You can hear the second song from Quicksilver Tequila here.

I first heard Brian Lee playing with his band, the Orbiters, at Highway 99, the venerable Seattle blues club hidden beneath our city’s famously troubled viaduct. I immediately loved his sound: no frills, no fuss, and none of the ubiquitous classic rock influences diluting the timeless blues he was playing. As John Lee Hooker was fond of reassuring his audiences–nothing but the best, and later for the garbage.

I’ve had “Burnside” in my repertoire for a few years now, and while it’s meant to be lean and to-the-point, it’s always felt a little incomplete when I’ve played it solo. With Brian’s help, we were able to give it the extra punch it needed to feel right on record.

We cut the song at the end of a long day in the studio spent working on two other songs where the playing was subtle and the mood a bit melancholy. It felt great to turn up and let it rip once the sun went down. We were facing each other, just a few feet apart, with the blast of our amps spilling out of Crackle and Pop’s second room. I played, stomped, and sang, and Brian tore it up with a big glass slide on a Telecaster, if memory serves.

It was raw, loud, and a hell of a lot of fun. Johnny later added an appropriately noisy maraca part, and “Burnside” finally felt to me like it had lived up to its potential.

I encourage you to check out Brian’s work, particularly if you’re a fan of any stripe of traditional blues. He’s got it all down, pat. Around the Seattle area, the Orbiters are known for keeping the dance floor full and satisfied, so be sure to catch them live if you have the chance. Brian’s a gifted songwriter, singer, guitarist, harp player, and bandleader. And on top of all that, he’s an incredibly nice guy. Getting to work with him in the studio was a real treat, and I hope it won’t be the last time.


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