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Palmer T. Lee Brings Passion and Poetry to Debut “Winebringer”

The Lowest Pair member shows his knack for songwriting on his first solo LP

Palmer T. Lee (Photo: Jessie McCall, Little Green Eyes Media)
Palmer T. Lee (Photo: Jessie McCall, Little Green Eyes Media)

Be sure to catch the CD release show for Palmer T. Lee’s Winebringer on Wednesday, January 29 at the Hook and Ladder.   

Palmer T. Lee likes poetry. 

His current band, The Lowest Pair, is named after a John Hartford poem. The title of his first solo album, Winebringeris influenced by the Sufi poet Hafiz’s poetry collection The Book of the WinebringerFittingly, Lee has the passion and wit of a poet on his debut full-length. 

Winebringer is loosely related to the Americana that he’s made in both The Lowest Pair and Boys and the Barrels, but it is also different in some key ways. Primarily a banjoist for awhile now, he returned to writing songs on guitar. He brings the visceral stomp of the banjo to his strumming, which with his strong vocal performances adds unique energy to the songs. This is especially apparent on “Rag,” “Aw Jeez,” and the title track. 

 

Winebringer cover photo (artwork by Lindsey Schoeneman, design by Autumn Seguin for Team Love Records)
Winebringer cover photo (artwork by Lindsey Schoeneman, design by Autumn Seguin for Team Love Records)

 

Lee shines, though, on the more subdued material. Mandolin and fiddle give laid-back “Uneasy” a cool flavor. The same instrumentation adds a lot to “Moon You,” a bittersweet love song that features harmonies from Anna Gordon. “So Between the Eyes” balances Lee’s subtlety and passion, while haunting “Rice and Beets” sustains momentum for 7+ minutes. 

He returns to the banjo for closing “Fiddle Bow,” which might be the best track. It begins with a sweet, old-time fiddle duet before transitioning into perfectly laid-back folk. The lyrics are Lee at his most poetic: “How does the fiddle bow out those words that tear me down/while the band just sang a hundred of them but I couldn’t hear a sound/except for the fiddle bow and those hot licks that lay me out.” 

On his debut solo album, Palmer T. Lee shows his strength as a songwriter in his own right.  

Find out more information about Palmer T. Lee, buy his album here, and be sure to check out the release show for Winebringer on January 30 at the Hook and Ladder. 

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Written by Erik Ritland

Erik is a journalist and musician from St. Paul, Minnesota. In addition to writing and editing for a number of local outlets, he founded Rambling On, a Minnesota-focused blog and podcast about music, sports, and culture, in 2012. He began working for Music in Minnesota in 2018 and is a writer, editor, and social media content strategist.

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