Gabe Lee from Nashville, Tennessee became a very unlikely but most welcome surprise artist of 2019 when he released his striking singer/songwriter record Farmland to many rave reviews and newfound fans. Songs like “Eveline” made instant devotees of folks who’d never heard of this guy before, and were surprised to find he could write with such roots, and sing with such soul.
The fun part about an artist like Gabe Lee is you felt like you were getting in on the ground floor of something fledgling that was only going to get bigger and better over time. Farmland was a great testament to Gabe Lee’s voice and songwriting, and it’s intimacy was one of its greatest attributes. But the stripped-down nature of the affair put sort of a low ceiling on whose sensibilities it may appeal to.
That’s certainly not the case for the opening song and title track that Gabe Lee just released from his upcoming second record Honky Tonk Hell. There’s no pulling of punches or production elements here. This song kicks you square in the ass and takes a swing at the establishment with the line, “Honky tonk hell is a hell of a place, they’ve got a big ol’ dance room hall. Seats reserved for all the folks down in Nashville, writing phony ass country songs.”
Co-written with Marcus King about the wild circus that is lower Broadway in Nashville, and employing a Southern rock band behind him in the studio, “Honky Tonk Hell” opens up and entirely new audience for Gabe. But the new record isn’t all fire and brimstone. There’s plenty of the observational writing served with wit and eloquence that made you love Gabe Lee in the first place, just with an elevated production suite to bring more variety and vitality to the Gabe Lee experience.
Get ready for more where “Honky Tonk Hell” came from when the entire record is released on March 13th. It’s now available for pre-order. He was also selected as one of the “On The Rise to Luck” artists who you can vote for to attain a performance slot at Willie Nelson’s Luck Reunion during SXSW on March 19th.
Honky Tonk Hell Track List:
- Honky Tonk Hell
- Piece of Your Heart
- Heartbreaker’s Smile
- Great Big River
- 30 Seconds at a Time
- All Dogs Go To Heaven
- Blue Ridge Goodbye