For the city in Minnesota, see Albert Lea, Minnesota
He grew up in Blackheath, London. His father was a musician, and Albert studied piano. During this time, like many of his age, he became a fan of Buddy Holly, and also of Jerry Lee Lewis. He took up guitar in 1958 when his parents bought him a second-hand Höfner President which he later traded in for a Czechoslovakian Grazioso, the forerunner of the Futurama. Later, he wished he had bought a Fender instead. Albert Lee left school at the age of 16, to play full-time.
During his time playing with Heads Hands & Feet, Lee became a "guitar hero", playing his Fender Telecaster at breakneck speed. Heads Hands & Feet became a very popular live band in the UK, making appearances on The Old Grey Whistle Test and also in Europe, where they appeared on the German music programme Beat-Club.
Albert Lee was responsible for The Everly Brothers 1983 reunion concert and was the musical director. Lee was a regular player with the Everlys for over twenty years.
In 1987, Lee was invited by Gerry Hogan to headline at a Steel Guitar Festival in Newbury, Berkshire. Lee was at first intimidated by the prospect of having to front a band, however, the gig was successful and he now tours with Hogan's Heroes on a regular basis. Hogan's Heroes are renowned for attracting celebrities to their gigs. Stars such as Eric Clapton, Tommy Emmanuel, Lonnie Donegan, Dave Edmunds, Marty Wilde, Willie Nelson, Nanci Griffith, Don Everly, Emmylou Harris, Sonny Curtis and Rodney Crowell have all jammed with the band at one time or another.
In 2002, Albert Lee appeared at the Concert for George.
Also in 2002, Lee received a Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance for Foggy Mountain Breakdown from the CD Earl Scruggs and Friends.
Lee continues to tour and work in the studio, and tours on a regular basis with Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings.
Lee is known within the music industry for his speed of playing and his technical virtuosity and yet by the same token, one of the most melodic, playing slower passages approximating the sound of the Pedal Steel Guitar with his Music Man and Telecaster guitars which are equipped with B-Benders.
He is known as "the guitar player's guitar player because of the presence of so many guitarists, famous or unknown, everywhere he performs. Albert Lee is also referred to as "Mr. Telecaster". A long-time Telecaster player, Lee wrote a foreword to A.R. Duchossoir's book detailing the history of the instrument.
Albert Lee's song "Country Boy", helped to redefine country guitar for a whole generation of players, and was later to become a huge hit for multi- instrumentalist Ricky Skaggs.
Despite positive press from Melody Maker and New Musical Express, Lee has never achieved any great commercial success in terms of vast record sales during his career, but more as a live performer, session player and sideman, perhaps due to his self-effacing stage presence. Lee has been described by his peers who include Jimmy Page and Ritchie Blackmore, as a complete gentleman who does not know the meaning of the word ego.
Earl Scruggs, commenting on Albert Lee has stated: "I have been a fan and admirer of his guitar work from the first moment I heard him play. I am constantly amazed at his talent. I am sure there are many guitar players who have been influenced by his style and will continue to be influenced for years to come. Albert is in every sense of the word, a genuine guitar wizard".
It is widely quoted that Eric Clapton is on record as stating that Albert Lee is, in his opinion, "the greatest guitarist in the world." Emmylou Harris has stated that Lee "[is] a brilliant guitar player. His sound is unmistakable—often emulated, never equalled. When St Peter asks me to chronicle my time down here on earth, I'll be able to say (with pride if that's allowed) that for a while I played rhythm guitar in a band with Albert Lee."
Reflecting on the Heads Hands & Feet period of his career, Lee has stated: "What amazes me is how many musicians in Nashville have a copy of our first album in their personal record collections, and still ask me what happened to the band."
In September 2006 Lee took part in Primal Twang: The Legacy of the Guitar—the first definitive theatrical journey through the guitar’s colourful and surprisingly controversial 3500-year history.
A new Albert Lee and Hogan's Heroes album entitled 'Like This' is to be released in Spring 2008 to coincide with their European tour.
In April 2008 while on tour in France, Albert Lee suffered a bad fall in Paris when he misjudged a curb, falling forward breaking his humerus in two places. Lee received medical attention in a Paris hospital before flying home to Malibu to recover. Details of rescheduled tour dates as well as Lee's progress, were posted on both his and Hogan's Heroes websites. Happily, Albert has made a full recovery and is currently back on the road with a busy touring schedule.
Albert Lee is often confused with Alvin Lee. This confusion has led to Alvin Lee being incorrectly credited on many albums in the past.
Culture: The Country Road Home; as Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings Tune Up for Their Show at Symphony Hall Tomorrow, Charlie Melvin Meets the Band's Guitarist Albert Lee
Nov 07, 2003; Byline: Charlie Melvin Veteran guitarist Albert Lee is a very busy man. As he prepares for his 60th birthday, the greyhaired...
Albert Lee Appliance Extends Deal with Seafair; Hydroplanes; Company Will Serve as Title Sponsor through 2015 Race
Aug 01, 2012; Byline: Bob Condotta; Seattle Times staff reporter Albert Lee Appliance has agreed to serve as the title sponsor of the Seafair...