combination of the music I grew up with as well as today's sounds, both country and rock
and roll.. a reminder of sock hops and at the same time, hoe downs. It's like taking a
blender and adding a dash of Roy Orbison, The Mavericks and Chris Isaak. Add a pinch of
Bakersfield, a dollop of Bluegrass and some good ol' traditional country, and you've got a
brand new sound called Marc Corey Lee.
While familiar and cozy, Marc is
freshly new and exciting. He reminds me a great deal of *Steve Kolander.
No, he doesn't sound like Steve, but his approach to music is similar. I can't really
explain it because I think it's more of a feeling than a sound. That feeling is a
commitment to doing his own music and doing it his way, like no one else. It doesn't fit
into any set mold, it's delivered only as the artist who gave birth to the song can
portray it, from deep within. It can't be copied or faked.. it's real and you feel it.
Marc has said, "I wear my influences on my sleeve". This is true in the fact
that you'll sense the presence of all of his musical heroes, but I think his heart is worn
more prominently on his sleeve than past influences.
Marc's history is as unique as his
music. He was born in Costa Rica, where his grandfather was a rancher who imported Brahma
bulls into Central America. He moved with his parents to Los Angeles in the 60's. Marc
grew up listening to all different types of music. His father played a lot of Latin
American music then Buck Owens and Roy Orbison. "I was more and more drawn to the
country music. There was a specific moment I remember right around 1968. I heard a Buck
Owens song on the radio and it just grabbed me, that hard-core twang, I just identified
One thing that's important to keep
in mind from this reviewer's perspective.. I never read previous reviews or history until
I've heard the artist's music. I want to learn the artist through the music first. I was
amazed to learn afterwards, that all my first inclinations were well founded and had a
reason for being. I was able to hear Marc Corey Lee, the man, not just a song... to me
that tells a lot about the artist... his songwriting as well as the delivery.
De'ja' vous again... I was very
surprised to learn that just like Steve Kolander, Marc had become involved with a member
of Dwight Yoakam's entourage. While Marc was playing a regular gig at the Palomino Club in
Hollywood, he met Yoakam's original recording engineer, Brian Levi. Marc worked with Levi
on his debut album, "Honky Tonk Crazy" which was released in 1995. This CD won
him opening spots with nationally prominent acts, The Mavericks, Alabama, Tracy Byrd,
Chris Ledoux, Junior Brown, and many, many others. Things really began to
"sizzle" when Marc's songs were used world wide on Aaron Spelling's hit TV
series, Sunset Beach.
Marc's second album,
"Stardust Cowboy" was released in 1999 and he has been gaining even more
attention ever since. In the 1999 LA Music Awards, he won "Country Artist of the
Year". This year, 2000, he won the Jim Beam "Emerging Artist In Music"
Marc and his band have been been
approached by some major labels, but prefer to remain on their independent label, Mountain
Dream Music to protect the integrity of their music. Marc wrote every song (lyrics as well
as music) on his album, "Stardust Cowboy" and also did the artwork for the
CD cover and liners. I might add, he did a wonderful job.. it's quite professional so his
talents go far beyond singing. He also produced the album and all the arrangements were
made with the help of his band members. When and if the right deal comes along, he'll
gladly sign up.. 'till then, he'll continue do it his way.
In the meantime, this hasn't hurt
Marc's success in the least. He's attained a great deal of prominent sponsors such as the
William Morris Agency (who does all his bookings), Spalding Sports Equipment, Guild/Fender
Guitars, Hush Puppies and more. That's a lot of backing for an independent artist which
speaks highly of the faith in his ability to rise above the crowd. Marc also recorded a
song called "It Must Have Been The Mistletoe" for a brand new PAX original
television movie, "Once Upon A Christmas". The film, starring Kathy Ireland and
John Dye is slated to air on the PAX network on December 10, 2000 at 9 PM Eastern and
Marc has also made quite a splash
on the wild waves of the net through mp3.com where you can download 3 songs from this CD
for FREE! The biggest hit to date is "Memphis Rain", which has received a great
deal of airplay and has now been officially added to the in-flight Country channel on all
Northwest Airlines, domestic and international flights!
Finally, Marc donates a great deal
of time and energy for many childrens organizations such as Childrens Wish
Foundation, The Starlight Foundation and Orangewood Children's Home.
Is it any wonder so many have so
much faith in Marc Corey Lee's abilities? I also have every faith that Marc will rise
above the mentality of today's industry, stick to his principles and make his music his
way.. the only way it should be.