s personal collection, two appendices, and an extensive bibliography.

About the Author(s)

The late Derek Watts lived in Lewes, East Sussex, England.

Bibliographic Details

Derek Watts

Foreword by Eric Clapton

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 279
Bibliographic Info: 66 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019 [2008]
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7903-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8295-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Foreword by Eric Clapton      1
Introduction      3
Prologue: A Stopping Place      5

1. The Blackheath Years      13
2. The Times They Are A-Changin’      28
3. Parnes, Shillings and Pence      41
4. Learning the Game      53
5. Thunderbirds Are Go!      65
6. A Country Boy at Heart      83
7. Heads, Hands and Feet      97
8. California Dreaming      118
9. From a Deeper Well      137
10. Further on Up the Road      158
11. Walk Right Back      184
12. “A Band of Heroes”      204
13. All Kings Is Mostly Rapscallions      231

Epilogue: A Stopping Place      246
Appendix A: Albert Lee’s Family History      249
Appendix B: Press Release from Ernie Ball Music Man, August 17, 1993      250
Chapter Notes      251
Bibliography      261
Index      265

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “If all music books were as good as this, the world would be a better-informed place”—Record Collector
  • “Anyone interested in the story of Albert Lee…will not be disappointed by this fine volume.”—Maverick