Australian country, folk/roots band, The Lees are more than your average band. The Lees are an eclectic bunch of individuals; a 6 piece family band fronted by siblings Raechel and Faith Lee. Notably, The Lees sound has drawn comparisons between them and Australia’s, The Dead Ringer Band, with Kasey and Bill Chambers. Not surprisingly both bands sprout from the same musical family tree; Julie Miller, Johnny Cash and Fred Eaglesmith.
But it’s the mixture of personalities and life’s experiences as a family of six, growing up on the road, homeschooled, living out of a bus, and playing music in Australian cities and towns that gives this band it’s own voice.
Ten years on, the kids are grown up and have a lifetime of stories to tell. The band might be tighter, the stagecraft more polished, but that special dynamic that comes only from a group bound by blood and united by music, is the juice that pours from The Lees.
The Lees story began when mum and dad, Steve and Tracey decided to take their 4 young kids, Raechel, Faith, Jarod and Savannah around Australia to play music.
What the band lacked in musical experience, was made up for in green, raw enthusiasm and before long, all the family knew was music. The Lees forged a living playing shows at pubs, clubs, festivals, caravan parks and quickly gained a reputation for turning up with a truck load of kids, instruments and the family dog to play for anyone who would have then. With every performance came the promise of their next meal.
Four years ago, the family decided to take a break from touring and moved back to home town Broken Hill, before finally settling into the regional NSW town of Parkes. Adjusting to life in a regional country town came with its misgivings and the lure of the road soon called them back, only this time, the family band had morphed into a career band and invitations to open for country music heavyweights, Slim Dusty, Lee Kernaghan and Ross Wilson where delightedly opening up new doors .
It wasn’t that returning to a life of normality was an issue, it was that the 4 kids had never really know life in a small town. But universal truths often prevail and as teenagers The Lees found a new respect for experiences that relate to just about everyone. Things like living on a crazy street, feeling the effects of a drought, growing up to be your parents, and most importantly remembering to breathe when things aren’t going so great.
“We’ve had so many great experiences and didn’t always know how amazing our lives really were. In settling down for these last couple of years we have really come to appreciate our life of touring and playing music more than we did before”, say’s Raechel.
It’s from this place of respect, love and shared experience that The Lees have initiated their third recording project. The Lees have grown up, and the new album, ‘Welcome Road’ produced by Roger Corbett at The Valley Studio is a mature and sensitive work, honoring them as individuals, sharing stories, expressing points of view and celebrating the similarities, differences and idiosyncrasies of being a family.