FEATURE: Lee Maddison – My Inspiration | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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“Who am I that laughs and cries; who am I that lives and dies

With all my hopes and dreams, and all the colours in between”

The quote above comes from Lee Maddison’s song, Chasing the White Dove, from his latest CD – Sixty Minutes an Hour, 2017. It’s a familiar thread that weaves through Lee’s songs and seems to summarise his reflective lyrical a style – whatever the songs feel. As well as a conscientious singer song writer Lee is a trained psychiatric nurse which puts him in a privileged position to appreciate others’ experiences when trying to make sense of the world and their place within it. 

Lee recalls:

“The venue was the back of my grand-parent’s grocery shop; the performer was my uncle and the song was Buddy Holly’s ‘Oh Boy,’ and it was the first time that I’d heard live music. I was knee high and have never forgotten the impact it had on me – the power of music at work right there. It must have connected with me on such a spiritual level to still be so vivid in my memory today.”

Whether writing or performing, it is the feeling that the knee-high kid in Lee’s early recollection above felt that he reaches for: that shared emotional space between performer and listener – that zone and it’s why he does it.

Lee and his band, Maddison’s Thread, were quoted as the find of Beverly Folk Festival, 2015.

Lee wrote and recorded a song called ‘The Mountain’ for Terry Abraham’s award winning film/doc ‘Life of a Mountain: Blencathra’  which was broadcast on BBC 4 through 2017.

Lee on Nick Drake

I accidentally stumbled upon Nick Drake in the 80’s. I was working in construction and there was a cassette player on the job. This apprentice chippy who was o the cutting edge of music that was a bit off the radar at the time. Anyway he knew that I was big into singer songwriters and acoustic music – Simon and Garfunkel, Cat Stevens, Leonard Cohen, Roy Harper at the time – so he popped a ND tape in the deck and I was instantly captivated by the piano like guitar arrangements, melancholy voice and melodies – I was intrigued by this guy – such beautiful sadness was my first impression. He’s one of those artists that once discovered you’re curious to know the back story.

Ian Bartholomew performs as part of the Nick Drake tribute show at The Georgian Theatre in Stockton on Saturday 19th May and The Cluny on Sunday 20th May.

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