No Matter What
BRYAN LEE No Matter What Bryan Lee grew up in the heartland of America in a small Illinois town in between Indianapolis, Indiana and St. Louis, Missouri, and while he would be the first to say he doesn't know the first thing about West or East Coast living, he does know a little something about what every human being longs for and holds sacred - love. Whether it's the steadfast resolve of a man to love in the Craig Wiseman/Jeff Steele penned song 'Even if it Breaks My Heart' to the bittersweet sense of what-could-have-been captured in 'I Did in Dallas,' Lee sings about the one thing that every man and woman alive can relate to in one way or another. 'I'm not a romantic man by nature,' says Lee, 'but sooner or later, the bug will bite you whether it's a could-have-been, never should-have-been or you-rock-my-world, and I like singing about it. It doesn't matter who you are, everybody wrestles with love sometime. ' With his boyish good looks, subtle twang and easy smile, Lee is straightforward about what moves him. His wife and three daughters top the list, and music ranks right up there in the top 3. He's been singing and playing the guitar since he was 10 years old and continued to play in different local rock and country bands throughout his childhood and college years. It didn't occur to him until after trying several other career paths that music just might be what he was meant to do. Lee and wife married in 1994, and during their honeymoon in Nashville he auditioned and was chosen out of 5,000 singers to audition for the Charlie Daniels Talent Round-up show, but the show was taken off the air before Lee had a chance to make the move to Nashville. So he put music on the back burner and went back to Illinois to start his own family with his new wife. But music has always played an important part of his life, regardless of what he was doing for a living. Lee continued to play at night in local venues in Illinois while he worked hard doing everything from Law Enforcement to construction work to provide for his family, which is why it was so important to him to record the Adam Dorsey/Liz Rose song 'To Be a Man.' 'Now days there seems to be so much emphasis put on being a 'metrosexual' and to be honest, I'm not exactly sure what that means,' says Lee. 'To me, the measure of a man isn't what he wears or how good he looks; it's character. What does he devote his time and energy to? For me it's my family, and I don't think I'm the only man in America who takes pride in working hard and hopefully, in the process, leaving the world a better place than when I got here.' To this day Lee applies that same work ethic to his music career. Exactly ten years after his honeymoon in Nashville, Lee and family moved to Music City so he could more earnestly pursue music. Once he arrived he started playing in clubs all over the city: The Wildhorse Saloon, Star Café, The Stage, The Fiddlers Inn,The Trap, Nashville Palace, and even Tootsies. It was while singing in the Nashville Country Show that he met producer and guitar extraordinaire, Kent Wells, who has produced or played for Dolly Parton, Travis Tritt, Reba McEntire, Hank Williams Jr., Keith Whitley, Kenny Rogers, Brooks & Dunn and others. The two struck up a friendship that eventually evolved into a working relationship. 'When I first met Bryan I noticed he had a great voice and a real easy-going stage-presence,' says Wells. 'Then, the more I got to know him, the more I realized how seriously he pursued his craft, from playing regularly to going out and meeting writers and publishers just to find the right song. I mean, he's the reason why we have some of the best writers in Nashville on this project. Bryan brings the perfect balance of natural talent and good old-fashioned hard work to his music.' Citing the musical influences of George Strait, Keith Whitley, Brooks & Dunn, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, and Rascal Flatts, Lee and Wells blend the styles and sounds of today's country with the old-fashioned values that country music has held onto despite the sex-crazed themes of pop music to present Lee's debut album, No Matter What. Using top-notch writers like Steele, Wiseman, Wil Nance, Rivers Rutherford, and Steven Williams the album's themes run from love to loss; the subtle Southern accent of Lee's tenor voice easily moving from the passionate 'Let It Pour' to the tenderness with which he lists the million and one reasons why 'She's Everything.' 'It's an album with a lot of range and emotion,' says Wells. 'I think there's something for everyone here.' No Matter What released independently in October, and Lee is supporting it regionally with a full tour schedule.