Mick Lee

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Since its beginning back in 1986, Canopic Jar has sought to be about art, period. Literary arts are a prime focus, but not the only focus. We’ve continued to keep the barriers clear for whatever possibilities come our way. To this end we have staged live shows and even recorded “issues” on VHS tape and audio cassette (though in extremely limited quantities.) The internet has made this open door policy toward genre and medium even easier, and we keep looking for new avenues. David Greenberger, Dawn Promislow and Gleah Powers have been recent examples of our Featured Voices bringing in a mix of genres, and other FV’s have been entirely centered on visual art or music.

Now Mick Lee brings his own fascinating creative energy to the Jar. Not only is he an accomplished musician and songwriter, he is a direct link to some of the 20th century’s most talented musical artists. I’ve been getting acquainted with Mick of late, and the more I get to know him, the more I appreciate his attitude toward music, art and life. That is to say, we share some common vision in that regard, and more importantly, a common awareness — an awareness that includes recognizing that we have the potential to learn from each other. What does all that mean? Well, the art will have to take it from here.

Mick’s Featured Voice segment is going to be presented in four segments, each consisting of a gallery of musical performances with commentary. There may be other offerings as well. That’s up to Mick.

And as has been announced elsewhere, Canopic Publishing is already at work on publishing a memoir of Mick’s time as a musician in an active career spanning the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. Not a typical autobiography, the memoir is more about the artists and the art than just a chronical of events. But more on that later. For now, enjoy the music. Or perhaps I should say, “Please welcome to the Canopic stage, Mick Lee.”

—Phil Rice

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Mick Lee, born in NYC, moved to London (very reluctantly) as a teenager. He started learning to play guitar in his mom’s clothes cupboard, and learned the rudiments of the piano from his dad. Mick began singing and playing in bands at school, and the gods must have approved, because some of the world’s finest musicians appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, took him under their wing, and encouraged him to keep writing and performing his songs.

London was a hotbed of music, where Mick got to play, record and/or tour with with the world’s best — some obscure, some famous, some infamous; like Chris Wood of Traffic, Paul Kossoff of Free, Ric Grech of Blind Faith, Mick Taylor, Taj Mahal,  Lemmy, and The Moody Blues, to name just a few of the musicians he’s indebted to. Mick is now semi-retired, living in Asheville — North Carolina, an art, beer and music town if ever there was one!

A memoir of his life as a musician in London and the musicians and artists with whom he played is due to be published by Canopic Publishing in 2018.

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