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Lee Small: Jamaica Inn | FESTIVALPHOTO

Lee Small: Jamaica Inn



Escape/Sound Pollution

Lee Small was a small name when he started out in the clubs and pubs at the age of 14, as a bass player. In 1989 he started out as a vocalist, in 1990 he fronted PRIDE, moving on to NATIVE CAIN before getting involved with legends like BUDGIE and Eric Bell´s THIN LIZZY. Escape Music got him in the limelight as they hooked him up with SURVEILANCE, CLOVEN HOOF and Tom Galley´s PHENOMENA. Lee´s latest enterprise might be short-lived as SHY´s guitarist and founder member Steve Harris tragically passed away after the release of one of their two best albums ever. As a solo artist Lee´s surrounded by quality; guitarist Martin Kronlund, drummer Imre Daun, both of GYPSY ROSE and keyboardist Paul Bradder of SARACEN. Blues is the flavor of the day, impressive?

The opening title track is more than a nod towards the early stages of WHITESNAKE, boasts a great pulsating bass line and a fine refrain, but there are stronger tracks still. The album is filled with Brit blues oozing of PAUL RODGERS and even more of GLENN HUGHES. When Lee opts for smooth elegance and even older blues he is good. But as he moves into stuff in the family tree of DEEP PURPLE, GLENN HUGHES, DAVID COVERDALE/WHITESNAKE everything clicks, definitely so in the outstanding pair of “Dead Man Walking” and “Smuggler´s Blues”. The spot-on GLENN HUGHES notes with loads of soul are really flattering for Lee, proving him top-notch in my ears. The downside is the rally Brit blues without other trademarks that sometimes seem a bit running-on-empty, like the hapless “Voyager” and the too short “I Am the Sea”. But as a vocalist Lee is up there with many of the now living greats, I wonder where he´ll show up next?

Track List
Jamaica Inn
The Captain´s Quarters
Black Bess
Walk the Plank
Shine a Light
Dead Man Walking
I Am the Sea
Smuggler´s Blues
Waiting for the Hangman
End of the Road
The Renegade Accordion Player

Skribent: Mikael Johansson
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