Gospelized Soul

True believers know that the Lord, or whatever you'd like to call that great deity in the sky, often works in mysterious ways. Sometimes, her words hit you in a place of worship; other times, she speaks to you in the middle of the night. But even the holiest don't expect to grab a piece of religion while hanging at the local dive bar. Then again, it's not good to make assumptions like that if you haven't heard the music of the gospel-y yet funky church band the Lee Boys. Fronted by affable lead guitarist Alvin Lee, these six men are a power combo and local gurus when it comes to playing sacred steel and knowing the highly coveted secrets of working lap and pedal steel guitar. They learned to play the instruments, made popular by Aubrey Ghent and, more recently, Robert Randolph, while growing up locally in the House of God church in their hometown of Perrine, Florida. They're known for rocking audiences with a heavy blend of blues, jazz, funk, and soul, all wrapped into a gospel blanket, and they're not shy about singing Christian lyrics regardless of the venue. Quite often, they play the summer festival circuit, and hippies and stoners show them lots of love. But so do well-respected acts such as the North Mississippi All Stars and Medeski, Martin & Wood. And although they have a reputation for fearlessly taking on audiences of all kinds, this week, they're really being put to the test. They, in fact, are walking into a dive bar, and they plan to fill it with the spirit of blues and rock 'n' roll. It might sound like a stretch, but they don't call these guys the Holy Rollers for nothing.
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Jonathan Cunningham