Sara Lee (musician)

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Sara Lee
Sara Lee 2010 photo by Susan Alzner
Sara Lee at the O+ Festival in Woodstock, NY, 24 June 2010
Background information
Genres Alternative rock, art rock, pop rock
Occupations Musician, vocalist, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, bass, timpani, double bass
Years active 1975–present
Associated acts Gang Of Four, The B-52's, Indigo Girls
Notable instruments
G&L L-2500, G&L L-2000, Music Man StingRay

Sara Lee is an English bassist and singer-songwriter, who came to prominence replacing Dave Allen on bass guitar in post-punk band Gang of Four. She is also notable for work with Robert Fripp, B-52s, Ani DiFranco and Indigo Girls.

Biography[edit]

Lee confirmed in an interview on Rundgrenradio.com that Sara Lee is her birth name. Born in the West Midlands of England, Lee's entire family was musical. Both parents were music teachers (her father was latterly a bass Songman in the choir of York Minster), her sister a cellist, and her brother a trombone player. Music formed an important part of her childhood. She played tympani and double bass in school and local orchestras as a teenager, until the day she discovered the electric bass guitar.[1]

After playing with a couple of local bands, she moved to London and worked as a secretary at Polydor Records. Here she was discovered by King Crimson leader Robert Fripp, who was encouraged to stay at a show to see "a girl who works in the office. "[2] Fripp invited her to join his band The League Of Gentlemen.

Lee went on to work with Robyn Hitchcock on his album Groovy Decay[3] and recorded two albums with famed political punk band Gang of Four in England, and later moved to the United States. Lee became a sought-after session, concert and recording artist, playing with the Thompson Twins before she crossed paths with The B-52's during the recording of their Cosmic Thing album, and can be seen in the "Love Shack" video. Following a stint on the Cosmic tour, Sara formed The Raging Hormones with B-52 session drummer Charley Drayton. She then started a seven-year run with the Indigo Girls, contributing "sterling performances".[4] In 1996 and 1997 she accompanied singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco on tours of Europe and North America, as documented on the double-live album Living in Clip.

Lee has played with many other artists, including Joan Osborne, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Fiona Apple, and is a close friend of David Bowie bassist Gail Ann Dorsey.[5]

Lee re-joined the B-52's as a touring member in 1999.

On September 12, 2000 she released her debut solo album Make It Beautiful on Difranco's Righteous Babe records.[6] Lee recorded instrumental tracks, which were sent to musicians with whom she had previously worked to provide lyrics, including Ani DiFranco, Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls, Pal Shazar, Barbara Gogan of The Passions and Kristen Hall.[7]

She replaced Rachel Haden for the final dates of Todd Rundgren's 2009 Arena tour.

Lee was also a judge for the 5th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kort, Michele. "Free to be Sara Lee". The Advocate. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  2. ^ "Record company bio". Righteous Babe records. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  3. ^ Gimarc, George (1997). Post punk diary, 1980-1982. New York: St. Martin's Griffin. p. 257. ISBN 978-0-312-16968-8. 
  4. ^ photographs by Ben Browton (2003). Peter Buckley, ed. The Rough guide to rock: the definitive guide to more than 1200 artists and bands (3rd ed. ed.). London: Rough Guides. ISBN 978-1-84353-105-0. Retrieved 16 August 2011. "...sterling guest performance by Sara Lee" 
  5. ^ Dorsey, Gail Ann. "I'm From Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. 
  6. ^ Bassist Sara Lee Cooks Up Solo Debut. Billboard. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  7. ^ jhtml "Sara Lee Collabs With Ani DiFranco On Solo LP". MTV.com. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  8. ^ "Past Judges". Independent Music Awards. Retrieved 2012-02-19. 

External links[edit]