November 7th, 2022 8:30pm Stage 3
Equal parts classic songwriter and modern-day storyteller, Gabe Lee has built his own bridge between country, folk and rock over the course of three acclaimed albums. His latest release, The Hometown Kid, finds him distilling those sounds into something sharp and singular, examining his roots as a Nashville native along the way. As warm and welcoming as Lee's Bible Belt birthplace, The Hometown Kid is a record about arrivals and departures, homes and homecomings, the places we leave and the lessons we carry with us.
Raised by Taiwanese immigrants, Lee grew up surrounded not only by Nashville's rich legacy of country music, but also the classical songs and gospel hymns that his piano-playing mother performed weekly in church. "A lot of my friends' parents were musicians, too," he remembers. "Music was always around me, and it became the driving force for everything I did."
Before he could launch his career as one of Nashville's hometown heroes, though, Lee first needed to leave town. Craving new horizons, he headed to Indiana, where he finished college with degrees in literature and journalism. Living in the Midwest gave him a renewed perspective on his Nashville roots, and when he returned home, he began writing songs that drew upon the narrative skills he'd sharpened as a student. His debut album, 2019's farmland, focused on his timeless melodies and deft delivery, while 2020's Honky Tonk Hell showcased a widescreen version of Lee's countrified sound. The reception was seismic. Rolling Stone praised Honky Tonk Hell as one of the "30 Best Country and Americana Albums of 2020," and Lee found himself sharing shows with Jason Isbell, Los Lobos, and other artists who, like him, embraced the full spectrum of roots music.