Photography by Kendall Wilson
Good things come in threes, but perhaps for Gabe Lee they come in pairs.
After releasing two albums within a year - the euphoric, heartland-rock led The Hometown Kid and the delicate, story-driven Drink The River - the past two months have seen the 'Eveline' singer make his Opry debut, and now his UK debut at the Long Road Festival 2023.
Well, if you don't count the night before his Saturday afternoon set, where he spent the evening serving up pints at local pub The Chequers in perhaps his true British rite of passage. "I've learned to pour a pint as well as chug one", he told the crowd at the Front Porch.
The opening act for Rissi Palmer's Color Me Country takeover on the Front Porch stage, the Nashville native played for a packed crowd who'd gathered in a rare break from the rain.
The delicate intricacy of the lyricism for which Lee has become known more than held its own with the support of the Color Me Country house band, all carried by Lee's powerful, throaty voice. Covering tracks from all four of his studio albums, he started off in the heartland with 'Babylon', before taking the crowd on his journey as a Nashville native trying to make a living from music on the sardonic 'Honky Tonk Hell' and the tire of life on the road on 'Rusty'.
Fan favourite 'Eveline' was a truly mesmeric moment, with a stunning echo placed atop his vocals alongside an expertly placed lick of piano. Gabe took to the keys himself on 'Buffalo Road', a real place where he'd go to stay out of trouble when he was younger. "I hope everyone has their own Buffalo Road to escape to" he told the crowd.
In a set that was over far too soon, Gabe Lee proved his music to be the ultimate escape that will be welcomed back to the UK with open arms for a sip and a song any time.
Taken from his performance at The Long Road festival in Leicestershire, UK on Saturday 26th August.
For more on The Long Road festival, see below: