Ralph McTell to guest on Albert's Solo Tour
Ralph guested at Albert's 70th Birthday Celebration last year
It gives us great pleasure to announce that Ralph McTell will be joining Albert as his very special guest in London at Albert’s Cadogan Hall concerts (25th and 26th September) and in Birmingham at the Town Hall on 28th September.
Albert and Ralph have been close friends for many years and toured together with the Everly Brothers, as well as playing together last year at Albert’s 70th Birthday Celebration concerts, along with fiddle player Jane Clark. There are still tickets available for both Cadogan Hall and Birmingham Town Hall, so if you would like to purchase tickets please see below:
Albert’s Solo Tour 2015
Poster for the Solo Tour 2015.
We’re thrilled to officially announce the dates for Albert’s upcoming Solo Tour 2015, at various high profile UK venues across September and October.
23rd September - The Tivoli, Wimborne - BUY TICKETS
25th September - Cadogan Hall, London - BUY TICKETS
26th September - Cadogan Hall, London - BUY TICKETS
28th September - Birmingham Town Hall - BUY TICKETS
29th September - The Lowry, Salford Quays - BUY TICKETS
30th September - The Sage, Gateshead - BUY TICKETS
1st October - Corn Exchange, Ipswich - BUY TICKETS
The band will also be joined by special guest, renowned steel guitarist and multiple Grammy-winner Cindy Cashdollar. One of the most in-demand musicians on the American roots music scene, Austin-based Cindy has played steel guitar and dobro for many leading artists in various genres, including Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Dave Alvin, Rod Stewart, Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton.
Backing Albert and Cindy will be Albert’s hand-picked American band – John “J.T.” Thomas (Tracy Chapman, Sheryl Crow) on keys, Will MacGregor (Tori Amos, The Pretenders) on bass and Jason Harrison Smith (Peter Asher, Steve Lukather) on drums.
For more information, please get in touch via the contact form here.
Cadogan Hall Tickets On Sale Now
Albert will be back at the beautiful concert hall for two gigs.
We're thrilled to announce that tickets for Albert’s Cadogan Hall concerts on 25th and 26th September 2015 are now on sale - and kicks off his Solo Tour 2015.
After two sold out anniversary shows last year to commemorate his 70th birthday, Albert will be returning to the beautiful concert venue Cadogan Hall this September, joined on stage by his American touring band - J.T. Thomas, Will MacGregor and Jason Smith - and renowned steel guitarist Cindy Cashdollar. The band will play a handful of UK-exclusive concerts in September and October this year.
We are also releasing a limited number of exclusive VIP Ticket Packages for the two gigs at Cadogan Hall. These will be strictly on a first come first served basis - please email email@example.com quoting VIP25 (Friday) or VIP26 (Saturday) and request up to 2 VIP ticket packages. We will let you know as soon as possible if you have made the list. VIP ticket packages are £100 and include a concert ticket (towards front of stalls), backstage access, photo opportunities with the band, refreshments and a goodie bag.
There will be a limited number of additional tour dates spanning the width and breadth of the UK announced in the coming weeks - for latest news please check the website and keep an eye on our email bulletins.
New album “Highwayman” released
As Albert turns 71 today, we are excited to announce the official release of his brand new acoustic album “Highwayman” - an intimate and heart-wrenching collection of classic acoustic covers.
Most know him as the “ultimate virtuoso” (in Eric Clapton’s own words) on an electric guitar…but for Albert Lee’s latest offering, this world-renowned and much-loved country legend swaps his signature Ernie Ball Music Man and “Country Boy” fast-picking for a close, personal and straight-from-the-heart performance on just piano, acoustic guitar and vocals. Check out the Youtube video to your right for a full preview of all the album tracks.
"Highwayman" features 12 intimate covers of rock 'n' roll and country classics
Here is producer Steve Mann with a few words on making the album, and why it's different from any other Albert record you are likely to hear...
We knew we wanted to record a solo album with Albert, and Albert knew he wanted to record it. What neither party knew was exactly what is was we should record! So it was with just a little trepidation that we booked Craxton Studios for the day after Albert flew back from LA, just a couple of days before rehearsals started for the birthday concerts.
Everything was set up ready to go when Albert walked in accompanied by a small dose of jet-lag! We had decided to set up mikes for vocal, acoustic guitar and piano, and just let him go for or it. 5 hours later, we were all reeling with an enormous sense of euphoria because we knew that something very special had happened that afternoon. We were so used to seeing Albert live on stage with the Music Man slung over his shoulder, belting out Country Boy – no-one had expected the intimate, heart-wrenching side of Albert we were presented with on this day.
The album was recorded "as live" at Craxton Studios, London.
The recordings were checked in the evening to make sure we hadn’t been dreaming (we hadn’t) and 3 songs were picked from the selection to mix, master and press as a free giveaway EP for the birthday concerts at Cadogan Hall exactly one week later. These were the first tracks that anyone would hear from the solo album. A while later we repeated the process, this time with Mike Berry dropping by to lend some assistance with vocals and guitar. The result was a new batch of songs from Albert, including a couple of duets with Mike. Now we had to sift through and pick the songs to mix for the album.
Meanwhile, mixing of the 50 songs for the live DVD was in progress - finally the day came when the DVD audio was finished and work began on the album. Production was handled very carefully as the intention was to purely enhance Albert’s straight-from-the-heart performance. Drama was added where necessary, and the tracks left close and personal where required. The result was a selection of twelve songs which truly represent, to quote the man himself, “the album I’d always wanted to record”. So turn up your stereo, sit back and enjoy.
Bye Bye Love – Good fun opener recorded as a duet with Mike Berry, played, sung and recorded live as it happened. Stumbles and laughter included!
Dimming Of The Day – Beautiful rendition of the Richard Thompson song with some atmospheric backing vocals added.
Hey Doll Baby – Those of you who have the EP know this song already. Providing a bit of a mood lift, it’s Albert and acoustic guitar – nothing more.
Highway Man – We have searched and searched, but we cannot find a better version of Jimmy Webb’s much-covered masterpiece than the one on this album. With contributions from Albert’s US band everything about this version just works superbly, and sends chills down the spine – whether you hear it for the first time or the fiftieth.
Cover of Glen Campbell's haunting "A Better Place" from the album.
Skip Rope Song – Again taken from the EP, Albert’s vocal performance on this is so emotional it makes you feel he is telling this story from personal experience. Maybe he is...
Like Strangers – Lifts the mood just a little. Spontaneously recorded with Mike Berry during his visit to the studio, this is a warts-n-all, but heartfelt rendition of the Everly Brother’s classic.
Till I Can Gain Control Again – Albert and piano, played live, played with deep feeling and emotion, make this a stunning version of Rodney Crowell’s beautiful ballad.
Keep A Knockin’ – Great fun version of the Little Richard classic – Albert with a little blues-shuffle guitar.
Eighteen Yellow Roses – Albert takes Bobby Darin’s gorgeous song and gives it his own affectionate treatment.
Sleepless Nights – Beautifully played, beautifully sung ballad from Albert. This takes you on an emotional ride through heartache and frustration. One of the album highlights.
Well All Right – Another cut from the EP, this is a sleepy, affectionate version of the Buddy Holly hit, much more laid back than the original.
A Better Place – Written by Glen Campbell, this song is simply enchanting. Albert totally captures the sentiment, beauty and meaning of the song with his inimitable vocal style and piano playing. Listening to this song literally leaves you in a better place, and is a stunning way to round up the album Albert always wanted to record.
The performance isn’t 100% perfect on this album (but not far short!). The odd mistake or stumble happens when you capture a moment, and we make no apologies for them. With today’s technology, we could have covered them up or repaired them. But why should we? This is Albert Lee as close and personal as you are ever likely to hear. We think you’ll find it was worth the wait!
And finally, the team on why this is a CD exclusive...
"The tradition of the music 'album' is becoming lost - when albums are uploaded online, separated out into their individual parts and downloadable in bite-sized chunks. It was important for us, and for Albert, that "Highwayman" - very much a return to the traditional method of recording and producing a record "as live" - be heard by the fans the way it was intended. This doesn't even include the quality that is lost in converting songs to compressed MP3s for download.
For "Highwayman", the tracks have been carefully selected and ordered in the way Albert and the team want you to hear them. The album is one whole, from start to finish - so plug in your CD player, turn up the speakers and enjoy this record in all it's glory. We're sure you won't be disappointed."
"Highwayman" is available exclusively as a CD through the Albert Lee official online store - order now by clicking here.
Concert Rehearsal Photos
Albert rehearsing with musical guests at Craxton Studios.
Head on over to Albert's Facebook page and relive the incredible atmosphere of the concerts with some exclusive rehearsal photos.
Captured in this album of fantastic shots is the enthusiasm and respect from every guest musician who came along to perform with Albert at the landmark concerts at Cadogan Hall back in March.
The team here at Palm Bridge are hard at work on the post-production of the concert DVD and audio CD, and we are hoping by the end of June to have an official release date. In the meantime Albert's Club has reached member capacity, so we have closed it off to new members. If you would like more information, please get in touch by clicking here.
"Part Of History" Guitar Winners
Albert posing with Mark at the concerts, holding his brand new guitar.
We're thrilled to announce that Gary Hurst and Mark Johnson were the lucky winners of the Limited Edition Ernie Ball Music Man Albert Lee signature guitars, courtesy of Strings & Things.
Club members who signed up for the "Part Of History" package (including signed vinyl version of the album upon release, and the DVD documentary, plus other goodies) were entered into a draw to win two guitars.
Commiserations to all the remaining members, however we will be announcing some more special prize draws in the next few weeks for "Part Of History" signups, so stay tuned.
Sunday Concert Review
Dave Edmunds, Chas and Dave and Chris Farlowe
gave stunning performances on the Sunday show.
Another four star review for Albert's 70th Birthday Concert - this from Music News for the Sunday performance...
There aren’t too many around who are genuinely called legends but there is little doubt that Albert Lee should get the accolade.
He has been around since the fifties and played with almost everyone but his band Albert Lee & Hogan’s Heroes is still to be seen playing small and intimate venues around the UK and he chose the Cadogan Hall for his 70th birthday celebration only to see the first date sell out in hours and so the second date was added.
The format was pretty much as one might have expected: Albert and his band – in this case Andy Fairweather's Low Riders– welcoming stars on stage to join Albert for a couple of songs and then moving on to be replaced by the next. The whole evening was compered by Mike Read and in between they showed video greetings from the likes og Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa, Emmylou Harris and many others. The capacity crowd were kept entertained for nearly three hours of superb music and the sound was as good as I had ever heard at the Cadogan Hall. All in all a great night.
Albert and his U.S. band.
Of the stars who performed with Albert they cut across virtually all sides of Blues, Country, rock and roll and the like with names such as Gary (US) Bonds followed by Chris Farlowe and the Shadows taking to the stage and showing Lee’s versatility and virtuosity. He played with the original Drifters (later renamed as the Shadows) before Cliff came along and worked with Farlowe and the Thunderbirds in the sixties, leaving in 1968. Shaking Stevens was brought on for a couple of numbers and showed that he actually can sing apart from his ‘pop’ material.
Joe Brown came on allowing Albert to show off his mandolin skills and Marty Wilde brought both his daughters on to sing a couple of rock and roll classics before Chas and Dave played a few of their greatest hits and had the audience rocking along with them (Albert played with Chas Hodges in Heads, Hands & Feet in the early seventies). One of the highlights of the evening was Bill Wyman coming on for a couple of numbers – Lee had been a member of Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings from the start.
As befits a man who played as the ‘Third Everly’ for over twenty years after organising the Everly Brothers reunion show in 1983 there were plenty of Everly Brothers songs scattered around the acts, all familiar and sounding surprisingly fresh.
Albert performed with his daughter, with his son and finally with his band for the last half an hour and there wasn’t a moment when you wondered what all the fuss was about – the man has been a true legend for many years and the love shown by his fellow performers only matched the response from his fans. A terrific evening and a celebration of one of rock’s nice guys.
View the review on Music New's website by clicking here.
Saturday Concert Review
Albert was joined on stage by Gary Brooker,
Bill Wyman and Shakin' Stevens.
The Independent reviews Albert's stunning concert on Saturday 1st March by bestowing it with a glowing four stars…
The guitarist’s guitarist, Albert Lee grew up in London but found his métier after moving to the US where he backed Emmylou Harris, Eric Clapton and the Everly Brothers.
Their sterling catalogue, along with Buddy Holly’s, provided reference points throughout a thoroughly enjoyable celebration featuring friends and erstwhile collaborators including Bill Wyman and ‘national treasures’ Joe Brown and Marty Wilde.
“It’s like listening to my record collection” as host Bob Harris engagingly put it. Lee’s opener, a rollicking cover of Fats Domino’s ‘‘I’m Ready’’, proved a statement of intent with its ‘‘ready, willing and able to rock and roll night’’ chorus and the first of many dazzling, crisp and clean solos showcasing his hallmark, hybrid style combining finger-picking and the use of a flat pick.
At home in any genre, from skiffle to soul, with Gary US Bonds excelling on Otis Redding’s ‘‘I’ve Got Dreams To Remember’’, and the rock’n’roll revival of Shakin’ Stevens, Lee also relished a rare opportunity to play the epochal Hank Marvin lead lines of ‘‘Apache’’ and ‘‘Wonderful Land’’ with the rest of the Shadows. But it was his plangent contribution to a sublime version of the 1967 evergreen ‘’A Whiter Shade Of Pale’’ sung by its creator, Procol Harum’s Gary Brooker, that really sent shivers down the spine.
Ending with his signature song ‘‘Country Boy’’, Lee could hardly wait for his second concert of the weekend the next night. Filmed for a forthcoming documentary, this was both a guitar masterclass and a potted, living history of rock.
View the review on The Independent's website by clicking here.
Tribute to Phil Everly
Albert with Phil and Don. Photograph thanks to the Lee family.
It is with great sadness that we heard the news of the passing of Phil Everly on January 3rd.
Phil was a dear friend and colleague for many years as well as being one of Albert's all time musical heroes. Albert always said that playing with Don and Phil was one of the highlights of his career, and Phil will be sadly missed.
Our thoughts go out to his brother Don and to Phil's family, and thank you to all of you for your kind words at this time.
Happy 70th Birthday Albert!
Today we celebrate 70 years of one of the greatest guitarists in the world.
A huge thank you to everyone for your support over this past year and a half. With the anniversary concerts only a few months away and the documentary and solo album to follow soon after, we're looking forward to bringing everyone together - Albert, friends, family, musical colleagues and life-long fans - for an unforgettable celebration on 1st and 2nd March 2014 at Cadogan Hall.
We've got some lovely exclusive clips for you of Huey Lewis and Jerry Donahue saying wonderful things about Albert for the documentary, available on Albert's Youtube channel by clicking here, and an extended Donahue clip has been uploaded to the Members Area of this site.
Huey and Albert worked today during the Rockpile days with Dave Edmunds in the seventies, and shared the studio on the famous "Sweet Little Lisa" guitar overdub.
Additional Concert Tickets & VIP Day Passes
Cadogan Hall have just confirmed a refurbishment of the Gallery in the main hall, relocating the sound and lighting desk to the back, in turn making way for additional seats in the centre of the Gallery. These seats will go on sale once the refurbishment is complete sometime in January. We will also be making 20 VIP Day Passes available per concert day. These passes will give you the opportunity to meet Albert and guests, get a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the concerts, an advanced screening of a section of the upcoming documentary, as well as other goodies and refreshments.
The VIP Day Passes will be available to members only through Albert's Club in the first week of January. Please be advised that the VIP Day Pass does not include a ticket to the concert. This is because all seats are currently sold out, and we want to give both current ticket holders as well as members who can't make it to the concert the opportunity to be involved in the day's events.
Just a few days to go...
Albert's official birthday comes two months before the celebration concerts
We're all incredibly excited, as this coming Saturday 21st December marks Albert's official 70th Birthday!
There will be celebrations all round, as Albert's 70th birthday project edges ever closer, with exciting announcements ringing in the new year. In the meantime, stay tuned to the website for a special birthday bulletin that will be sent out on Albert's birthday, with breaking news on concert tickets and some exclusive video content for the Club.
With both March 1st and 2nd concerts now officially sold out, we're hard at work getting everything prepared for what will be two unforgettable nights of incredible live music.
To get email notifications sent straight from Albert HQ, click here and sign up for the newsletter.
In other news, Albert's UK band Hogan's Heroes recently released a cover single of Green Day's popular acoustic hit "Good Riddance (The Time Of Your Life)", this version with a distinctly country flavour.
The single will be included on the upcoming Hogan's Heroes album, released early next year. You can watch a promotional video for the track here on the right, or buy the single by clicking this link.
Promo recorded at The Stables, Buckinghamshire.
Albert's interview at Cadogan Hall
The rehearsal sessions will form the basis for the documentary
With only 4 months to go to until the big birthday concerts in March, Albert met up with us at the venue-to-be, Cadogan Hall, for an exclusive chat.
It's been a busy summer for Albert, having just finished touring with Hogan's Heroes and about to embark on dates with Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings. It's been a very busy summer for us too, as we have interviewed many more musicians for the documentary, which will now be released sometime after the concerts next year (the reason for this is so we can capture the rehearsal sessions leading up to the concert, which will feature special guest artists performing on both nights).
As you know, the concert on Saturday 1st March 2014 sold out in one week, but there are still a few tickets left for Sunday 2nd March the day after. You can click here to buy tickets from the Cadogan Hall box office - we're going to have unique line-ups for each night, so we're sure that whichever concert you attend, you won't be disappointed.
We have featured a short video in the Members Area of Albert walking and talking around Cadogan Hall, giving his thoughts on the venue and talking about playing the piano. In the next few weeks, we will be posting up lots more exclusive musician interviews, so if you would like to support Albert by becoming a part of this project, please click here and sign up for his Club today.
Second Birthday Concert Date Added
Albert will be joined on stage by very different lineups for Saturday and Sunday
Due to the overwhelming demand for tickets for Albert's 70th Birthday Concert next year at Cadogan Hall, a second date has been added for Sunday 2nd March 2014.
Tickets for the one-off event at Cadogan Hall on 1st March 2014 were opened up to Club members on Friday 19th July, and by the end of the weekend 75% of the tickets had gone (the stalls being the first to go). After the tickets went on sale to the general public, it only took an extra few days before the place was booked out.
Although some of the artists involved will make both nights, it's very possible (based on current talks) that we will have very different lineups for the Saturday and Sunday performances - each will be a unique event in its own right.
Tickets will go on sale for the 2nd March concert at midday on Sunday 11th August for Club members. They will go on sale to the general public three days later on Wednesday 14th August. If you wish to get priority booking, please click here and sign up today.
This project - documentary, solo album and concerts - are being directly funded by donations through Club membership. If you join, you will also be entitled to exclusive video content in the Members Area and a download of the solo album on release (TBA 2014).
Bob Harris to host Birthday Concert
British radio presenter Bob Harris, known as "Whispering Bob" and as the host of BBC music show The Old Grey Whistle Test, will be hosting Albert Lee's 70th Birthday Concert at Cadogan Hall on March 1st 2014.
Harris has been broadcasting on the BBC for over 40 years and has been recognised with the Americana Music Association of America Trailblazer Award, a UK Heritage Award, and a Mojo Medal, as well as his OBE for services to broadcasting - and we are honoured to have him involved in what will be a very special night next March, celebrating the life of Albert Lee, one of the greatest guitarists in the world.
Bob presented The Old Grey Whistle Test, on which Albert once performed with Heads Hands & Feet
Tickets for the concert are going on sale to the general public on Monday 22nd July, but members of Albert's Club will be able to book tickets three days earlier on Friday 19th July - if you'd like to become a member, have access to the Members Area and be entitled to some Albert Lee goodies, click here to find out more.
Concert Tickets Available 22nd July!
Albert Lee's hotly-anticipated 70th Birthday Concert (as part of a project commemorating over 50 years as one of the most respected guitarists in the music industry) takes place at Cadogan Hall on March 1st, 2014 - and tickets for this one-off celebration go on sale on Monday 22nd July!
Cadogan Hall is a 900-seat theatre in the heart of London, and home to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - and on March 1st of next year, will become the venue for a unique concert in honour of Albert's extensive contribution to country and rock music over the years. The night will feature Albert (of course) alongside special guests to be announced, as well as special messages and clips from the upcoming documentary played through the big screen.
For more information about the venue, please go to www.cadoganhall.com.
Tomorrow, we will announce the host for the concert with a few special Youtube videos, so stay tuned!
Members of Albert's Club will get priority booking on Friday 19th July, three days before tickets are available to the public - if you'd like to get priority booking along with a host of other goodies and access to the exclusive Members Area, become a member of The Club today.
Strings & Things Collaboration
Andy Cocklin of Strings & Things hands Albert his limited edition guitar.
Palm Bridge Productions are proud to announce their partnership with Strings & Things to bring you Albert's 70th birthday concert.
Strings & Things are the UK and Ireland distributor for Ernie Ball – Music Man, the company who make Albert’s unique signature guitar and guitar strings that he has played for the last 20 years - and they have requested a special gift for Albert in honour of his 70th year...
See a preview on the left of the extended interviews available to Albert Lee Club members.
Albert recalls the first time he ever saw the guitar - "In 1986, Stirling Ball (owner of Ernie Ball – Music Man) had this special guitar made with a Maple Neck and a Maple body…I absolutely loved it. It was originally going to be called the Axis, but when it eventually went in to production in 1993, it became the Albert Lee signature model and it has remained my number one guitar ever since!"
To celebrate Albert’s 70th birthday and in recognition of the many years he has played his Music Man, Strings & Things have commissioned a limited edition Albert Lee guitar. Featuring a lightweight Ash body and a Maple neck, the instrument comes with Music Man’s beautiful ‘classic natural’ gloss finish.
The special edition Music Man Features a lightweight Ash body and a Maple neck.
Only 25 of these guitars will be available to the public. Each instrument will be signed personally by Albert before going out to a limited number of Music Man dealers at the beginning of August.
Andy Cocklin of Strings & Things caught up with Albert just before his recent concert at The Stables in Milton Keynes, where he was shown the first one of the limited edition guitars. Albert commented ‘It’s very light and like all Music Man’s, it plays beautifully. I do generally prefer a non-lacquered neck, but I have to say, this really is a lovely guitar to play’. Albert went on stage that evening and played the instrument on a couple of numbers in the show.
Please visit www.musicmanuk.co.uk for more information on the Limited Edition Albert Lee guitar.
Club members have the opportunity of being entered into a special draw to win one of these Limited Edition Music Man guitars with the "Part of History" package (£100).
For more info, please go to The Club.
Anniversary Concert Announced
We are very pleased that after several months of waiting we can now announce the venue and date of Albert's 70th Birthday Celebration.
This is going to be at a very special venue in Central London – Cadogan Hall, Sloane Square on Saturday 1st March 2014.
See the video on the right for the official announcement from Albert himself, along with footage from Albert and Hogan's Heroes playing at The Stables.
Albert playing with Hogan's Heroes at The Stables, Buckinghamshire.
Albert has played there a couple of times before with Bill Wyman and The Rhythm Kings and has said that "…it is an amazing venue, great sound, really intimate yet can seat around 900 in the audience. The venue works well on so many different levels – I am really looking forward to playing there with the friends I am inviting, and of course playing to a very special audience."
Cadogan Hall comfortably seats 900 in the audience.
If you don’t know much about The Cadogan Hall, you can find out more by visiting their website at www.cadoganhall.com. Set in a fantastic location in the heart of Chelsea Cadogan Hall has become one of London’s leading venues. The Hall’s 900 seats, excellent acoustic and luxurious surroundings makes it the first choice for some of the UK’s top orchestras, including the Hall’s resident orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic, as well as a favourite London destination for international touring orchestras. Cadogan Hall is the chosen venue for the world-famous BBC Proms Chamber Music Series and also offers a vibrant selection of contemporary, jazz, folk and world music events as well as debates and conferences.
Tickets for this event will be on sale from the box office at Cadogan Hall in mid-July and we will let you know the exact date shortly.