Stephanie Lee
Gig Seeker Pro

Stephanie Lee


Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



""Demo queen cuts Loose"Stephanie Lee isnt afraid to say what needs to be said"

Stephanie Lee worked as a studio Musician for nine years playing and singing backup for local luminaries like Jenny Bird, Kim Treiber and Michael Mandrell untill 1999 when Jenny bird crowned lee the f---ing demo queen of northern New Mexico and to get over herself and put out an album.Lee tokk the advice and it was a long road to get to that debut record .
Lee ran away from home as a kid and experienced what she calls "a lot of dark stuff"...............
to read the full page article go to - Tempo Magazine, Taos News, By Deonne Kahler

"Another powerful moving release"

Another powerful moving release from Lee, whose acknowledgement of some dark sides of American life simultaneously calls for hope and healing. With unblinking courage,her knowing lyrics parse earthy and often harsh experiences of living life with eyes and heart wide open.Lee possesses considerable range and control,which gives her the power to use her voice like the fine instrument it is: she keens like a sax,low tones like a cello and even goes completely percussive with scatty precision.A naturally gifted improv pianist,her nuanced accompaniment is technically superb.The exquisite oboe and cello weave beautifully with Lee's shapely phrasing,sophisticated harmonic arrangements,and innate jazz sensibilities reminiscent of later Joni Mitchell and Rickie lee Jones. Dont miss her stunning,mournful"Summertime"Which lingered with me hours afterward.-Barbara Davis,Digerati - Digerati

"Stephanie Lee's Struggle Pays Off"

It doesn't seem anything will stop the music.

"The Hum" by Brandt Legg

It is often a struggle to present one's art to the world, and too often, life forces those dreams to be surrendered. Despite major challenges, Stephanie Lee has persevered toward a life of music.

She began writing poetry at age 8, which slowly gave way to song lyrics.

"I became obsessed with writing songs, learning to play piano and singing." she said.

Her mother trained to be an opera singer, an uncle was a concert violinist and, so, she knew music was in her.

For reasons clear only to a teenager, she ran away from home at 13 and hitchhiked from Vermont to Oregon. She said she followed hippies and lived with nature, but in less than a year she hitchhiked back across country.

"There were no pianos in the woods, what was I going to do?"

She wound up at a Steiner School where "there was a grand piano and they let me just stay. I could play whenever I wanted." The next few years were a blur from New York to Los Angeles. In 1977 she landed in Taos, and by now she had kids and bills.

Taos can be hard, especially if you are a single mother and are struggling to get by. Somehow she managed to raise her children without ever quite letting go of the music. She filled pages with hundreds of songs and during the 1980s was able to perform and continue to learn what she calls, "an incredible artistically nurturing town."

In the 90s, Lee played regularly around Taos and earned fans of her niche style that falls between jazz and folk. She bought a cheap trailer, moved it out to the desert with no running water or electricity in order to save every penny to record a CD.

By the end of the decade, she was awarded a Sumacil Foundation grant, did mailings and organized a benifit. She had to get the music out.

"It about killed me--working all day--raising money in any free time and recording at night--it was brutal," but soon "with the help of many," Lee was able to finish her first album. It's called "Bliss Is The Aftermath."

"Bliss" combines her jazz-folk style with a bit of blues and urban music mixed in. Taos mainstays Jenny Bird, Jimmy Stadler and Peter Barbeau also appear on the record. Lee said it was well received and set out on a mini tour of the west coast.

She also got noticed by Juno award-winning producer, Norman Barker. The Juno is the Canadian version of the Grammy. Lee moved to Canada to record her next CD, "The Old Man's Stories." It is a collection of original songs which reflect "things I have seen and people I have known and their stories." It is a more polished CD and the production quality is noticeable.

The most important thing is that Lee doesn't stop getting a message and the songs out there.

Lee does not hide her beliefs, a recently released single (which she makes available for free as a download from titled "Get out the Bushes, Get out the Thieves," is a blatant affront to the Bush administration's post-Sept. 11, 2001 policies.

With lines like: "Got a crazy man on the hill, got a crazy man on the hill / His big plans might get us killed / He wants their oil, they're in the way..." Lee makes her point.

Lee said, while living in New York this past year, "the press wouldn't touch me and it was almost impossible to get bookings, the song was just too controversial."

She also filed a complaint with the ACLU when a stack of her CDs of the song were confiscated at JFK International Airport Ð "thanks to the Patriot Act." Lee caught up with "Bowling for Columbine" filmmaker Michael Moore on his recent book tour and was able to put a copy of the single into his hands. "I wrote it after I saw the administration taking advantage of what happened on 9-11, and turned it into a get Iraq plan, they are just criminals."

Lee is already working on a third album, with three-quarters of the songs written. She will soon head to L.A. to work with veteran producer and multiple award-winner Chris Julian. "It will be a more organic project with cello, acoustic piano and more ballads," she said. Lee has also formed her own publishing company, Spread the Bread Publishing, and an independent label, New Goddess Records.

She wants the art released her way and it doesn't seem like anything will stop the music.

Lee will be performing at Metta Projects Theatre, 114 Alexander Street, along with Peter Barbeau Friday (Nov. 7), 7:30 p.m. and at the Historic Taos Inn, Jan. 14, 7 p.m.

For more information, recordings and bookings call 505-770-4004 or e-mail and visit online

Brandt H. Legg hosts the weekly KTAO-FM 101.9 regional-music show "Spotlight on New Mexico" Sundays, 3-7 p.m., and at Contact him at: - Tempo Magazine / The Taos News

"Fall Music"

By Sarah Meadows

Here's a look at some live music scheduled to hit New Mexico in the coming autumnal months.

Two years ago, singer-songwriter Stephanie Lee took her income tax refund check and bought something she had really wanted for more than 20 years.

The title of this Taos resident's debut album, "Bliss is the Aftermath," takes on profound meaning the more you learn about -- and listen to -- her. Lee learned to play the piano by sneaking into churches across the nation as a 13-year old runaway, and that's the type of topsy-turvy, inside-out life she's been leading ever since.

To hear her music, though, is to understand how much she got from that life: technically as a masterful pianist and singer, and personally as an astute songwriter and gifted collaborator. Lee is not one to mince words. She's unapologetically a feminist, but above all, she's assertively human. Her music blends elements of folk -- fragmented, honest folk -- with luscious jazz and funk. She is what Tori Amos could have been without the debilitating pitfalls of MTV fame; she's a woman on a journey, who takes life's hardships and spins them into lovely, haunting songs.


"Bliss is its own best reward - Stephanie Lee sparkles in new compact disc recording"

Review by Melody Romancito
for the Taos News

The best thing about winning is often not so much the winning, but about being right. Stephanie Lee's new compact disc release, Bliss is the Aftermath, is a fine example of the principle of winning, both in the gain and in the rightness of it.

Bossy belligerent, pushy and loud -- all words that guaranteed, will come up in reference to women who know the irony of being right -- but not necessarily the elation of coming home the winner.

And so, for Lee, the victory will seem doubly sweet. The album is a wonderful piece of work -- not only for her as a musician, singer and songwriter, but also as a woman who will not be silenced. Let alone the part about being right, all along.

Some people get respect easily, and for little effort. Maybe it's their style, or their ability to work the slippery beast of public opinion. But others have a struggle on their hands
the minute they set out to do anything, let alone something so out there as performing in public.

I interviewed Lee a decade ago about her music. The crux of the article was about how driven Lee was to make music. How her car door was held together with a bungee cord,
but she had just bought a piano. In that decade, her creative fire and the whirlwind feeding it has burned
through has yielded an effort that must be looked at from many angles to see it for what it is. Jazzy chords and intervals, complicated rhythm changes and an unusual use of language have given the songs an arty feel. That's something few will risk in this neck (or any) of the woods. But, heck, risk is nothing new to Lee, who risks all and wins when she weaves songs with such energy, originality and style.

It took two years for Lee to make this album. The drive and the perseverance to accomplish it shows in every track.

The title song, Bliss is the Aftermath, is a sweeping electric piano mood piece, with sad and floating guitar atmospherics provided by Scott Kessin.

"The Colour of Losing You" is a bruised and victorious neo-torch song about lost lover and living with and without the fact of love. Saxophone by Peter Barbeau adds sweeping blues and other nuances. One of the lyrics is so perfect in its communication of loss and resolve. "There is not one day / that I send without you."

"White Picket Fences," and its attendant prelude, "Demented Single Mother Party," is feminist politics at its most sarcastic and wry. Truly scary and powerfully seditious, the piece is like a jazz and nearly spoken-word fugue. The suite is dedicated to conservative political commentator Rush Limbaugh and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich,
with a curse and a blessing.

Other songs on the album feature darkly gorgeous cello work by Francis Hahn, drums by Lee Steck and Jordan MacHardy, harmony vocals by Jenny Bird, harp by Julie Hawley, mandolin by Jimmy Stadler and party music by Sticky Pistil.

Brad Hockmeyer, of KTAO-FM 101.9, has said of Lee that when he listened to an early demo for the album, he was not expecting such original talent, vocal virtuosity and rich lyrical, compositions. He added that I was very moved by the depth of her music and the sound that was created by just piano and voice. I can only imagine what her fully orchestrated album will be.

We don't have to imagine any more. The project has been completed, and Lee can rest assured, she has come away with a winner. She can also be assured that this proves she has what it takes. And now she has proof. Watch out.

A release party for "Bliss is the Aftermath" is planned today (Aug 26), 8 p.m., at Momentitos del la Vida, on the patio. Joining Lee will be Barbeau, Bird, Melissa Crabtree, MacHardy and Hawley. For more information, call 776-3333.
- Tempo Magazine / The Taos News

"Stephanie Lee Has a Need to Tell A Secret"

By Melody Elwell, Taos News

Two years ago, singer-songwriter Stephanie Lee took her income tax refund check and bought something she had really wanted for more than 20 years.

"Practical woman that I am, I bought a piano. Here I was, riding around in a real single mother-mobile with a door that closed with a bungie cord and a heater that wouldn't work in the winter and wouldn't shut in the summer. I could have bought a car, but I bought the piano instead," Lee said.

Before, Lee used pianos in churches and was constantly interrupted by things like choir practice.

"It's great having my own piano, I can come home from work and practice all I want. In fact, I play it all the time," she said.

Lee, 33 years old and single mother of three, said she became seriously interested in music when she was 14 years old.

"I lived for a while in a school in New Hampshire that had a big room with a piano. It was a beautiful piano. I was only there for six months, but it gave me a taste of having solitude and being able to create music in that solitude," she said.

Lee is self-taught. She doesn't even read music. I had one lesson from an old man who said, "Forget it! Give it up. You'll never be a musician," she said.

Lee said she has considered herself a songwriter more than a performer. "That allowed me to be in the closet with my music. Now, I'm getting over my stage fright, and I love performing," she said.

Lee's music is heartfelt. She says her songs are about what she feels concerning the experience of living, "It's my need to tell a secret -- to tell somebody something. They are about relationships, politics. About living in an insane world. They are about being human in a world that doesn't seem to value that very much. They are about love, too."

Because of the instrumentation -- piano and a woman's voice -- Lee's songs might remind you of other songwriters like Laura Nyro and Joni Mitchell.

Her songs are pensive yet joyful, sprinkled with clever turns of phrases and quirky rhythm changes. Her vocal style is also reminiscent of slide guitarist and bluesy singer-songwriter Ellen Macillwain.

Lee also says some of her early musical influences are Maurice Ravel and an obscure group called The Flock. The group's music centered around a jazz violinist that had been classically trained. "It was actually their arrangements that grabbed me. They were so interesting," Lee said. "But everything influenced me. I could never say that one style of music influenced me."

Lee said that members of her family also left musical impressions on her. "My mother loved music. She listened to recordings all the time. My grandfather played Russian folk tunes on his violin for me. The tunes were very 'Old World.' "

Lee moved West in July of 1977, landing in Santa Fe and living in a tent on a building site where her ex-husband was employed. She says she didn't care for Santa Fee much and just three months later moved into a little house in Pilar.

Lee says that Taos was an inspiration for her music. One of her songs, "Waiting for Snow to Fall," was written when she was living just off Guadalupe Plaza. In the music and lyrics, you can almost hear the bells of the church.

Lee has recorded four songs. She said she plans to record a cassette album at Moondance at the end of the month.

Lee can be heard June 23 at Dori's Bakery in the evening, and in August she plans to perform in the Stables Courtyard during the Taos Association''s music showcase series. She also has two dates in July at the Taos Inn.
Musician In Profile:
Who: Stephanie Lee
What: Singer-Songwriter
When: June 23
Where: Dori's Bakery
- Tempo Magazine / The Taos News


1990: "Catman & Dogwoman"/ "Cradle It" (R) Moondance Studios Taos, NM
1994: Eternal Flight - backup vocals for / Earthlight Records / Jenny Bird
1995: "Fear No Art" - Piano for Kim Trieber and "Burning Joan" Taos, NM
1996: "Angel's Gift" - Piano for Jenny Bird / Earthlight records
1997: Music for Educational video/vocals & composition for Joel Kimmel /TVC, Taos, NM
1998: "Great Spiral Dance" vocals for Michael Mandrell / Ageless Music, Taos,NM
1999: "Bliss is the Aftermath" - Stephanie Lee debut cd release
2001: "Oasis Acoustic" - CD sampler complilation "Be grateful for your chains"
2002: "The Old Man's Stories" 2nd CD release/Studio 92 /Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2003: CD single: "Bye Bye Papa Bear", Chris Julian Studios, Malibu, California
2004: " Dark Lullabye" - Colorado Sound / Westminster, CO
2004: "Come Home," "Mister," & "Lay Down"; Publisher's catalog in progress - Jeff Karsin Studio, Taos, NM /
2005 3rd cd release "One Little Seed"4 nominations from NMMA & 1 win for "Best vocal Performance"
2006 2 singles, "Sometimes the Darkness Rules" and "Summertime"/
Fall 2008 -4th cd album recorded @Ocean Way in Hollywood, Ca and Hyde st. Studios in San Fransisco CO-Produced by Producer Steven Miller (Windham Hill Records )



The show (Piano, Vocals ,Cello & Oboe is in the Tradition of Performing Singer/songwriters - up close, personal. A strong part of the show is socio political commentary and comedy. I am deeply influenced by current events . My musical influences are varied: from Maurice Ravel to Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan, Take Six (Gospel a capella), Aretha Franklin, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, JerryGoodman (theFlock), DaveMason, Seal, but Truly all Popular Music has influenced me. Here's to the RADIO! And to Albums!