In September 2010 we will publish Robert Stone’s book Sacred Steel: Inside an African American Steel Guitar Tradition, which delves into the history of this inspired musical genre. The best known practitioner of sacred steel playing, Robert Randolph, says, “This book honors the legacy of the men who paved my musical path. All of us in the Sacred Steel brotherhood owe Bob a debt of gratitude for documenting our musical tradition.”
Music journalist Steve Ramm collected an advance copy of Sacred Steel at our Book Expo booth in New York, and showed it to hard touring sacred steel band The Lee Boys at the Southern Shore Music Festival in Millville, NJ, this past weekend.
Robert Stone writes in Sacred Steel about one of The Lee Boys’ perceived influences.
Many who listen to “sacred steel” musicâ€”and especially, it seems, the music of Glenn Lee or the Lee Boys bandâ€”comment that they hear echoes of the slide-guitar playing of Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers band. I have discussed this at length with Alvin Lee and he has assured me that he and Glenn were unaware of the Allman Brothers when they were developing their musical style, and Duane Allman was definitely not a musical influence. Furthermore, in 1971, the year Duane Allman died suddenly in a motorcycle accident, Alvin was six and Glenn was four.
Steve Ramm snapped this shot of members of The Lee Boys posing with his advance copy.