The place to be tonight, Jan. 9, for hot country guitar picking -- and singing -- is the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, where British guitar ace Albert Lee is celebrating his 70th birthday with help from a lot of his friends.
As one of the most expressive and technically dazzling players of the last 40 years, Lee has collaborated with plenty of country’s elite musicians, and for his birthday show the onstage guest list is scheduled to include Emmylou Harris (whose celebrated Hot Band once featured Lee), Rodney Crowell, Chris Hillman & the Desert Rose Band, Rosie Flores, Laurence Juber and Scarlet Rivera.
The two-time Grammy Award winner started out in England playing rock and R&B and has played with at least two members of the original class of inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Jerry Lee Lewis and the Everly Brothers.
Lee, who turned 70 on Dec. 21, was one of several British musicians who accompanied Lewis on his 1973 album “The London Sessions.” And in the 1980s, Lee was a featured member of the Everly Brothers’ band at their acclaimed reunion concert at Royal Albert Hall. He’s also played alongside Eric Clapton, Bo Diddley, Jackson Browne, Joe Cocker, Eddie Van Halen and countless others.
In the 1970s, Lee turned his focus largely to country music and has been one of the most in-demand players in the recording studio and on the road. When he’s not recording or touring with other acts, he’s recorded several solo albums and in recent years also made low-profile drop-in appearances at Southland clubs with the likes of roots rocker Greg Topper.
Here’s a video of Lee letting loose with some guitar fireworks alongside Vince Gill on the song “Tear It Up” at Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2007:
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