Alvin of the Lee Boys Talks Sacred Steel Music, Swamp Stomp, and Coming Home to Miami
The Lee Boys are a world-famous family band of Perrine natives who all went to Miami Killian Senior High School. They play an updated, Miami-style version of Sacred Steel music strongly influenced by funk, soul, blues, rock, and R&B. The band tours the world playing 120 shows a year, and soon they'll be headed to Thailand for two weeks.
They've shared the stage with Little Richard, BB King, Buddy Guy, and the Allman Brothers. But this Friday night, the Lee Boys are gonna turn the party out at The Stage. Let it be known: feet will stomp, bass will thump, hips will shake.
We spoke to rhythm guitar man Alvin Lee about the upcoming gig and why you'll be seeing more of the Lee Boys in Miami in 2011.
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Alvin Lee: We're the Lee Boys from Miami, Florida. We play a style of music called Sacred Steel infused with a lot of blues, funk, soul, and R&B. We been doin' this professionally for about nine years. But we been playing all our lives, since we were seven or eight. We travel the world: Switzerland, Canada, Germany. But we haven't played home much. We sort of tryin' to debut our coming home to Miami at this club, The Stage.
How'd that come about?
All of us went to Killian and so did my old friend Michael Valentine, he's a saxophone player and he's on the radio over there at 88.9FM. We're friends on Facebook and he was sayin', "Y'all gotta come to Miami." Said he have a friend, Carlos Garcia, opening up this club, and that's how this all came about.
You played the Swamp Stomp at Bayside Hut on Key Biscayne last year right?
Yeah, we played Key Biscayne. We played Key West a lot over at that Green Parrot. We played at Tobacco Road too one time many years ago.
Lee Boys live at Swampstomp with Juke's singer on harmonica.
You still play down at the church?
We travel so much that our church is mainly on the road. My momma still go there.
What can people expect from the show at The Stage?
We throw that Miami flavor, that Latino flavor in there and we really enjoy the music. But it's infused with a lot of rhythm and blues and funk. This was a tradition passed down by our father. My father was taught by his uncle, and we taught our nephews. It's like a generational thing.
Will there be dancing?
It's not sitting music.
You gonna be playing Miami more?
We hope, man. We wanna play here about four or five times a year. We tryin' to build our homebase back up, and we thank the guys from The Stage for getting us started there. Make sure to check out LeeBoys.com and Lee Boys on facebook.
Here's some of the Lee Boys set at Swamp Stomp in April 2010
And if you can't make it out to the show, you can still hear The Lee Boys play from the WDNA 88.9 FM studios on Sound Theory Live, this Friday night from 7 - 8p.m.
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