Nate Lee is an International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) award-winning instrumentalist and renowned teacher of private lessons and music camps. The overlapping landscapes of folk, bluegrass, old-time, and new acoustic music offer a wide field to hoe and singer/mandolinist Nate ably covers every bit of that ground. Tuneful lopes, the muscular bounce of ‘grass, the sparkling charm of Grisman-Rice inspired dawg music, and more are all in his comfort zone and he moves between them with uncommon ease. Nate is known as the kind of musician who is able to put his own stamp on whatever he plays and his forthcoming album, Wings of a Jetliner, brings that home and out on June 12, 2020, on his own Adverb Records.
Nate is known as a member of award-winning bluegrass group, the Becky Buller Band, which he joined in 2017. For this project Nate assembled an inspired collection of iconic players, modern masters, and rising stars—including bandmates from Becky Buller Band: Becky Buller herself, banjoist Ned Luberecki, bassist Daniel Hardin, and the album’s producer and engineer Dan Boner. Also joining in on guitar is original member of the Tony Rice Unit and flatpicking legend, Wyatt Rice, icon of acoustic music and sideman to the stars, living-legend bassist Todd Phillips, and rising star Bronwyn Keith-Hynes (Mile Twelve) on fiddle. Bluegrass singer and songwriter Daniel Salyer joins in on harmony vocals on a few songs and Thomas Cassell (Circus No. 9) serves as Nate’s duet partner on the Grisman-inspired two-mandolin instrumental “Serenity.”
Renaissance man, Professor Dan Boner, came on board early as producer and engineer and primarily tracked the album at the ETSU Recording Lab. Professor Dan says, “Wings of a Jetliner mirrors all that I have observed in Nate’s persona. He is an objective seeker, lifelong learner, patient teacher, and a quick-witted responder to happenstances.”
Nate composed all five instrumental numbers on Wings of a Jetliner: The lead-off track and bluegrass ripper, “Wonderbat,” the light-hearted jazzy “Quick Select,” the lovely and spare “Comealong Brown Dog,” and the spiraling “Rook Roller.”
Listeners will find equally satisfying variety in the carefully chosen vocal numbers, penned by an eclectic assortment of accomplished songwriters, on Wings of a Jetliner. All here to delight are hard-driving bluegrass songs (“Tobacco” - Daniel Salyer), western swing (“The More I Pour” - Tim Stafford & Mark Bumgarner), nuanced tales (“Miner’s Grave” - Ashleigh Caudill, “Somewhere Far Away” - Bradford Lee Folk & Nicholas Ian Woods ), the waltzy “Sweet Allis Chalmers” (Bill Caswell) and the new-grassy sounds of “Love Medicine” (Chris Sanders), as well as a cover of 90’s rock icons The Offspring’s “All Along” (Bryan Holland).