Lee Bob Watson

Lee Bob Watson


Lee Bob Watson's "Aficionado" is a heartfelt and playful quest for authenticity in a culture based on recycled themes and sounds. “Our generation spends a lot of time rehashing the glory days of pop culture” Watson comments, “you’ve got to take your influences and let them breathe in the room."


Woven into every beat on Lee Bob Watson’s latest gem, Aficionado, are the tales and life lessons picked up from 12 storied years spent on the road. Reminiscent of the places he’s been—from the country infused pop of 70’s L.A. and soul-jazz of New Orleans, to the laidback roots of California’s Central Valley—Watson’s blend of sounds hearkens back to the late ‘60s and ‘70s, when genres converged and popular music created a sense of common purpose in a weary and divided nation. His sure and slightly weathered vocals—with touches of a country-gentleman drawl—combine with angelic gospel harmonies, enchanting orchestrations and tight pop arrangements to make Aficionado an album that resonates with experience and longing.

Known for his work with California rockers Jackpot, dubbed by The New York Times as “one of California’s greatest unknown bands”, as well as punk-gospel band Santa Cruz Gospel Choir, Sacramento, CA native Lee Bob Watson has been a powerful force in music for 10 years. For Aficionado, Watson enlisted former Cake drummer Todd Roper, current Cake bassist Gabe Nelson and Jackpot singer and guitarist Rusty Miller and a handful of Northern California’s finest talent. With help from esteemed producer Dana Gumbiner, the crew recorded the album in just 10 days, relying mostly on live-takes and minimal overdubs.

The songs on Aficionado grapple with the quest for authenticity in a culture that is based on recycled themes and sounds. “So much of our generation spends a lot of time rehashing the glory days of pop culture” Watson comments, “you’ve got to take your influences and let them breathe in the room.” The result is a captivating album that serves as a playground for decades of sounds to intermingle. Opener “Landfill” sends a strong statement about the land on which the American Dream was built with a twangy-rock swagger and perfectly placed steel guitar. “Living in the Past” brings electronic-disco funk to life with a back-beat that would make Bill Withers proud. Beach Boys-inspired harmonies burst alongside Watson’s velvety croon on “Highway 1 Sunset” and gentle lullaby “Rosalita’s Arms” brings the album to a sweet finish with saintly soprano choruses and dainty piano tingles.


Aficionado 2007
To Juliette (From Punk Sinatra) 2004
Santa Cruz Gospel Choir: War Danzon 2004
The Sun Years 2001

Set List

Annabelle, Landfill, Living in the Past, How Can You Be So Sure of Yourself/A Stranger to Myself, Aficionado, Rosalita's Arms, Let the Hate In, Come on Home.

The current band featuring Gabe Nelson, Todd Roper and Rusty Miller (with a list of guest players depending on the occasion) plays mostly songs from the forthcoming album: Aficionado. The songs have a classic pop, country-gentleman sheen to them, with spot-on musicianship and a heavy focus on vocal harmonies. Though Lee Bob and band are well equipped to handle headlining and double sets - recent tours have allowed them to focus on a tight 40 min. set on average, that is a well paced and dance-able but still manages to engage the audience and keep the focus on the songs and complete devotion to those moments when audiences, performers and the music really form bond.

Says Lee Bob: "I try to approach any performance - small club, festival, street-corner, cafe, prestigious venue, radio, in-store - as a chance to perform as i