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Frank & Allie Lee
Frank & Allie of The Freight Hoppers
Frank & Allie Lee of The Freight Hoppers
Frank and Allie Lee are a vocal-driven old time duo. With nylon string fretless banjo, guitar, slide guitar, and steel string banjo, fiddle, harmonica, and harmony vocals, they give a wide variety of heirloom songs and tunes new life. They sing lead and harmony in the duo and their band The Freight Hoppers. Treat A Stranger Right is their new album available everywhere on February 7, 2020.
Frank and Allie Lee (Bryson City, NC) are a harmony-powered duo playing so many instruments in so many styles you'll think you just heard six different bands!
Yet their songs, learned from American folk musicians in the early days of the recording industry, remain rooted in the old time music aesthetic. There's Frank's signature clawhammer banjo sound on steel string and nylon string banjos. There are slide guitar and harmonica blues pieces. There's Maybelle Carter-inspired country guitar. There's cross-tuned old time fiddling a la Fiddlin' John Carson. And Frank & Allie's voices in harmony tying it all together!
Frank and Allie, core duo of longstanding string band The Freight Hoppers, have traveled extensively as touring musicians. Frank, a founding member of The Freight Hoppers, has impressed audiences all over the United States, Canada, and northern Europe with his signature clawhammer sound. Allie is a founding member of The Whipstitch Sallies, a folk band from Indiana. Together, the pair is a powerhouse duo with touring experience in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Vermont, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kansas, Iowa, Arkansas, Missouri, and France.
In addition to performing, Frank and Allie screen print music-themed t-shirts, available on their website. They also organize an old time music retreat in the Great Smoky Mountains twice a year called the Banjo-Fiddle Frolic.
Frank and Allie Lee (Bryson City, NC) are a clawhammer-playing duo. They swap banjos back and forth, mixing in guitars and harmonicas to accompany their harmony singing on favorite old time songs from the Southeast. While they identify as an old time duo, they are known for using the label broadly, including blues, bluegrass, and spiritual songs in their performances.
Having made a name for himself as the syncopated, melodic player in The Freight Hoppers, Frank is a national treasure when it comes to clawhammer. He has an instructional DVD on Homespun and released four albums with The Freight Hoppers, with whom he toured North America and Europe. His ability to match a fiddler note-for-note is particularly unique. In the duo, Frank plays not only steel string banjo but also a low-pitched nylon string, fretless banjo.
Allie’s jumpstart into clawhammer came when she studied it for a week at John C. Campbell Folk School. That summer, she met Frank in a banjo workshop, which led to her taking his class at Augusta Heritage Center a few years later. She played banjo and wrote songs in her band The Whipstitch Sallies and was featured in the Banjo Babes calendar for 2016. Allie enjoys playing banjo to accompany her singing, Frank‘s fiddle playing, and Frank’s nylon string banjo playing.
Frank and Allie have led banjo workshops across the country and in France, with Allie teaching beginning players and Frank teaching advanced players. In recent years, Frank has taught at Augusta, Mars Hill Old Time Week, and Roots of American Music Week. They have hosted weekend banjo workshops in Mountain View, AR. They also host an bi-annual old time music retreat called the Banjo-Fiddle Frolic in their tow.
Frank & Allie’s most recent album is Roll On, Clouds (2018), available through their website at www.frankandallie.com. Their new album, Treat A Stranger Right, is due out February 7, 2020.
Press & Quotes
Frank and Allie bring a pure and seasoned musicality to beloved old tunes… a sweet, strong vocal sound accompanied by an impressive array of true Americana instruments. This is music that keeps its close connection to earth.
Pete Wernick, Hot Rize
These two musicians are both banjo powerhouses. Allie’s harmonica playing is awesome - and I know of some great harmonica playing in the old-time settings. Yes, this recording covers “old-time” in the much broader sense. It remembers the time before there was a “bluegrass” style of music or the divide between bluegrass and old time. Frank and Allie are not afraid to explore this wider turf as they present this wonderful album of songs and tunes heard in a real down-to-earth and quite professional yet honest style, at once historic yet fresh and all their own.
Dan Levenson, Banjo Newsletter
The two artists command a wide range of instruments between them, as well as both being able to sing, and they use this range of musical resources well to turn in a varied and interesting set. Despite the wide range of material, there's a coherent feel to it as the pair tackle the numbers in their own particular style.
Steve Wise, Old Time News
Frank and Allie immediately put you at ease with their genuine friendliness. Their approach to performance is not pretentious or showy, but rather, is a very high level of instrumental and vocal proficiency. A live performance with Frank and Allie Lee will make you feel like you are in their living room enjoying a good visit with a bonus of great music! Chemistry that can only come from two people who truly love each other.
Ernie Hill, writer for the John Hartford Memorial Festival and the Walnut Valley Festival
Please give photo credits to Terri Clark Photography.
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