Ask most American music fans for their list of favorite British rock guitar players, and many will reel off names like Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Keith Richards.
Ask a British rock fan the same question, and another name might easily pop up – Albert Lee.
Lee, 69, has been one of England’s most respected guitarists since the 1960s. Clapton, who had Lee in his touring band for years, is one of his biggest fans. Clapton selected Lee to play with him at his celebrated annual Crossroads fundraiser concert, coming up in April in New York City. Other guitarists included in the august group are B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Jeff Beck and Robbie Robertson, so you know Lee travels in some pretty fast company.
Over the decades, Lee has also toured with the Everly Brothers, Joe Cocker, Emmylou Harris, former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman and scores of other big names. In 2002, he was part of the all-star band at the Concert For George in London, honoring the late George Harrison. On that gig, Lee played with Clapton, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, to name a few.
A superb player of rock, country and the blues, Lee has won five Best Country Guitarist awards from Guitar Player magazine. Local guitar fans will get to hear him in the cozy confines of the Sportsmen’s Tavern (326 Amherst St.) at 8 p.m.Wednesday. Tickets are $40.
– Dan Herbeck