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At the Edge of the Rez

At the Edge of the Rez

  • By Stephanie Lee
  • Release 13/01/2009
  • Music Genre Folk
  • Media Format CD
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Price: $21.84

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NEW: At The Edge Of The Rez: Another powerful, moving release from Lee, whose acknowledgment of some dark sides of American life simultaneously calls for hope and healing. With unblinking courage, her knowing lyrics parse earthy and often harsh experiences of living life with eyes and heart wide open. Lee possesses considerable range and control, which gives her the power to use her voice like the fine instrument it is: she keens like a sax, low-tones like a cello, and even goes completely percussive with scatty precision. A naturally gifted improv pianist, her nuanced accompaniment is technically superb. The exquisite oboe and cello weave beautifully with Lee's shapely phrasing, sophisticated harmonic arrangements, and innate jazz sensibilities reminiscent of later Joni Mitchell and Ricki Lee Jones. Don't miss her stunning, mournful "Summertime," which lingered with me hours afterward. Barbara Davis / Digerati / January 5, 2009 Mother Jones Magazine review Stephanie Lee's One Little Seed - Songs from the Psych-Political Cabaret is a genre-busting, soulful, socio-political journey. Lee's third release flows blues into sweet ballads into wickedly demented satire to a mother's lament in 'Whose Boys Died.' A unique voice, powerful lyrics! Vigilante Muse Records. MOTHER JONES / January 1, 2006 Demo Queen Cuts Loose Stephanie Lee isn't afraid to say what needs to be said Taos News TEMPO / June 14, 2006 Click for entire review by Deonne Kahler A Vigilante Muse Click for complete review in The Horse Fly Stephanie Lee's Struggle Pays Off It doesn't seem anything will stop the music. Click for complete review by Brandt Legg, Taos News Bliss is it's own best reward Stephanie Lee sparkles in new compact disc recording Click for complete review by Melody Romancito, Taos News Stephanie Lee has a need to tell a secret Click for complete review by Melody Elwell, Taos News Fall Music By Sarah Meadows Here's a look at some live music scheduled to hit New Mexico in the coming autumnal months. Stephanie Lee The title of this Taos resident's debut album, Bliss is the Aftermath, takes on profound meaning the more you learn about - and listen to - her. Lee learned to play the piano by sneaking into churches across the nation as a 13-year old runaway, and that's the type of topsy-turvy, inside-out life she's been leading ever since. To hear her music, though, is to understand how much she got from that life: technically as a masterful pianist and singer, and personally as an astute songwriter and gifted collaborator. Lee is not one to mince words. She's unapologetically a feminist, but above all, she's assertively human. Her music blends elements of folk - fragmented, honest folk - with luscious jazz and funk. She is what Tori Amos could have been without the debilitating pitfalls of MTV fame; she's a woman on a journey, who takes life's hardships and spins them into lovely, haunting songs. 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, Free. Borders, Sanbusco Center, 500 Montezuma Ave. September 22-28, 1999, Santa Fe REPORTER Bliss is it's own best reward Stephanie Lee sparkles in new compact disc recording Review by Melody Romancito for the Taos News The best thing about winning is often not so much the winning, but about being right. Stephanie Lee's new compact disc release, Bliss is the Aftermath, is a fine example of the principle of winning, both in the gain and in the rightness of it. Bossy belligerent, pushy and loud - all words that guaranteed, will come up in reference to women who know the irony of being right - but not necessarily the elation of coming home the winner. And so, for Lee, the victory will seem doubly sweet. The album is a wonderful piece of work - not only for her as a musician, singer and songwriter, but also as a woman who will not be silenced. Let alone the part about being right, all along. Some people get respect easily, and for little effort. Maybe it's their style, or their ability to work the slippery beast of public opinion. But others have a struggle on their hands the minute they set out to do anything, let alone something so out there as performing in public. I interviewed Lee a decade ago about her music. The crux of the article was about how driven Lee was to make music. How her car door was held together with a bungee cord, but she had just bought a piano. In that decade, her creative fire and the whirlwind feeding it has burned through has yielded an effort that must be looked at from many angles to see it for what it is. Jazzy chords and intervals, complicated rhythm changes and an unusual use of language have given the songs an arty feel. That's something few will risk in this neck (or any) of the woods. But, heck, risk is nothing new to Lee, who risks all and wins when she weaves songs with such energy, originality and style. It took two years for Lee to make this album. The drive and the perseverance to accomplish it shows in every track. The title song, Bliss is the Aftermath, is a sweeping electric piano mood piece, with sad and floating guitar atmospherics provided by Scott Kessin. The Colour of Losing You is a bruised and victorious neo-torch song about lost lover and living with and without the fact of love. Saxophone by Peter Barbeau adds sweeping blues and other nuances. One of the lyrics is so perfect in it's communication of loss and resolve. There is not one day that I send without you. White Picket Fences, and it's attendant prelude, Demented Single Mother Party, is feminist politics at it's most sarcastic and wry. Truly scary and powerfully seditious, the piece is like a jazz and nearly spoken-word fugue. The suite is dedicated to conservative political commentator Rush Limbaugh and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, with a curse and a blessing. Other songs on the album feature darkly gorgeous cello work by Francis Hahn, drums by Lee Steck and Jordan MacHardy, harmony vocals by Jenny Bird, harp by Julie Hawley, mandolin by Jimmy Stadler and party music by Sticky Pistil. Brad Hockmeyer, of KTAO-FM 101.9, has said of Lee that when he listened to an early demo for the album, he was not expecting such original talent, vocal virtuosity and rich lyrical, compositions. He added that I was very moved by the depth of her music and the sound that was created by just piano and voice. I can only imagine what her fully orchestrated album will be. We don't have to imagine any more. The project has been completed, and Lee can rest assured, she has come away with a winner. She can also be assured that this proves she has what it takes. And now she has proof. Watch out. A release party for Bliss is the Aftermath is planned today (Aug 26), 8 p.m., at Momentitos del la Vida, on the patio. Joining Lee will be Barbeau, Bird, Melissa Crabtree, MacHardy and Hawley. For more information, call 776-3333. Bliss is... By Molly Busby, The Sante Fe New Mexican I know, it's kind of like a death sentence, Taos musician and New Goddess Productions artist Stephanie Lee said of her self-designation as a singer-songwriter. Yup, seems as if everybody has his own CD these days. But Lee's two-year project Bliss is the Aftermath just gets better with each listen. The careful vocals and the harmonies with herself are jazzy, bluesy and self-styled, moving in unexpected directions at unusual intervals, lending punctuation to pointed lyrics. In White Picket Fences, Lee nails conservative political rhetoric. In Mary, she questions the motives behind institutionalized religion. And on many other cuts, she wails out our common philosophical conundrums. For a taste of music off the beaten path, hear Lee and saxophonist Peter Barbeau perform cuts from Bliss at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, at Borders Books & Music, Sanbusco Market Center, 500 Montezuma Ave. Stephanie Lee Has A Need to Tell A Secret By Melody Elwell Taos News Two years ago, singer/songwriter Stephanie Lee took her income tax refund check and bought something she had really wanted for more than 20 years. "Practical woman that I am, I bought a piano. Here I was, riding around in a real single mother-mobile with a door that closed with a bungie cord and a heater that wouldn't work in the winter and wouldn't shut in the summer. I could have bought a car, but I bought the piano instead," Lee said. Before, Lee used pianos in churches and was constantly interrupted by things like choir practice. "It's great having my own piano, I can come home from work and practice all I want. In fact, I play it all the time," she said. Lee, 33 years old and single mother of three, said she became seriously interested in music when she was 14 years old. "I lived for a while in a school in New Hampshire that had a big room with a piano. It was a beautiful piano. I was only there for six months, but it gave me a taste of having solitude and being able to create music in that solitude," she said. Lee is self-taught. She doesn't even read music. "I had one lesson from an old man who said, "Forget it! Give it up. You'll never be a musician," she said. Lee said she has considered herself a songwriter more than a performer. "That allowed me to be in the closet with my music. Now, I'm getting over my stage fright, and I love performing," she said. Lee's music is heartfelt. She says her songs are about what she feels concerning the experience of living, "It's my need to tell a secret - to tell somebody something. They are about relationships, politics. About living in an insane world. They are about being human in a world that doesn't seem to value that very much. They are about love, too." Because of the instrumentation - piano and a woman's voice - Lee's songs might remind you of other songwriters like Laura Nyro and Joni Mitchell. Her songs are pensive yet joyful, sprinkled with clever turns of phrases and quirky rhythm changes. Her vocal style is also reminiscent of slide guitarist and bluesy singer/songwriter Ellen Macillwain. Lee also says some of her early musical influences are Maurice Ravel and an obscure group called The Flock. The group's music centered around a jazz violinist that had been classically trained. "It was actually their arrangements that grabbed me. They were so interesting," Lee said. "But everything influenced me. I could never say that one style of music influenced me." Lee said that members of her family also left musical impressions on her. "My mother loved music. She listened to recordings all the time. My grandfather played Russian folk tunes on his violin for me. The tunes were very "Old World." Musician In Profile Who: Stephanie Lee What: Singer/Songwriter When: June 23 Where: Dori's Bakery Lee moved West in July of 1977, landing in Santa Fe and living in a tent on a building site where her ex-husband was employed. She says she didn't care for Santa Fee much and just three months later moved into a little house in Pilar. Lee says that Taos was an inspiration for her music. One of her songs, "Waiting for Snow to Fall," was written when she was living just off Guadalupe Plaza. In the music and lyrics, you can almost hear the bells of the church. Lee has recorded four songs. She said she plans to record a cassette album at Moondance at the end of the month. Lee can be heard June 23 at Dori's Bakery in the evening, and in August she plans to perform in the Stables Courtyard during the Taos Association's music showcase series. She also has two dates in July at the Taos Inn. Calendar & Musings At The Edge Of The RezNEW: At The Edge Of The Rez: Another powerful, moving release from Lee, whose acknowledgment of some dark sides of American life simultaneously calls for hope and healing. With unblinking courage, her knowing lyrics parse earthy and often harsh experiences of living life with eyes and heart wide open. Lee possesses considerable range and control, which gives her the power to use her voice like the fine instrument it is: she keens like a sax, low-tones like a cello, and even goes completely percussive with scatty precision. A naturally gifted improv pianist, her nuanced accompaniment is technically superb. The exquisite oboe and cello weave beautifully with Lee's shapely phrasing, sophisticated harmonic arrangements, and innate jazz sensibilities reminiscent of later Joni Mitchell and Ricki Lee Jones. Don't miss her stunning, mournful "Summertime," which lingered with me hours afterward. Barbara Davis / Digerati / January 5, 2009 Mother Jones Magazine review Stephanie Lee's One Little Seed - Songs from the Psych-Political Cabaret is a genre-busting, soulful, socio-political journey. Lee's third release flows blues into sweet ballads into wickedly demented satire to a mother's lament in 'Whose Boys Died.' A unique voice, powerful lyrics! Vigilante Muse Records. MOTHER JONES / January 1, 2006 Demo Queen Cuts Loose Stephanie Lee isn't afraid to say what needs to be said Taos News TEMPO / June 14, 2006 Click for entire review by Deonne Kahler A Vigilante Muse Click for complete review in The Horse Fly Stephanie Lee's Struggle Pays Off It doesn't seem anything will stop the music. Click for complete review by Brandt Legg, Taos News Bliss is it's own best reward Stephanie Lee sparkles in new compact disc recording Click for complete review by Melody Romancito, Taos News Stephanie Lee has a need to tell a secret Click for complete review by Melody Elwell, Taos News Fall Music By Sarah Meadows Here's a look at some live music scheduled to hit New Mexico in the coming autumnal months. Stephanie Lee The title of this Taos resident's debut album, Bliss is the Aftermath, takes on profound meaning the more you learn about - and listen to - her. Lee learned to play the piano by sneaking into churches across the nation as a 13-year old runaway, and that's the type of topsy-turvy, inside-out life she's been leading ever since. To hear her music, though, is to understand how much she got from that life: technically as a masterful pianist and singer, and personally as an astute songwriter and gifted collaborator. Lee is not one to mince words. She's unapologetically a feminist, but above all, she's assertively human. Her music blends elements of folk - fragmented, honest folk - with luscious jazz and funk. She is what Tori Amos could have been without the debilitating pitfalls of MTV fame; she's a woman on a journey, who takes life's hardships and spins them into lovely, haunting songs. 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, Free. Borders, Sanbusco Center, 500 Montezuma Ave. September 22-28, 1999, Santa Fe REPORTER Bliss is it's own best reward Stephanie Lee sparkles in new compact disc recording Review by Melody Romancito for the Taos News The best thing about winning is often not so much the winning, but about being right. Stephanie Lee's new compact disc release, Bliss is the Aftermath, is a fine example of the principle of winning, both in the gain and in the rightness of it. Bossy belligerent, pushy and loud - all words that guaranteed, will come up in reference to women who know the irony of being right - but not necessarily the elation of coming home the winner. And so, for Lee, the victory will seem doubly sweet. The album is a wonderful piece of work - not only for her as a musician, singer and songwriter, but also as a woman who will not be silenced. Let alone the part about being right, all along. Some people get respect easily, and for little effort. Maybe it's their style, or their ability to work the slippery beast of public opinion. But others have a struggle on their hands the minute they set out to do anything, let alone something so out there as performing in public. I interviewed Lee a decade ago about her music. The crux of the article was about how driven Lee was to make music. How her car door was held together with a bungee cord, but she had just bought a piano. In that decade, her creative fire and the whirlwind feeding it has burned through has yielded an effort that must be looked at from many angles to see it for what it is. Jazzy chords and intervals, complicated rhythm changes and an unusual use of language have given the songs an arty feel. That's something few will risk in this neck (or any) of the woods. But, heck, risk is nothing new to Lee, who risks all and wins when she weaves songs with such energy, originality and style. It took two years for Lee to make this album. The drive and the perseverance to accomplish it shows in every track. The title song, Bliss is the Aftermath, is a sweeping electric piano mood piece, with sad and floating guitar atmospherics provided by Scott Kessin. The Colour of Losing You is a bruised and victorious neo-torch song about lost lover and living with and without the fact of love. Saxophone by Peter Barbeau adds sweeping blues and other nuances. One of the lyrics is so perfect in it's communication of loss and resolve. There is not one day that I send without you. White Picket Fences, and it's attendant prelude, Demented Single Mother Party, is feminist politics at it's most sarcastic and wry. Truly scary and powerfully seditious, the piece is like a jazz and nearly spoken-word fugue. The suite is dedicated to conservative political commentator Rush Limbaugh and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, with a curse and a blessing. Other songs on the album feature darkly gorgeous cello work by Francis Hahn, drums by Lee Steck and Jordan MacHardy, harmony vocals by Jenny Bird, harp by Julie Hawley, mandolin by Jimmy Stadler and party music by Sticky Pistil. Brad Hockmeyer, of KTAO-FM 101.9, has said of Lee that when he listened to an early demo for the album, he was not expecting such original talent, vocal virtuosity and rich lyrical, compositions. He added that I was very moved by the depth of her music and the sound that was created by just piano and voice. I can only imagine what her fully orchestrated album will be. We don't have to imagine any more. The project has been completed, and Lee can rest assured, she has come away with a winner. She can also be assured that this proves she has what it takes. And now she has proof. Watch out. A release party for Bliss is the Aftermath is planned today (Aug 26), 8 p.m., at Momentitos del la Vida, on the patio. Joining Lee will be Barbeau, Bird, Melissa Crabtree, MacHardy and Hawley. For more information, call 776-3333. Bliss is... By Molly Busby, The Sante Fe New Mexican I know, it's kind of like a death sentence, Taos musician and New Goddess Productions artist Stephanie Lee said of her self-designation as a singer-songwriter. Yup, seems as if everybody has his own CD these days. But Lee's two-year project Bliss is the Aftermath just gets better with each listen. The careful vocals and the harmonies with herself are jazzy, bluesy and self-styled, moving in unexpected directions at unusual intervals, lending punctuation to pointed lyrics. In White Picket Fences, Lee nails conservative political rhetoric. In Mary, she questions the motives behind institutionalized religion. And on many other cuts, she wails out our common philosophical conundrums. For a taste of music off the beaten path, hear Lee and saxophonist Peter Barbeau perform cuts from Bliss at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, at Borders Books & Music, Sanbusco Market Center, 500 Montezuma Ave. Stephanie Lee Has A Need to Tell A Secret By Melody Elwell Taos News Two years ago, singer/songwriter Stephanie Lee took her income tax refund check and bought something she had really wanted for more than 20 years. "Practical woman that I am, I bought a piano. Here I was, riding around in a real single mother-mobile with a door that closed with a bungie cord and a heater that wouldn't work in the winter and wouldn't shut in the summer. I could have bought a car, but I bought the piano instead," Lee said. Before, Lee used pianos in churches and was constantly interrupted by things like choir practice. "It's great having my own piano, I can come home from work and practice all I want. In fact, I play it all the time," she said. Lee, 33 years old and single mother of three, said she became seriously interested in music when she was 14 years old. "I lived for a while in a school in New Hampshire that had a big room with a piano. It was a beautiful piano. I was only there for six months, but it gave me a taste of having solitude and being able to create music in that solitude," she said. Lee is self-taught. She doesn't even read music. "I had one lesson from an old man who said, "Forget it! Give it up. You'll never be a musician," she said. Lee said she has considered herself a songwriter more than a performer. "That allowed me to be in the closet with my music. Now, I'm getting over my stage fright, and I love performing," she said. Lee's music is heartfelt. She says her songs are about what she feels concerning the experience of living, "It's my need to tell a secret - to tell somebody something. They are about relationships, politics. About living in an insane world. They are about being human in a world that doesn't seem to value that very much. They are about love, too." Because of the instrumentation - piano and a woman's voice - Lee's songs might remind you of other songwriters like Laura Nyro and Joni Mitchell. Her songs are pensive yet joyful, sprinkled with clever turns of phrases and quirky rhythm changes. Her vocal style is also reminiscent of slide guitarist and bluesy singer/songwriter Ellen Macillwain. Lee also says some of her early musical influences are Maurice Ravel and an obscure group called The Flock. The group's music centered around a jazz violinist that had been classically trained. "It was actually their arrangements that grabbed me. They were so interesting," Lee said. "But everything influenced me. I could never say that one style of music influenced me." Lee said that members of her family also left musical impressions on her. "My mother loved music. She listened to recordings all the time. My grandfather played Russian folk tunes on his violin for me. The tunes were very "Old World." Musician In Profile Who: Stephanie Lee What: Singer/Songwriter When: June 23 Where: Dori's Bakery Lee moved West in July of 1977, landing in Santa Fe and living in a tent on a building site where her ex-husband was employed. She says she didn't care for Santa Fee much and just three months later moved into a little house in Pilar. Lee says that Taos was an inspiration for her music. One of her songs, "Waiting for Snow to Fall," was written when she was living just off Guadalupe Plaza. In the music and lyrics, you can almost hear the bells of the church. Lee has recorded four songs. She said she plans to record a cassette album at Moondance at the end of the month. Lee can be heard June 23 at Dori's Bakery in the evening, and in August she plans to perform in the Stables Courtyard during the Taos Association's music showcase series. She also has two dates in July at the Taos Inn. NEW: At The Edge Of The Rez: Another powerful, moving release from Lee, whose acknowledgment of some dark sides of American life simultaneously calls for hope and healing. With unblinking courage, her knowing lyrics parse earthy and often harsh experiences of living life with eyes and heart wide open. Lee possesses considerable range and control, which gives her the power to use her voice like the fine instrument it is: she keens like a sax, low-tones like a cello, and even goes completely percussive with scatty precision. A naturally gifted improv pianist, her nuanced accompaniment is technically superb. The exquisite oboe and cello weave beautifully with Lee's shapely phrasing, sophisticated harmonic arrangements, and innate jazz sensibilities reminiscent of later Joni Mitchell and Ricki Lee Jones. Don't miss her stunning, mournful "Summertime," which lingered with me hours afterward. Barbara Davis / Digerati / January 5, 2009.

Details

Artist: Stephanie Lee
Title: At the Edge of the Rez
Genre: Folk
Release Date: 13/01/2009
Label: CD Baby
Media Format: CD
UPC: 700261259895
This product is a special order

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