Gabe Lee has released his second full-length project Honky Tonk Hell, and its style of storytelling harkens back to the roots of country music.
Even though Lee, a Nashville native with Taiwanese roots, doesn’t fit stereotypes of a typical Southern boy, this album is arguably more ‘country’ than what comes out of bigger industry machines. Honky Tonk Hell is full of fiddle, steel and other classic country-leaning instruments—sounds that, again, are almost few and far between on most country albums today.
Whether it’s the Southern rock-leaning title track, the wistful “Piece of Your Heart,” or keys-driven ballad “Emmylou,” Lee has shown artistic evolution since his debut Farmland. “The first record was very light instrumentation, a pretty sparse, intimate feel trying to showcase the storytelling,” Lee told Billboard in a recent interview. “[For Honky Tonk Hell] I recorded with a band, which was really a joy.”
“It was fun seeing the songs come to life from these acoustic work tapes I had. It shows we can get loud, too,” the singer added.
Listen to Honky Tonk Hell below: