THE SAMUEL C. LEES BAND
The Samuel C.
Samuel C Lees started playing at the age of 13. It seemed
a natural direction to go in, as his family were extremely enthusiastic about
music, and Sam grew up with it in his life everyday. Like all sufferers of dyslexia,
Samuel was perceived as not being as academic as his peers, but it soon became
evident that Samuel's talent lay in music, and there he proved himself as a
promising musician. It was a natural progression. Within a year he was soon
amerced in the world of professional guitar playing, after graduating from the
Dimarizio School of Music with honours and getting an A* rating in his GCSE
Samuel's music has many influences, the biggest being Queen,
whom he went to watch when he was eight years old. He describes how their music
was powerful, "they blew me away". Guitar wise, Sam would say that
Yngwie J Malmsteen was a major influence. His was captivated by Malmsteen's
style and flair. Sam actually got the opportunity to work with Yngwie, and supported
him on his UK leg of the Attack tour. Samuel could not go on to talk about his
influences without mentioning Stevie Ray Vaughn. Listening to Samuel's music
it is clear to see that he has been an great follower of Stevie's music. Sam
describes how Stevie is "passionate about his music, rather that being
too technical". Sam feels that Blues gives you the power to get rid of
feelings. Rather than being vocal, you can make people see what you are feeling.
He admires Stevie, for the way that no matter what he did, or who he worked
with, he always sounded like Stevie Ray Vaughn. He also says how Tommy Bollin
is one of the greatest, yet underrated guitarists around. You can see that Tommy
and Sam share many attributes of their style of playing.
In 2000, Sam started the band Texas Flood, with Mark Fitten,
Adam Ogiliev, and Neil McCarran. It was a great idea with a great line up, but
the band was very strained. Sam had a phase of going up on stage and doing whatever
he wanted, just on the spot, leaving the others to think on their feet. He adopted
a "follow me" approach. Just as the band had started to establish
itself, some members left to work on other projects. That was the end of Texas
Flood. This left Sam to create a new band, with drummer Steve Washington, called
the Washington Lees Experiment.
Now Sam has created a new band with Adam Ogiliev as bassist,
and Andy Perfect on drums. With this new band comes a new concept. A new way
to look at blues. Samuel's idea is to bring the aspect of entertainment back
into blues. He feels that so many blues players are stuck in a restraint, and
the Samuel C Lees Band plans to break the conventions of the genre of Blues.
He says how he wants his music to become a "roller coaster of emotion".
He wants it to convey sadness and happiness, whilst still being entertaining
and enjoyable. It will not be seen as "just another blues number".
His new band will be free from all of the constraints that blues hold, "Blues
doesn't have to be so narrow." This is Sam at his most expressive.
Samuel's main aim is to keep the Samuel C Lees Band a family,
and make sure that first and foremost, it is an enjoyable experience. He hopes
to branch out over Britain and Europe, and get this new sound heard. The blues
scene has not moved in the past 15 years. Samuel says how, "We need players
like Doyle Bramell. He has an amazing knowledge of guitar, and yet doesn't restrict
himself. We need to shake it up a bit, you are a vessel to show people feelings
that they possibly do not show themselves".
Sam has definitely shaken it up a bit. This is blues at it’'s
most innovative. This is blues at it’s most entertaining. This is blues
straight from the heart. Watch out for the Samuel C Lees Band - Samuel C. Lees
(Guitar, Vocals); Adam O (Bass) and Andy Perfect (Drums).