Albert was treated one Christmas to a Hofner President acoustic arch-top, and from there he never looked back. Spurred on by the recordings of Jimmy Bryant, Buddy Holly and The Crickets, Gene Vincent and The Everly Brothers, Albert left school at sixteen and turned pro, getting regular gigs at the 2 i's Coffee Bar and The Flamingo Club in London - first with Bob Xavier’s band, and then with The Jury.
He replaced Jimmy Page in The Crusaders before joining Chris Farlowe and The Thunderbirds in ‘64. He soon found his favoured guitar of choice, the Fender Telecaster, whilst everyone else was playing Gibson Les Pauls and Stratocasters. Albert admitted to feeling like the odd man out as his appreciation for American country artists grew, and he formed the band Country Fever. He began working with Poet & The One Man Band, who later turned into Heads, Hands & Feet when Jerry Donahue and Pat Donaldson (of Country Fever) were replaced by Albert and Chas Hodges. Their self-titled debut album featured the original “Country Boy”, now synonymous with Albert’s trademark picking style. The U.S eventually beckoned, and Albert began doing session work and briefly toured with The Crickets in 1973. He moved to Los Angeles, where he met his idols Phil and Don Everly, and Don invited Albert to play with him and pedal steel legend Buddy Emmons. After working on Don’s second album, Albert left to join Joe Cocker’s band and was replaced by Lindsey Buckingham.
Albert’s reputation was growing as he moved to Encino, and met his wife Karen while rehearsing in Santa Barbara with Joe Cocker and his band before they went on the road. He contributed to Cocker’s “Sting Ray” and was then approached by A&M about putting together a solo album. At a pivotal point in his career, Albert was asked by Emmylou Harris to replace James Burton - one of his guitar heroes - who was leaving for Elvis Presley’s band. In 1976 he joined the Hot Band, and his incredible guitar work came to the fore on the “Luxury Liner” LP. Albert released his first solo album “Hiding”, produced by Brian Ahern, which featured perhaps the definite version of “Country Boy” with Emmylou on backing vocals and Ricky Skaggs on fiddle.
When he returned to London in 1978 for session recording, Albert met Eric Clapton. He was invited to join his band and played on Clapton’s live album “Just One Night”, which featured Albert on lead vocals for a cover of Mark Knopfler’s “Setting Me Up”. Albert would work with Eric for five years before he left and released his second solo album, the self-titled “Albert Lee” in 1982.
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