Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
Recently David Lee Durham and the band played Ground Zero in Clarksdale, MS; The Club owned by Actor Morgan Freeman, The 930 Blues Club and Cafe in Jackson, MS, and the 308 Blues Cafe in Indianola, MS. David Lee plays every Sunday at Club Ebony, Indianola, MS. He plays many of the local and regional blues festivals and private parties. In June of 2006 he played in festivals in Italy and Switzerland. David Lee was recently accepted as a member of the Mississippi Arts Commission Artists Roster. He was also named the 2004 Mississippi Delta Blues Musician of the Year by the Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola.
Comments about David Lee from Roger Stolle in his article in Blues Revue states this about David Lee: Durham has flown under the radar for years and is ready to break out. He's played on shows with Bobby Blue Bland, Clarence Carter and Mavis Staples. He toured with harmonica player Willie Foster and always opens for B.B. King during King's annual homecoming performance at Club Ebony.
David Lee Durham was born in the Heart of the Mississippi Delta. His upbringing closely parallels the way the blues legends in the past were raised. This upbringing is reflected in how he plays the blues. He started working on the plantation at the age of six. David Lee picked cotton every day from the time he was a little boy. As a boy he would sneak to the window of the local Juke Joint and watch Howlin Wolf play. He played on the same shows with Clarence Carter, Blues Boy Willie, Blind Lee, and Shirley Brown. He has opened for B.B. King and Bobby Blue Bland, and has played on the same show as Bobby Rush and Ray Charles. He has toured with Willie Foster. He has opened over 20 times for B.B. King in Indianola, MS He plays and sings his original blues songs as well as the standard blues favorites.
CD: Struggling and Straining was released June 28, 2006. The first CD to be recorded by Mississippi Valley State University and the B.B. King recording Studio. Recorded Live at Club Ebony. Produced by Mississippi Delta Blues, Inc.
This CD has several of David Lee's original songs and two blues/flute pieces by Levan Lortkipanidze, and includes a few cover songs. The song Struggling and Straining is based on David Lee's life story. This is what David Lee will tell you about his music: �I got a style all my own. I'm twixt between Albert King and B.B. I sort of mix it, but I know it.
THE BAND - MULTI-TALENTED
Levan Lortkipanidze - Vocals, Keyboard, Flute, Harp, Guitar. Levan is a graduate of the Conservatory of Music in The Republic of Georgia. He has been with the band for three years. He is a student at Valley State University pursuing another degree. He is a gifted musician playing in many genres. He came to this country on a recording contract in Nashville, but found his way to the Mississippi Delta. He has immersed himself in the Mississippi Delta blues, has become a hometown favorite, and has earned right to be considered a true bluesman. He was named the 2005 Mississippi Delta Blues Musician of the Year by the Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola.
Frank Vick - has played with Albert King, and Little Milton. He has, for the last few years, played throughout the Mississippi Delta with various blues bands in local night clubs and at blues festivals. Now he is playing with The True Blues Band at the historic Club Ebony in Indianola,
Charles Monagham - Bass - Chas has played with David Lee Durham and The True Blues Band for a couple of years. He moved away from the area for a while, but is back with us and is the Bass Player on our new Struggling and Straining. He is a gifted musician and a favorite with most of the musicians in The Delta area.
Ryan Betts - Is a student at Delta State University. He recently joined the band, and has become a favorite. He has added a new dimension to the shows with his style and interpretation of David Lee's Music.
Alphonso Sanders - Sax. Alphonso has been involved in music education for over 20 years as a teacher, clinician, adjudicator, and performer. He received degrees in music from Mississippi Valley State University, Valdosta State University, and the University of Mississippi. He is presently the Chair of Fine Arts and Director of the BB King Recording Studio at Mississippi Valley State University. Prior to his appointment at MVSU he served as the Director of Jazz Studies at Delta State University; Executive Director of the Delta Music Institute and the music coordinator for the Mississippi Summer Arts Program of the Bologna Performing Arts Center, Cleveland, MS Dr. Sanders has performed as featured guest artist with many outstanding schools and universities throughout the states. Dr. Sanders has also performed at many recognized jazz festival including the North Sea Jazz Festival, Den Hague, Netherlands; the Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux, Switzerland; the Mobile Jazz Festival; Many of the Delta Blues Festivals and the 1996 Summer Olympic entertainment festivities at Central Park, Atlanta, GA