Review: Albert Lee, Ipswich Corn Exchange, October 1

Guitarist Albert Lee who won himself a standing ovation at the end of his concert at the Ipswich Cor

Guitarist Albert Lee who won himself a standing ovation at the end of his concert at the Ipswich Corn Exchange - Credit: Archant

Albert Lee – the guitarists’ guitarist. He has played with some of the world’s most famous and well regarded musicians – The Everly Brothers, Emmylou Harris and Eric Clapton to name but three – he’s fast, he’s fluid and he has bags of style but he’s also very modest.

A packed Corn Exchange were treated to a show, crammed with good music, no histrionics and actually had a front man who wanted to talk to his audience.

Albert Lee has made his name being a sideman but it is clear that he’s a fabulous musician and it comes as no surprise that he was their music director for a good 20 years.

One interesting fact Albert imparted during one of his chats was the fact that Ipswich was the last place that the Everly’s played together. The pair broke up on the tour bus back to London. Ipswich was the last gig.

This anecdote was then followed by a clutch of Everly Brothers songs and this set the tone for the evening. Albert raided the song books of all the acts he has played with over the years, covered some of his favourite records and even slipped in one or two numbers of his own.

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Songwriters and musicians such as Rodney Crowell, Emmylou Harris, Jimmy Webb, Johnny Burnette and Ray Charles were well represented as he played a free-flowing mix of country, rock’n’roll, rockabilly and sixties pop.

He was accompanied by a band that oozed understated virtuosity. Solos came thick and fast but never outstayed their welcome.

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In fact the band looked as if they were having tremendous fun and the audience were merely being invited along for the ride.

A standing ovation ended the show and Albert promised to come back to Ipswich. We will hold him to his word.

Andrew Clarke

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