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  Bryan Lee - A N'awlins Blues Icon

Bryan LeeBryan Lee recently played the Broadway Oyster Bar, and we were fortunate enough to spend a few moments with him. His stop in St. Louis was the 1st on his new tour, which takes him onto Iowa, Chicago, Kentucky, then up to Montreal for a 9 day run.

His show is a microcosm of that N'awlins sound, and he's always a joy to listen to. Bryan served up some old - Gelle, So Low Down - and some new - Louisiana Woman, Heat Seeking Missile - to a small but very enthusiastic crowd.

Bryan seems to always enjoy performing, "whether I'm playing to 3 or 3,000", and remarked that "the crawfish etouffe here is some of the best I've ever had". Quite a culinary compliment for the Oyster Bar!

Bryan had a 14 year run at the Old Absinthe House, until it sold to become just another pizza/daquiri shack. He's currently still an icon on Bourbon Street, where he can be caught at the Blues Club (216 Bourbon St.) Monday through Friday, and "other clubs" on the weekends.

Brian was born in Wisconsin, on March 16th, 1943. He grew up listening to the R&B of the 50s & 60s on WLAC radio. "My mom once said to me, why do you listen to that, it's negro music - but being blind, I didn't see color".

Bryan Lee BandWhat's the state of music on Bourbon?

It sucks! There are lots of young kids playing Golden Oldies, some headbanger clubs. I miss the Absinthe House, where we could play what we felt, and used to pack the place. Now we have to mix our music up some, and so I'm covering some ZZ Top, Johnny Winter - but I love that music.

What's your favorite CD project?

6 String Therapy is one of my favorite CD's I've done, Duke Robillard sat in with me. I have a new project in the works, it'll be a tribute to Muddy Waters. Along with me, Mark Demezio - who plays great slide guitar "Earl Hooker style" - will be playing on the CD. We'll also cover some Robert Nighthawk!

What's new at home?

My godson Cameron - he's 4 - is my little prince! He puts the screws to me when I babysit! He knows I can't see, so he takes advantage of me, like trying to lock me in the bathroom.

What do you think of the St.Louis music scene?

Chuck Berry was my 1st guitar idol. He was it! I even tried to learn the duck walk, just couldn't do it. I dig Ike Turner, from a musical point of view, I'd sure like him to produce my next album. I'd like to record with Johnnie Johnson, he's the man, he created Rock n' Roll in my opinion. I have most his solo LPs.

Editors note -- Make a stop to see Bryan Lee a 'must do' on your next New Orleans visit, and be sure to tell him STLBlues sent you!

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