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Lee, Albert

 Albert Lee was born on 21 December 1943 in Herefordshire, England. Growing up in Blackheath, London he began formal piano lessons at 7. In 1958, he picked up his first guitar, a Hofner President acoustic archtop. He began to learn all he could from the records of Buddy Holly and The Crickets. He quit school in 1959 to become a professional musician. A series of day jobs followed until 1961 when he joined a band that toured American airbases and London clubs.

The next few years would see Albert join a succession of bands. Between 1968 and 1970, he played in even more bands often backing American country artists on their European tours.

In 1971, he recorded a self-titled album with his current band, Heads Hands & Feet. It featured the original version of Albert’s song, “Country Boy.” The group folded, but Albert and the rest of the rhythm section signed on as studio musicians for Jerry Lee Lewis’ The London Sessions. In 1973, he began a long-association with The Crickets.

Moving to Los Angeles, he pursued session and road work for artists like Joe Cocker, Emmylou Harris’ Hot Band, and others. In 1979, Albert recorded his oft-postponed solo album, which included the definitive version of “Country Boy”.

Albert met Eric Clapton when they both played on a session for Marc Benno in January 1979. Eric invited him to join his band as second guitarist. Albert would remain with the band until March 1983.

In recent years, he has again worked with Emmylou Harris. He has toured and recorded with Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings since 1998. On 3 August 2002, he was reunited with Eric for the Ferrari-Maserati Festival at Brands Hatch Racetrack. He also took part in “The Concert For George” (a tribute concert in George Harrison’s memory) on 29 November 2002 for which Eric was musical director. The men also appeared together in August 2004 at a one-off concert by The Crickets and their friends at the Los Angeles House of Blues.  Albert also participated in the 2007 Crossroads Festival in Chicago.

He can be heard on Eric’s albums Just One Night, Another Ticket, and Money & Cigarettes.

Official website: www.albertlee.co.uk