Erica Sunshine Lee is my ideal artist: sincere, devoted, struggling and broke, but willing to make due with limited resources.
Lee is aglow about her second album, Road to Recovery, released earlier this year. Slightly dismayed by the “folk-rock” label critics had slapped on her first album, she explains the album was country all the way, but stripped down when it came to the instrumentation. With a lot of Road to Recovery’s production done in a Nashville studio, her sophomore release is a far cry from her debut, “For this album I was able to afford a fiddler; it brought the album to life.”
Lee was raised in small town Georgia and grew up singing in her church choir with no real experience playing a musical instrument besides some nominal time spent on piano lessons. She enjoys the showmanship of singing and playing the guitar and tells me she taught herself the guitar two years ago, “I didn’t have any lessons ‘cause I’m too broke,” she explains in her honey-coated Southern accent, “But I looked up things on youtube and started asking lots of questions any time I hung out with a guitarist.”[youtube cj5d9eUhcaI nolink]
These days, the ambitious 27-year old spends her time travelling between Nashville and San Francisco. Her backing band is one which she started when she’d had her fill of singing covers of rock standards by icons like Tom Petty, Skynard, and CCR .
It seems as if Lee has had a guitar in her hands her whole life when you listen to “You Won’t Get to Me,” a single off her new album. Apparently, I’m not the only one to think so, the single recently made Lee the winner of San Francisco’s Colgate Country Showdown.
With so much success already under her belt, this country-western singer’s forecast is clear skies and sunny.
By: Claudia Ward-de LeÃ³n