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Frankie Lee Release New Single

Singer-songwriter Frankie Lee has released the third song from his debut album, American Dreamer, out July 8 (Loose/Thirty Tigers). The video for “Buffalo,” premiering today on Relix, suits the chooglin’ drive of the song with shots of Lee in the studio, on stage and on the road. It’s another fantastic track from this deep collection of spellbinding songs, alongside the timeless jangle of “High and Dry” and “Where Do We Belong,” the latter of which got its premiere on Rolling Stone.

Frankie Lee is about to hit the road with Esmé Patterson, beginning in Phoenix, AZ on June 22, and ending in Seattle, WA, on June 30. He will do a hometown in-store performance at Electric Fetus in Minneapolis, MN on July 8 and on the 9th headline the Turf Club in St. Paul. The complete list of confirmed dates is below. More dates will be announced soon.

Frankie Lee is a Midwesterner by birth and a traveler by nature. His father was in the horse business, and the family moved around a lot — Michigan, Texas, Minnesota, Tennessee, among other places — which accounts for his sometimes vague answers to questions of where he “comes from.” Lee spent a couple years in college before dropping out to become a folksinger. (Lee often returned to Minnesota in subsequent years, spending entire summers, he said, working alone on a farm.)

He moved to Austin, TX, and got his first paying gigs on the folk/country scene. He played clubs like the Scoot Inn and the Longbranch where he met JT Van Zandt (who he later worked for) who introduced him around the up and coming East Austin scene.

After almost seven years in Austin, it was off to Los Angeles.  The first show he played in LA was with an up and coming band named Dawes.  As time went by, it was obvious Lee didn’t belong in LA, but he stayed a few more years chasing the music and the women only to find he couldn’t keep up with either.

After 10 years away, he returned home with a bag of new songs and recorded them right away.  Minneapolis was the right fit for the sound he had in his head at the time.  A band was assembled through drummer JT Bates that included Jeremy Ylvisaker (Andrew Bird) and Mike Lewis (Bon Iver) amongst others.  Most of the songs were cut live the first night and appeared as they were on Lee’s locally released EP Middle West.

It was Middle West that connected him to a wider world and American Dreamer that brought him there. American Dreamer was recorded over a period of time he spent working on a pig farm and living in St. Paul, the songs were written in the early morning commutes from city to country.  That’s where these songs sit best, opening up as you get further away: a vision from a man alone in time, capturing the sound where dreams and reality meet. The album was released in England in 2015 by London label Loose, who were the first label to sign the likes of Sturgill Simpson, The Felice Brothers, Hurray For The Riff Raff.

American Dreamer is “Nostalgia for the Future.”


July 8, 2016


High and Dry

Where Do We Belong

Queen of Carolina

East Side Blues

Black Dog


Honest Man

Know By Now


American Dreamer





Frankie Lee Tour Dates:


22 – Phoenix, AZ – Rebel Lounge

23 – Los Angeles, CA – Resident

25 – Davis, CA – Sophia’s Thai Kitchen

27 – San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw

28 – Bend, OR – Volcanic Theater Pub

29 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios

30 – Seattle, WA – Barboza

*All June dates with Esmé Patterson


08 – Minneapolis, MN – Electric Fetus In-Store

09 – St. Paul, MN – Turf Club

14 – Duluth, MN – Red Herring Lounge


17 – Shakopee, MN – Festival Paolomino

More tour dates will be announced soon.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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